Melbourne: 3,000 protesters are blocking the entrance to East Swanson dock as several hundred more construction workers have joined the protest at Appleton dock.
A spokesman for the Maritime Union says P&O and some other stevedores have been locked out at Appleton dock, a few hundred metres away . At least 150 police are guarding the entrance letting only police vehicles through.Up to 400 officers converged on the dock on foot and horseback from 5.00am but the scene is now a peaceful protest, with hundreds of police remaining.
Three thousand protesters locked arms and huddled together for an hour and a half chanting "MUA, here to stay," and were joined in the front line by the ACTU secretary Bill Kelty and former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner.
The British High Court last night lifted a temporary injunction against the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) preventing it from attempting to persuade shipping companies not to use Patrick Stevedores' non-union facilities in Australia.
Justice Thomas said he had not been convinced by evidence brought before him over the past two days that the temporary injunction, sought last Thursday by Patrick, should be continued.
He said it was clear that the employment of non-union labour in Australia by Patrick had been carefully and systematically planned and there was an "inescapable inference" that legal action against the ITF had been "an important part of that strategic plan".
The judge said "it would therefore be palpably unjust to continue to afford to Patrick the benefits of the pre-emptive strike that they obtained by careful planning".
Patrick Stevedores sought the interim order last week against the London-based
The general secretary of the ITF, David Cockcroft, says the federation will resume its campaign in support of the MUA.
"We shall be talking to the international shipping community, we shall be talking to our affiliates around the world and within the terms of the judgement, we will ensure that everything we can do to support the MUA will be done," he said.
In the Federal Court in Melbourne, a three-day hearing ended last night with a decision being reserved on whether Patrick Stevedores' waterfront workers will be reinstated.
Justice Tony North said the complexity of the case made it impossible
to grant orders last night. He told the court he will consider the submissions
of the MUA and the company over the weekend, with a view to notifying them
next week. He extended an interim injunction preventing the 1,400 sackings
until orders are granted.