Pickets belonging to the Australian printing and Kindred Industries Union attempted to disrupt the delivery of newspapers in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday (18 August).
Pickets belonging to the Australian printing and Kindred Industries Union attempted to disrupt the delivery of newspapers in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday (18 August). The result was violent scenes as vans and other workers attempted to breach the picket lines outside newspaper offices.
The printers went on strike to dispute exemptions made to their pay award. Union officials said that some newspapers had brought in "strike breakers" from other cities to keep the presses rolling.
Pickets were posted outside the offices of the Herald and Weekly Times, the Age, and the Sun. Wild scenes followed attempts by truckers to break the picket lines outside the Age, which is a morning paper. In the early hours, trucks tried to crash through 150 pickets. Four managed to get through as truck drivers and printing unionists clashed in wild brawls. One union official was injured when a truck crushed him against a pillar.
The injured man was taken to hospital amid some of the most ??? brawling seen in Melbourne since the days of the Vietnam controversy.
The strike began a week ago during negotiations for a new agreement. The daily papers have been printed during the stoppage, but on a limited basis.
During the scenes outside the Age building, police arrested seven men on charges that included offensive behaviour, assaulting a policeman, indecent language, and discharging a missile. They were released later on bail.
At the height of the trouble the pickets attacked the trucks with cans and bricks. Windows were smashed and panels kicked in as drivers tried to edge their vehicles through the crowds. At the Sun building pickets lay down in front of the trucks.
Union leaders met with proprietors as organisers warned the men against violence. A "cooling off period" for further negotiations has been recommended.