Friday, 9 October 2009

Gumboot power: Bridgeman Concrete workers beat lockout

By Pat O’Dea
Workers locked-out for nine days by Bridgeman Concrete in South Auckland, hardened their picket last week and actively impeded two concrete trucks from leaving the depo, costing the company $3,000 in ruined concrete.

The company responded by caving in, and lifted the lock-out.

Although lockouts are legal, effective picketing – actually stopping scabs, vehicles or goods crossing the picket line – is not. 

Because of the illegal nature of effective picketing, the picture above is the only photo released by the NDU of this militant action. As well as lifting their lockout Bridgeman also conceded to workers’ demands for a fairer redundancy agreement that does not allow them to discriminate against union members (the original cause of the dispute). The company has also agreed, for the first time, to redundancy payments and full consultation with the NDU if planning redundancies. 

In a comical footnote; Bridgeman Concrete has sent the bill for the ruined concrete to the union. I wonder if they will try to Baycorp them? Bridgeman Concrete just might find that the last laugh will be on them, because Baycorp has recently been unionised by the Unite union, who are very close allies of the NDU. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if all the paperwork accidentally slipped down a crack behind some desks. All power to the gumboot.

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