The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 150 30 August 2002  

Shut It Down!
The CFMEU�s legal bid to have the Cole Royal Commission closed down seeks to prove legally what any dispassionate observer has worked out for themselves: the whole show is biased.


Interview: Australian Worker
AWU national secretary Bill Shorten gives his take on the relationship between the wings of the movement

Unions: Morning Ambush
Rowan Cahill joined the Dayson workers as they took their fourteen week dispute to the doors of an American corproate giant

Cole-Watch: Grumpy Old Men
When the Cole Commission declared closed its second innings in Sydney last night, lasting memories centred around the hands played by two grumpy old men, Jim Marr reports.

International: Arrested (Sustainable) Development
Unions fronting up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development are making clear their views that development can never be considered sustainable unless social justice is made a top priority, reports Tara de Boehmler.

History: Illegal Alien
As we remember the shameful way we turned away a group of people escaping the horrors of a dictatorial regime, the treatment of Egon Kisch by the UAP Government in 1935 highlights yet another.

Economics: The Trouble With PPPs
The Uni of NSW's Christopher Shiel explains why the state's current flirtation with Public Private Partnerships is an ongoing joke

Poetry: Is This 'My Country'?
On the anniversary of the Tampa, and with the help of Dorothea Mackellar and Peter Dodds McCormick, Worker's Online travels back a year to contemplate those moments when eyes were closed to the nature of the Taliban regime.

Review: Garage Days
Mark Hebblewhite reviews a new Aussie flick that brings the indie music scene to the big screen


 Bias Case Clears First Hurdle

 Eight Weeks Only for Bomb Survivors

 Justice At Last for Woodlawn Miners

 Labor for Refugees Put Acid on Crean

 Canberra Cash Linked to Hall of Fame Stoush

 Osama Poster Sparks Controversy

 Underwear Obsession Prompts Rehab List

 Community Workers Win Lifeline

 Mad Monk Staff in 'Mad Hatter' Protest

 Qld Health Win Pay Rise

 Education Forum To Spark Public Debate

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Is Simon the Likeable?
The United Firefighter's Daryl Snow is back to give the ALP and political leaders in general an almighty hosing down

The Locker Room
A Modest Proposal
This NRL salary cap has come in for some debate recently, with many following the lead set by the Murdoch Media and calling for administrators of the game to throw the baby out with the bathwater, writes Phil Doyle.

Week in Review
World Domination
They�re right funny critters those Yanks who get their hands on the levers of power and we�re not talking, funny ha ha, here, Jim Marr writes�

The Costello Two-Step
Treasurer Peter Costello's two faces were on display this week - ducking and weaving from enforcing corporate accounting standards while upping the push to cut corporate tax

Always Listen To The Wind
Bernadette Moloney & John Hartley report from a conference aimed at getting reconciliation right

 Tony Moore is a Four Letter Word
 Choral Classics
 Sleeping Giants
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees



Morning Ambush

Rowan Cahill joined the Dayson workers as they took their fourteen week dispute to the doors of an American corproate giant


Monday, 26 August 2002. It is 6 am in the Sydney suburb of Ryde. A cool morning. Rain threatens, and eventually comes in showers. Well before the start of the working day, thirty unionists and supporters gather and blockade the entrance to the local headquarters of the multinational Trane company.

This is a manicured industrial corporate world of landscaped gardens, lawns, tame trees, suits, label clothing, laptops, water coolers, and latte by the litre.

Trane is a global American company specializing in air conditioning equipment. Since 1984 it has been part of the transnational business empire of American Standard Companies Inc (ASCI).

Last year ASCI notched up sales worth over $US7 billion. The empire traces its lineage back to pioneering American industrial businesses in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the railway and automotive industries. The railway interests were shed during the 1980s in a corporate battle with Black & Decker.

Today the empire milks its wealth from the labour of workers internationally in three areas: air conditioning systems; plumbing supplies; automotive braking systems.

The Dayson compressor remanufacturing plant in Rydalmere is part of the empire, being a Trane subsidiary. The company has been used to a non-union brand of industrial relations, and individual contracts.

However last year Dayson workers joined the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU). Since then, along with a lone member of the Electrical Trades Union already on site, the workers have been seeking to negotiate a collective agreement with the company including a pay rise, a better redundancy package, and entitlements protection.

Dayson refused to negotiate collectively with the unionists, and seven employees were terminated, including two union delegates. In response the majority of the small workforce went on an indefinite stoppage and formed a picket line outside the Rydalmere plant.

An Industrial Relations Commission recommendation that the company put aside its ideological objection and negotiate with the unions has been defied.

The picket line of eleven workers has now been outside the plant for fourteen weeks.

The Dayson operation has been drastically curtailed, with the majority of trucks refusing to cross the line, leaving deliveries to unbadged vehicles and furtive traffic movements.

Striking workers have worked hard to build support, and there have been heartening expressions of solidarity and goodwill, donations of goods, money, and physical help with maintaining the line.

Monday's ambush was part of the campaign. The blockaders called upon the Trane-Dayson management to negotiate with the unions. It was a reminder to management and its corporate masters that the Rydalmere Eleven are real people. They might be suburbs away in the lawnless sweaty world of industrial Rydalmere, but they are unionists, and they are not going to disappear.

Monday's symbolic action brought the dispute to the front door of the American cleanskins and their Australian managers. No one got through the blockade, apart from a few who scuttled through a hidden back door. For the duration of the action a management honcho remained out in the cold, sheltering under an umbrella, a mobile phone clamped to his ear. The unionists and their supporters were civil, the police who attended were civil, and the management representative seemed queasily uncertain.

At 10 am the blockaders decamped and were led off site by the Rydalmere Eleven, union flags held high.

It is understood that since Monday's action management has agreed to begin talks with elected representatives of the striking workers and with union representatives to seek a way forward. In the meantime there will be no resumption of work, and the task of building support continues.

Supporters can attend the picket at 30 South Street, Rydalmere, Monday to Friday, 6am - 5pm. To contact the relevant AMWU organiser, phone Harry on 0419 402 650.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 150 contents

email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online