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Coles workers defiant in face of defeat

Coles workers defiant in face of defeat

Mon July 16, 2012 5:09pm

UPDATE: THE picket line at Coles national distribution centre is set to continue despite a temporary Supreme Court order banning some union members from stopping trucks entering the building.

Justice Anne Ferguson banned 26 people, mainly National Union of Workers organisers from blocking people or trucks from accessing the Somerton site. But workers at the picket line this afternoon refused to budge despite hearing about the order.

Justice Ferguson ordered the union to put messages on its Facebook page and Twitter feeds advising workers of the decision.

The message was to read: ``Trucks and people must not be prevented from entering or leaving the Toll site.''

But the order will only be in force until Wednesday afternoon when another hearing is scheduled. NUW secretary Tim Kennedy said this afternoon that he had not seen the order, but would comply with it once it was received.

He said the order only applied to the people named and would not comment on whether those who were not named would continue to picket.

``Going to the Supreme Court and spending tens of thousands of dollars on cute legal arguments to determine whether someone can stand on a certain part of the street won't solve this issue,'' he said.

``The strike is legally protected. Only when we meet with the company and when both parties sit down and talk to one other.''

Hundreds of workers have been preventing trucks from getting in or out of the Somerton warehouse since last Tuesday. Millions of dollars of Coles stock is sitting in the warehouse, with the supermarket using other warehouses for distribution while it remains closed.

Police have had a heavy presence at the picket line but have not made any moves to break the picket line. Andrew Ethell, a spokesman for Toll which employs workers on behalf of Coles, welcomed the court's ruling and called on the NUW to enforce the decision.

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