The ongoing strike and barricade of Coles warehouse in Somerton, Melbourne entered its third week on Monday as the industrial dispute goes back to Fair Work Australia (FWA).
An order by the Victoria Supreme Court failed to lift the barricade, which prevented the entry and exit of trucks from the supermarket giant's largest warehouse. The National Union of Workers (NUW) insisted the court order covered only the union and 25 members.
Although the workers rejected on Friday an offer from Toll Holdings, which operates the warehouse for Coles, NUW Victoria Secretary Tim Kennedy said small progress continues to be made on both sides, particularly in the area of leave loading.
The FWA hearing on Monday aims to place the Toll offer to the entire Somerton warehouse workforce through a secret ballot to be organised by the Australian Electoral Commission. Toll pointed out that the Friday vote covered only minority of the 600-employee Somerton workforce.
Toll insisted that some workers want to return to their jobs but are being prevented by the union from doing so.
Mr Kennedy said the workers rejected on Friday Toll's offer because it did not meet the fundamental claims of the employees, specifically the getting the wage rate as that received by their counterparts in other Coles-owned and operated warehouses.
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