|Issue No 61||07 July 2000|
Lockout Sleight of Hand
By Rowan Cahill
An attempt by Joy Mining Machinery to end its bitter three month Moss Vale lockout ten days ahead of schedule, failed miserably this week.
In a letter to locked out employees the company explained the lockout was formally over. Negotiations on matters in dispute would follow a return to work.
However if no resolution was reached after a month, then a new lockout would commence on 29 July and run through to September 4.
To emphasise the point Joy included with their letter official notification of the proposed lockout sanctioned by Reith's Workplace Relations Act.
Workers were told to begin work at 7a.m. July 4 or face the sack.
The letter went on to explain that if the company believed workers were "not negotiating in good faith," the lockout would take effect immediately.
Any worker the company construed as engaging in the intimidation or harassment of Joy scabs or contractors would also face the sack.
Unconfirmed reports suggest Joy intended to monitor worker behaviour with a special workshop security team.
The workers were affronted by the paternalism of the return to work notification, the Master and Servant sentiments expressed, the threats, and the lack of detail regarding negotiations.
Following the collapse of EBA negotiations earlier this year, about 70 workers were locked out of the Joy worksite in Moss Vale (NSW).
During this time they manned two picket encampments outside their worksite. Their activities, and those of their unions (the AMWU, AWU, and CEPU), were restrained by Supreme Court injunctions.
Discussions with the company during the lockout period were frustratingly fruitless.
At a meeting on Monday July 3, Joy workers rejected the company's return to work offer and formally withdrew their labour for a month, describing the letter as "industrial blackmail".
They also made clear to the company that genuine negotiations could take place at any time through union delegates and officials.
A problem in this dispute has been the perception that the company is reluctant to negotiate with the unions involved, seeking direct negotiations with workers instead.
Joy Mining is a subsidiary of the economically troubled American multi-national Harnischfeger Industries Inc.
Commenting on the latest events AMWU state secretary Paul Bastian said: "As part of its plans to Americanise industrial relations, Joy is asking workers to return to work with their hands tied behind their backs".
City Gig for Joy workers
Salsa super group BABALU and world music superstars EPIZO BANGOURA AND AFRICAN EXPRESS will feature in a fundraiser next week for 80 Moss Vale families doing it tough with their breadwinners locked out of their workforce by a ruthless multinational.
The Joy Engineering dispute is arguably the most important industrial dispute in NSW in 2000 and has devestated the southern highlands town where the factory is situated. A host of people who have stood in solidarity on the picket line have been sueued, including penniless students at Wollongong Uni, South Coast Labor Council Secretary Arthur Rorris and CFMEU Secretary Andrew Ferguson.
The night promises to be fantastic entertainment as well as a worthy cause. The gig kicks off at 7PM, Wednesday 12 July at the Harbourside Brasserie, Hickson Road Millers Point. Tickets are $10 and are available on the door on the night. Enquiries please call 0414 867 188.
Technology: Union Rep for Global Net Body
The godfather of unions and the Internet, Eric Lee, is seeking your support to give labour a voice on the net's governing body, ICANN.
Interview: Downloaded and Done Over
In the wake of the TV Networks' digital TV victory, Internet industry chief Peter Coroneus rues a missed opportunity for Australia.
Legal: The Global Millennium Project
The International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) has developed a draft proposal for a comprehensive revision and modernisation of international labour standards for the new millenium.
Unions: Sandgropers Get Serious on Stress
The Australian Services Union in Western Australia in conjunction with the University of Western Australia, is surveying workers across the state's call centre industry.
Politics: New Work for a New Millennium
View in full the ALP's Draft Industrial Relations Policy to be taken to the National Conference at the end of the month.
Solidarity: Korean Hotel Workers Seek Global Help
Striking Korean hotel workers at the Swiss Grand Hotel and the Seoul Hilton are worried they could be the next targets of escalating riot police violence.
History: Vince's Parable of the Sundial
How a working man survived WWII and ASIO blacklists to save a sundial.
International: Room for Optimism from African Poll
The performance of pro-Deomcracy groups in the Zimbabwean elections has given supporters hope for better days.
Environment: Mexican Wave Goes Green
American politics has taken on a Green hue with the left leaning National Action Party and the Greens in Mexico picking up nearly 40% of the vote in the recent elections.
Satire: Aussies Celebrate Centenary by Leaving Country
Prime Minister John Howard has defended his government's decision not to involve Australia in the centenary federation celebrations.
Review: A Building Sings of Lives Lived in Music
Mysterious shadows flicker in the windows of the Parramatta Town Hall. Strains of trumpet and sarod float outside. It's all part of the urban Theatre Project's latest work, 'The Palais'.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005