||Issue No. 245||05 November 2004|
What�s In a Name?
Interview: The Reich Stuff
Economics: Crime and Punishment
Environment: Beyond The Wedge
International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Politics: Labo(u)r Day
Human Rights: Arabian Lights
History: Labour's Titan
Review: Foxy Fiasco
Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Shearers Brush Woolly Mammoths
Staff, Trees Weather the Blame
Environment Wiped Out In Dubbo
The Locker Room
Let's Start A New Party
Labor Council of NSW
Visy Paper Folds
The packaging giant, headed by billionaire Richard Pratt, agreed to fold two existing EBAs into a single document, featuring annual wage movements of 4.75 percent, at 11th hour talks in Melbourne yesterday.
AMWU industrial officer, Juliana Dickinson, called the agreement a "major victory" for 600 workers who had waged a three-month campaign.
They had given notice of indefinite action, effective from 12.30pm yesterday (Thursday), at sites in Queensland, NSW, WA and Victoria.
"Solidarity, and commitment to collective action has delivered one agreement," Dickinson said. "Strong and disciplined leadership by our delegates around the country was the key to securing it.
"Everyone welcomes Visy's change of heart and is looking forward to a more co-operative relationship in the future."
Initially, Visy refused to discuss the national agreement claim, voted up at meetings on all its sites. Instead, it ran ballots, offering bonuses to individuals if they would break ranks and pick up single-site, non-union agreements that offered less than the 4.75 percent signed off on by major competitors Amcor and Carter Holt Harvey.
That strategy came to a halt after the proposal was rolled by ballots at TPC Smithfield, Visy Board, Warwick Farm; Visy Board, Dandenong; Visy Paper, Smithfield; Visy Board, O'Connor (WA); and TPC, Kewdale (WA).
Yesterday's early-morning meeting brought agreement on the single document, wage movements and increased redundancy entitlements.
Dickinson said the "nuts and bolts" of bringing the existing documents together would take place next week.
"This a great result because it gives Visy employees the best chance of defending their wages and conditions in what could be uncertain times," she said. "They have already proved that standing together works."
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