The Guardian May 24, 2000


Community picket against Joy Manufacturing

For the last two weeks concerned members of the Wollongong community 
have held pickets outside factories that are being used by Joy 
Manufacturing and its scab workforce. On May 18 several hundred trade 
unionists, concerned community members and local MPs peacefully occupied 
one of these factories.

The next day ACTU President Sharan Burrow addressed a rally of locked out 
workers to launch a union campaign against Workplace Relations Minister 
Peter Reith and his new legislation.

The workers have been locked out by their employer Joy Manufacturing since 
April 14.

The rally was outside a conference being attended by Workplace Relations 
Minister Peter Reith on the South Coast of NSW.

Joy Manufacturing used Reith's Workplace Relations Act to lock out its 
workforce.

The trade unions at Joy Manufacturing had been involved, since September 
last year, in negotiating an enterprise agreement with Joy Manufacturing.

Joy threatened its workers with a lockout if they failed to agree to demand 
that their Moss Vale site be covered by four different enterprise 
agreements. 

Then on April 12 Joy sent new agreements to the workers, not to the unions 
 four separate agreements with four separate expiry dates. The workers 
were given 14 days to respond.

The very next day they received, by registered mail, a lockout notice for 
three months commencing on April 14.

As a result of the lockout the unions set up a picket line outside the Moss 
Vale work site. This picket line has received wide community support 
throughout the South Coast.

Two weeks ago the unions discovered that Joy Manufacturing were getting 
work done off site by scab workers in Wollongong.

A picket line was soon set up outside that site.

Joy went to court, and using Reith's industrial legislation brought an 
injunction against the unions, which threatens them with massive fines if 
they involve themselves in the Wollongong picket.

However, community support against Joy is so strong that hundreds of 
concerned members of the community have kept the picket going for the last 
two weeks.

Recently local trade unions discovered that Joy was also using scabs at the 
Klondu Engineering factory in Unanderra.

On May 18 three hundred trade unionists and supporters, including several 
local MPs joined the picket at Klondu Engineering in Unanderra. It was 
unanimously decided to occupy the plant. 

This action was a great success in uniting trade unionists, students, 
pensioners, the unemployed and local MPs in a show of support for the 70 
Joy Machinery workers who have now been locked out of their workplace for 
seven weeks.

The action also successfully attracted national media attention. 

Organisers of this event and the continuing pickets have promised that the 
pickets and other mass actions will continue as long as the Joy workers are 
locked out.

Anyone who would like to help this campaign should ring Patrick on (02) 
4221 4710.

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