Forwarded to us from Indymedia:
Call centre workers at Synovate in South Auckland were today locked out by their employer. The workers had been negotiating for secure hours and a pay rise of a dollar when they received word by text last night that they would not be allowed to come back to work.
Upon arriving at the call center this morning union members found the front door padlocked shut by the company and a notice telling their non union workers to sneak in by the back door. In response to this attempt to use scab labour Union officials and members added their own locks to the front door and used cars and locks to block all other entrances to the building. This effectively locked the bosses inside for two hours until the union allowed one car to be moved to allow delegates to enter the building to continue the negotiations.
Unite Union Secretary Matt McCarten told assembled workers that he had dressed in a warm coat and had a razor in his pocket so he could shave before court if he was arrested. Most of the workers seemed positive and genuinely angry at their working conditions particularly that their shifts can be cancelled with no notice. Several however talked about how they could not afford to miss work – this is what the company is undoubtedly relying on to break the unions strength on this site.
Their has been a picket outside Synovate all day and members of the public are urged to come out to the site: 26 Aviemore Drive, Highland Park, East Auckland. At this stage the lockout is indefinet, more details will be posted here as they come to hand.
Follow the struggle online at twitter.com/uniteunion