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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ajax Fasteners workers hold sit-in by Chris Slee, Melbourne



10 December 2006

Workers at the Braeside bolt-making factory of Ajax Fasteners are waging a struggle to protect their redundancy entitlements. The company has gone into liquidation. The workers have been stood down and fear they will soon be sacked.
They are occupying the factory to prevent the removal of plant and stock unless their entitlements are guaranteed. Most of the factory's products are normally sold to the car industry. In recent years the price of steel has gone up 70%, but the car companies have refused to increase the price paid for bolts. This made production unprofitable, and caused the company to go into administration on August 7. The car companies agreed to pay a higher price for bolts for a six-month period, but reneged on the deal after only three months. Workers believe they are now importing bolts from overseas.

Ajax Fasteners then went into liquidation. Workers were stood down in late November and began their sit-in.

Workers told Green Left Weekly that the aim of the sit-in is to publicise their plight and put pressure on the car companies to buy bolts from the Braeside factory at a reasonable price so that some of the revenue could be used to meet their redundancy entitlements.

On December 6 workers marched the 15 kilometres from Braeside to the GMH plant in Dandenong.

Donations for the workers can be sent to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union office at level 1, 251 Queensberry Street, Carlton, Victoria.

From: Australian News, Green Left Weekly issue #693 6 December 2006.

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