Dayson under pressure to end dispute

July 24, 2002


SYDNEY — With the strike at Dayson’s Rydalmere airconditioning re-manufacturing plant entering its ninth week, the company is under considerable pressure to end the dispute. The 12 workers on strike have told supporters they are prepared to stay out until the dispute is resolved.

Dayson had charged the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), a number of union organisers and several workers with “restraint of trade”.

At a July 15 Industrial Relations Commission hearing, Justice Munro slammed the company for having “an ideological objection to dealing with other than its employees” and blamed the company for the length of time the dispute has taken to go before the IRC. He also said the company had to start negotiations with the union to end the dispute.

Munro was extremely critical of the timing of the writ against the union — lodged late on Friday afternoon. This gave the IRC no time to conciliate, as it had a 72-hour deadline to consider the writ.

Much of the evidence presented by the company was described as being confusing, tedious and irrelevant.

One complaint the company made was that picketers stopped people entering the premises and abused workers that crossed the picket line. AMWU organiser Dave Blowers told Green Left Weekly that none of the evidence showed picketers abusing others, but it did show a number of managers abusing the striking workers.

The IRC issued a certificate for the company to take further legal action against the AMWU for stopping vehicles entering the premises and blockading trucks.

The strike at Dayson has been going since the company sacked seven workers, including two union delegates, for taking protected industrial action as part of an enterprise bargaining period. The company has consistently refused to talk to the union, instead unsuccessfully offering the sacked workers their jobs back under individual contracts.

The company has now approached the site delegate and the union about holding a meeting to discuss the dispute — the first time the company has agreed to involve the union on any negotiations.

Community pickets on Thursday mornings and a 24-hour picket line will continue until the issue is resolved. For more information, phone Dave Blowers on 0419 403 848.

From Green Left Weekly, July 24, 2002.
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