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   Vol. 69/No. 48           December 12, 2005  
On the Picket Line
Australia: unionists demand
benefits from bankrupt company

SYDNEY, Australia—Construction workers, members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) picketed three building sites here November 12 to draw attention to their fight to win their rightful entitlements. In mid-October, 20 workers employed by D3 General Contracting were sacked without their wages, holiday pay, or redundancy (severance pay) when the company went bankrupt. D3 had been a contractor for Northpac Constructions, a company with sites throughout the city. The CFMEU is calling on Northpac to pay these workers, most of whom are Maoris from New Zealand.

—Linda Harris  
Workers strike packing plant
in Brooklyn for union recognition

BROOKLYN, New York—Workers at Agriprocessors Inc. in the Brooklyn Meat Market are on strike to force the company to recognize and negotiate with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). After a 15-5 vote in October in favor of representation by UFCW Local 342, the bosses fired two union militants. In response, the workers walked out. “We want a contract,” Erasmus Flores, one of the fired workers, who has worked at Agriprocessors for seven years, told the Militant in a November 29 interview on the picket line. “We don’t have a single benefit—no overtime pay, no health benefits. We work six days a week 12-15 hours a day.” While the bosses are employing a dozen scabs, strikers are getting support from other workers in the market.

—Brian Williams
Related articles:
GM workers speak out against layoffs, plant shutdowns
Poultry workers in California wage third walkout for union recognition
Ontario chemical workers end strike  
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