Milestone court ruling declares hospital lockout illegal

Thumbs UpThe 800 locked out hospital cleaners, orderlies and kitchen staff were allowed to return to work today after an Employment Court
judge has ruled their Australian employer, Spotless Services had illegally locked them out of their workplaces.

The workers’ union, SFWU, who took the matter to court argued that the lockout was an attempt to compel workers to give up the right to strike.
SFWU is now looking to win back the $1 million dollars worth of wages that the workers lost during the illegal lockout.   The judge has reserved his decision on that issue.
Union spokesperson Alastair Duncan says the decision is significant, but the dispute with Spotless is far from over.  Spotless is not yet saying whether it will appeal the decision or back pay its staff for the money they lost.  You can listen to the Alastair Duncan’s Radio New Zealand interview on line for the next few days (MP3).
The workers turned up for work this morning and have put further industrial action on hold for at least 48 hours while they wait to see what Spotless’s response is to the ruling.

(thanks to NDU for the photo)


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