Socialist Party members in Melbourne were heavily involved today in the first serious (as in stopping production) picket line since Work Choices was introduced.
Two weeks ago an AMWU (metals division) member was sacked for ‘smirking’ at his boss and his shop steward was sacked for defending him. The company is called Finlay Engineering and is located in Waterdale Road, West Heidelberg, Melbourne.
Up until now, union reaction has been reduced to media statements. This picket is very significant in that is organised by the community group ‘Union Solidarity’. SP has had input into this group. The picket was successful in physically stopping all trucks entering the plant.
SP helped organise the media coverage on the day and SP member Anthony Main did an interview that was played on 3AW (Victoria’s highest rating radio station)all day. SP also helped with infrastructure and supplying troops.
After months of condemning the idea of real industrial action (apart from the odd rally and media stunt against Howard), ACTU President Sharon Burrows turned up to the picket today to address the media. When workers act, bureaucrats have to follow to ensure they maintain their control.
So far, so good, on the picket. We have stopped all deliveries since we started at 6am this morning. The picket is going all tonight and tomorrow as well. If you live in Victoria, go to 617 Waterdale Road, West Heidelberg (near La Trobe Uni).
By Socialist Party reporters