Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 95 Official Organ of LaborNet 11 May 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week


Arnotts Workers Call for Consumer Boycott

By Andrew Casey

The union representing the 600 workers set to lose their jobs at Arnotts Melbourne plant in Victoria has called for a consumer boycott of Arnotts products.

Around 100 workers from Arnotts took their protest against the closure to the special Centenary of Federation joint sitting of Parliament at Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Buildings.

And next Wednesday they are planning another protest rally on the steps of Victoria's Parliament House. Three days later the LHMU, with the backing of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, have a huge community rally organised for the Dallas Brooks Hall.

At the Centenary celebrations the Arnotts workers briefly blocked the main entrance to the buildings just after midday to protest the closure of their factory and the loss of jobs.

Chanting "Arnotts, Arnotts, you're no good, you've sold out our livelihood", the protesters waved placards at politicians arriving for the centenary celebrations.

The LHMU, which represents 400 of the 600 workers, has called on the state and federal governments to intervene to either keep Arnotts in Victoria or to ensure another biscuit manufacturer buys the plant.

It is believed that Arnotts plans to sell off the plant machinery and equipment and sell the land, throwing 600 Victorians out of work in September.

Victoria feels strongly about Arnotts closure

LHMU Victorian Assistant Secretary Terry Breheny said this week that Victorians felt very strongly about the closure of Arnotts.

" Choosing not to buy Arnotts products will send a strong message to the company that it has not behaved as a responsible corporate citizen.

" There was no good reason to pull out of Victoria and place in jeopardy the livelihoods of 600 working Victorians and their families," Terry Breheny said.

Mr Breheny said the call for a boycott was meant to send a strong message to governments and to overseas investors that the community would not tolerate callous and irresponsible corporate behavior.

" I ask Australians, and Victorians in particular, to choose another product when buying their biscuits in the supermarkets. Tell Arnotts how you feel about them.

Manufacturing policy needed

" I also ask the Victorian and federal governments to become more involved in this issue and to do all that is possible to save the jobs of these workers.

" We need a stronger industry policy for manufacturing in this state. Too many

jobs are being lost. People want to know what the politicians are doing about it."

In other developments, Arnott's representatives met the LHMU on Thursday to discuss concerns over workers' entitlements, including the fate of 180 casual labour hire workers who at present will not receive a single dollar in retrenchment monies.

After the meeting the LHMU's Terry Breheny, said the members had put a wide range of proposals, including better redundancy arrangements, to the company.

During the talks some of the members had got quite emotional.

"It's still fairly demoralising. There was two or three of the union representatives that actually broke down emotionally and had to leave the meeting. There's a lot of anger about the decision."

Talks are now scheduled to resume next Tuesday, the day before a planned rally on the steps of Victoria's Parliament House.

The LHMU members want Arnott's parent company, Campbell's Soups, to send representatives from the US to Melbourne to explain the reasons for the closure.

Community Campaign

Mr Breheny said the Arnotts workforce had unanimously endorsed a community campaign which included the call for a boycott.

Union delegates from other manufacturing areas have also strongly endorsed the LHMU campaign.

A community rally will be held in on 20 May at the Dallas Brooks Hall. Contact the LHMU office in Victoria 03/9235 7777 for more details.

Give us your views on the Arnott's campaign

Do you have a view about the effectiveness of consumer boycotts? What else do you think the LHMU should do? Why not write a note in the LHMU's Guest Book on their website.

Give the union your views by clicking here.

Contact Arnotts and tell 'em what you think

You can also make contact with the Arnotts bosses, and tell them what you think about LHMU members getting the sack.

In your message you can remind the company about their now hollow claim that they are more than just a biscuit company, they are part of Australian culture.

Contact Arnotts and leave a message by clicking here.


*    Visit the LHMU

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 95 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Geek Guys
Two of the union movement�s pioneers in new technology, Peter Ross and Mark McGrath, chew the fat about wired unionism and virtual politics.
*  Compo: Costa�s Angels
Behind the spotlight of the workers comp campaign four women trade union officials have been burning the midnight oil to protect injured workers.
*  Legal: View from the Bench
Compensation Court judge and former Attorney-General, Frank Walker, argues the Della Bosca workers comp reforms are a threat to judicial independence.
*  International: Timor: Time for the Truth
HT Lee was in Dili when the militas ran rampage. Now he wants the truth to come out.
*  History: True Believers
Frank Bongiorno looks at the origins of the Australian Labor Party, which celebrated its centenary of Caucus this week.
*  Corporate: Trust Me, I�m a Multi-National!
BHP unions have united across the factions to urge �No� vote on the planned Billiton merger.
*  Unions: AWAs � A Doomed Future?
ACTU Assistant Secretary Richard Marles plays clairvoyant and predicts a dismal future for AWAs.
*  Satire: Bush Defends One China Policy - Then Another China Policy, Then Another ....
President Bush today announced a major change to the United States� policy of �strategic ambiguity� towards the status of Taiwan and its One China policy.
*  Review: Surviving Survivor
Workers Online's Reality TV correspondent Mark Morey rakes over the coals of the Survivor II result.

»  Carr Government Avoids Own Safety Laws
»  Phantom Employers Face the Flush
»  Primus Suspect? Unions Seek Answers
»  Big Australian�s Merger Faces Rocky Road
»  Happy Hour for Heineken with a Half-Price Dollar
»  Arnotts Workers Call for Consumer Boycott
»  Asian Women at Work: Daring To Act
»  Academic Sacking Sparks Global Row
»  Labor Councillors Feel Childcare Heat
»  Rail Workers Win Maintenance Security
»  Knitwear Company Stitched Up Over AWAs
»  Three Stripes and You�re Out
»  Unions and Students Move on Harvard
»  IT Workers Alliance � Last Call for Comment
»  Our News Feed Hits 1000
»  Activist Notebook

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  The Great May Day Debate
»  Questions for Macca
»  Qantas on Impulse
»  Compo: The Great Tradition

What you can do

Notice Board
- Check out the latest events

Latest Issue

View entire latest issue
- print all of the articles!

Previous Issues

Subject index

Search all issues

Enter keyword(s):

Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


Wobbly Radio

[ Home ][ Notice Board ][ Search ][ Previous Issues ][ Latest Issue ]

© 1999-2000 Labor Council of NSW

LaborNET is a resource for the labour movement provided by the Labor Council of NSW

Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

[ Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Credits ]

LaborNET is proudly created, designed and programmed by Social Change Online for the Labor Council of NSW


 Labor Council of NSW

[Workers Online]

[Social Change Online]