The Guardian December 6, 2000


Wattyl lock-out continues

by Andrew Jackson

Workers at Wattyl plants around Australia were locked out again last 
Thursday, November 30, despite an offer of compromise by the Liquor, 
Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers' Union (LHMU) in their "Paint 2000" 
campaign.

The dispute was sparked by Wattyl rejecting workers' claims for a 5.5 
percent pay rise, and changes to superannuation and long service leave 
entitlements.

On November 22, 80 workers at Wattyl's Blacktown plant staged a sit-in, 
after being issued lock-out notices by management as the first shift began 
at 7.30am.

"The motion came from the floor and it was decided by the members at this 
site  they were disgusted with the company's actions", said Peter 
Campise, an LHMU official.

The sit-in action spread around Australia as other Wattyl employees 
demonstrated solidarity with their Blacktown comrades.

All employees returned to work on Monday 27th, but were locked out again 
just three days later.

"We are surprised that the workers at half the Wattyl plants around 
Australia have again been locked out by their bosses", said Ron Monaghan, 
Queensland LHMU Branch Secretary.

"We are fair dinkum about a solution but Wattyl seems to be fair dinkum 
about having a blue."

The second lock-out happened just one day after the LHMU made a show of 
good faith at enterprise negotiations, offering Wattyl management a new 
bottom line and agreeing to lift work bans and limitations.

The "Paint 2000" campaign is a national industry-wide campaign to win 
better pay and conditions for LHMU members in the paint industry.

Cheryl Hyde, Assistant National Secretary of the LHMU, says "The Paint 2000 
Campaign seeks to mobilise our membership to win improved conditions across 
the industry, in a move away from site-by-site bargaining."

"If the companies want national, rationalised and centralised strategies, 
they should also adopt national  not regional  pay agreements for their 
workforce", Ms Hyde said.

Among the LHMU's key demands on the paint industry are:

* agreements to be made on a company-wide basis rather than site-by-site;
* agreements to be for two years;
* a union-endorsed Income Protection Scheme; and
* an industry fund to protect entitlements.

The LHMU is also negotiating agreements for workers at Taubmans and Dulux.

Back to index page