||Issue No. 257||01 April 2005|
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
Dirt Cheap Right On Money
United Front Beats Drug Boss
The workers succeeded in securing a union endorsed EBA – the first for the pharmaceutical plant - with the support of the local community and other workers.
A colourful peaceful protest was maintained at the company's gates, and the workers, many of them first time union members, received support from the local community, workers at neighbouring factories and other unionists.
Merck Sharp and Dohme had been attempting to introduce a US style working conditions.
"The support from other workers gave them the ability to stick with their campaign," says Unions NSW assistant secretary Mark Lennon. "There was a lot of community support; people were driving past, tooting horns."
"It's clear there's a lot of sentiment in the community supporting workers battling the big business agenda."
The peaceful protest received support from Unions NSW, Transport Workers Union, National Union of Workers and CFMEU members as well as their colleagues from the AMWU. Money was raised for the locked out workers and numbers were swelled at the peaceful protest.
"The workers made themselves at home and dug in," says Harry Delaney from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU). "In the end the company offered to negotiate."
Merck Sharp and Dohm met with the AMWU at the union's Granville office and signed off on an agreement securing pay rises for employees and securing existing entitlements.
The company expected one worker with 15 years experience to work unpaid overtime, but the involvement of the union meant they were able to maintain existing entitlements.
Labour Hire introduced during the strike has since been removed from the site.
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