What does anyone know about the Shearers' Union? The strike down at E.P.Robinson wool scourers in Geelong seems very important in the precedent it sets. (Workers left the AWU and joined the Shearers' Union). Workbans and suspensions followed by a strike following from the bans quicky resulted. They are in week 9, AWU members and TWU trucks have been going across the line every day. I've even been down once (a friend in Militant gave me a lift actually!) The underlying grievance is that the AWU is a bosses' union and the bosses are all round arseholes but I believe the immediate grievance was old and unsafe machinery. What is the record of the Shearers' Union? Are they using these men and women? The Shearer's organiser at the picket seemed pretty good to me and Simon (the trot) and told me that the Union has gone to the edge of bankruptcy to support its new members. An anarchist close to Libertarian Workers lives down that way and has regularly been supporting the picket.
More on Nestles. There doesn't seem any disenchantment with the AMWU who are generally felt to have been "supportive" of the workers. The "feel" of the Nestle and Robinson pickets is different. Of course the S.U. is fighting Trades Hall as well as the boss. "Power Corps" (ex-SEC) workers are respecting Shearer pickets at least somewhat. For example, a power line fused or something the night I was there and Power Corps workers crossed the line to "make it safe" but would not repair it. Of course I can see no good reason why it had to be safe, but this is a lot better than nothing, certainly it is a lot better than the TWU's attitude!
Stop Press: The Nestles lockout has ended following a return to work following their acceptance of an AMWU recommendation, which agreed to the bosses' demands. .