It was an apparent empty victory for Toll Holdings, operator of the Somerton warehouse of Coles, even at it got an order from the Victoria Supreme Court on Monday. The court mandated the lifting of the blockade at the facility which has been ongoing for more than one week.
Wesfarmers said the Coles division continued to deliver strong earnings growth, up 21.2 per cent for the year, considerably ahead of sales growth.
However, the striking Coles warehouse workers insisted the court order prevents only 25 employees and the National Union of Workers (NUW) from stopping trucks or people from entering the warehouse for the next two days.
Despite the court order issued by Justice Anne Ferguson, the picket lines and blockade are still in place. NUW Secretary Tim Kennedy said the union has yet to see a copy of the court order, so the union could not yet comply with it.
"We think that if the company really wants to resolve the issue they should sit down with the union and acknowledged that these people have a legitimate claim to equal treatment," ABC quoted Mr Kennedy.
Toll hailed the court order and said the action is a mark against NUW leaders who should take responsibility for the illegal blockade.
"After seven days of being locked out of work by this illegal blockade, we know our employees just want to get back to work and keep earning a living," The Australian quoted Toll General Manager of Corporate Affairs Andrew Ethell.
Since the court order covers only 48 hours, Toll and NUW are scheduled to meet again at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
"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," The Herald Sun quoted Mr Kennedy.
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