A boss who drove a truck through a picket line during an industrial dispute last year faced court today in Melbourne. About 50 trade unionists rallied outside the court calling for the boss to face the full force of the law.
Anthony Elliot, owner of the Elliot Group, is accused of driving his truck through a group of about 15 picketers at the driveway of his plant in Kilsyth, in Melbourne, on May 4 last year.
Elliot faces 15 charges, including three of reckless conduct putting a person in danger of death and one of driving in a manner dangerous. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The picketers were demonstrating against the Elliot Group, who still owes a group of workers hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost entitlements. The company has refused to pay the workers who were sacked by Elliot last year.
Currently the workers, represented by the AMWU, are still pursuing the unpaid entitlements in the Federal Court.
Elliott’s lawyer Sean Grant today applied for, and was granted access to, police files on witnesses that are listed to appear during the hearing.
Prosecutor Sergeant Murray Phillips objected to the files being granted to the defence but was overruled by the magistrate Brian Clifford.
Grant said he believed the police documents would assist the defence case by highlighting some protesters’ involvement in other similar demonstrations. Grant also accused one of the witnesses of ‘colluding’ with other witnesses.
This case will be a real test for the legal system. If Elliot does not get jail time it will only prove that there is one law for the rich and one for the rest of us. In the past trade unionists have been jailed for much less.
The case is expected to run for another two days and more reports will be posted soon.
By Socialist Party reporters