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Photos from the Bridgeman lockout

Written By: - Date published: 4:45 pm, September 17th, 2009 - 6 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Some photos from the picketline at Bridgeman Concrete in East Tamaki, where workers have been locked out indefinitely unless they submit to a two year pay freeze. Good to see them standing strong.

Click the thumbnails to see the full size pics:

Hat tip: NDU via Indymedia.

6 comments on “Photos from the Bridgeman lockout ”

  1. Jenny 1

    To: Helen Kelly – President NZCTU
    From: Patrick John O’Dea – Redundant Transfield EPMU Delegate
    Subject: Lockout flu spreads unchecked – CTU campaign needed

    Earlier this year, when the swine flu dominated the headlines, though dangerous I predicted that it would blow over, especially if the authorities took proper safeguards. At the same time I also predicted that like a contagious disease, the spreading use of lockouts would get worse if left unchecked. I felt then and still do that the growing readiness of employers to use lockouts needed to be addressed by the Combined Trade Union movement as a whole.
    I predicted that the rash of lockouts would grow, unless the CTU decided to act against them with a campaign for militant union wide solidarity actions. As I said then, any employer who reaches for the lockout weapon needed to be smacked down hard to discourage others. Employers have now just announced twice in one day, their preparedness to use this once rare tactic against dairy workers and concrete workers.

    http://business.scoop.co.nz/2009/09/16/employer-militancy-grows/

    Added to these two new lockouts, is the threatened lockout against the bus drivers. Also the Telecom campaign to dismiss and starve out of their network engineers, employed by their subcontractors Downers and Transfield untill these workers agree to take jobs at much reduced wages and conditions with Telecom’s new front company Visionstream. Telecom’s campaign is also a lockout in all but name. (The Telecom campaign gathered pace last week, when Transfield closed the gates on another 200 engineers.)

    Individual worksites and unions are almost powerless in the face of lock outs. As the Progressive Enterprises dispute showed, only a CTU wide call for wide solidarity from all affiliated unions can blunt this sort of attack on working people and their families.
    I think that a mass union campaign against lockouts needs to be mounted again.
    I think we need to deal with this growing emergency before it becomes an epidemic. I would like to suggest that the CTU as the overarching body of the New Zealand call for a mass rally of all trade unionists outside one of the guilty employers to reopen the gates, and get the workers back inside.
    That such a rally should be called for a weekend so as many workers can attend as possible

    I would like to suggest that with the agreement of the NDU, that Bridgeman Concrete be the first target for such a Combined Trade Union campaign.

    Because:

    A. The Bridgeman lockout was completely unprovoked.

    B. The Bridgeman lockout is the one that is presently ongoing now.

  2. Marty G 2

    You know when Tim Ellis and mike aren’t on a thread fighting the Right’s line that it is truly indefensible.

    I don’t see them here.

    [lprent: Mike will have a problem attending for 2 weeks. He gave into temptation, as did the leftie who keeps changing names (but has the same identicon). ]

  3. Jared 3

    It would depend on the point of view you hold. I know for a fact that building related businesses are suffering due to the down turn in construction at the moment. A family friend owns a concrete pumping business and invested heavily while the housing boom was in full swing and has now had to mothball most of his trucks due to low/no demand. So in that respect, I understand small/medium businesses halting pay rises. It would seem the workers here expect a pay rise when it may not be financially viable. Workers holding their employers to ransom.

    • Daveo 3.1

      Dude, they’ve locked out their workers indefinitely – that means shut out of work without pay – unless they agree to a pay freeze for two years. Fuck that and anyone who defends it.

      If a company is genuinely unable to give a pay rise without going under then unions will scrutinse the books, check where else they can make savings etc, and if there’s genuinely no money they’ll be reasonable.

      It only gets nasty when companies can afford to pay but try to use the recession as an excuse or, like at Bridgeman, reject the whole idea of bargaining in good faith and start trying to impose a wage freeze by force.

  4. Jenny 4

    Um,,,,,,, who’s holding who to ransom here?

  5. Rob A 5

    However this turns out, how the hell is the company going to keep its staff as soon as the job market starts picking up?

    The company I work at froze wages this year but the way it was done was very well done compared to this. The CEO called us all into a meeting, gave us a powerpoint presentation explaining why, told us the freeze applied to everyone, apoligized and promised to make it up to us asap. We didn’t get a this is how it is, take it or I’ll lock you out speech.

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