Last weekend, workers at ACI's Box Hill plant - members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) - rejected a company proposal that would allow the employees to return to work.AMWU assistant national secretary Glenn Thompson said under the proposal workers would have had to accept loss of jobs and conditions. Workers at ACI sites in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and one other Melbourne plant decided to stop work for 24 hours in support.
The mass meetings also called on ACI to allow the Box Hill workers to return to work on pre-existing conditions or face further company-wide action.
"The single bloody-mindedness of this employer in attempting to starve out these workers and their families at Box Hill has brought about this company-wide action at ACI," Thompson said.
"Not only will we be sending a clear message to ACI management by having their whole Australian workforce protesting, but we will also be calling on ACI's customers and consumers of ACI glass products to be mindful of the type of company they are dealing with."
Workers at the Box Hill factory, which makes wine bottles, juice bottles and jars, were locked out after talks over jobs and conditions broke down.
Thompson said that all the union was seeking on behalf of its members was the right to job security and to maintain conditions of employment.
"We call on ACI management to allow our members back to work and to sit down at the table and negotiate in good faith," he said.
Comment was being sought from the company.