CANTERBURY Windows and Doors – the scene of the worker lockout – has counter-claimed the CFMEU had planned a complete shutdown of the plant.
In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the company accused the CFMEU of starting industrial action that began with a two-hour stoppage on 22 May.
Canterbury Windows and Doors stated the CFMEU on Wednesday pulled out of a “complete shutdown” planned for Thursday and half of Friday this week.
“The company found itself in a difficult position, with materials and work schedules amended to suit the industrial action, and could not accommodate the late notice of the CFMEU’s change to the shutdown.
“As a result, the CFMEU decided today to cause disruption at the site.”
Canterbury Windows and Doors accused the union of tabling a wages claim that would “push the business” into an uncompetitive and unsustainable long-term position and risk local jobs.
The company stated it had offered pay increases of five per cent over the next three years, and staff were paid at least 30 per cent more than those in similar firms.
It stated it was open to continuing wage negotiations in “good faith”.
ABOUT 50 workers have formed a picket line after being locked out of the Canterbury Windows and Doors factory, in Clayton South today Thursday 28 May.
The workers had stopped work for two hours last week in response to an “insulting” one per cent annual pay offer by the factory’s management.
Today, they stood side-by-side with placards and CFMEU flags next to a sizzling barbecue and coffee machine in front of the Heatherton Road factory.
Frank Vari, state secretary of the CFMEU’s forestry and furniture division, said workers had been escorted off the premises about 6am and told they were locked out due to the dispute.
They were also allegedly told they would be locked off the premises on Friday.
“The members feel insulted,” Mr Vari said.
“They are out on the grass. There’s great resolve there to get an equitable result.”
He said many of the workers lived close to the factory in Springvale, Noble Park and Dandenong.
The Journal is awaiting a response from Southern Star Management, which owns Canterbury Windows.