In a video last Wednesday, Coles chief operations officer, Matt Swindells, announced an “indefinite” extension of a three month lockout of 350 workers at the company’s Smeaton Grange warehouse in southwestern Sydney.
Swindells revealed the real battle lines at Smeaton Grange. He praised the United Workers Union (UWU) for seeking to ram-through an enterprise agreement that would result in the closure of the warehouse and the destruction of all of the jobs there, and bitterly denounced workers for repeatedly voting down the union sell-out.
Swindells, one of the top managers at Coles, among Australia’s largest corporations, angrily condemned “anti-union extremist socialists,” by which he meant the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS), for disrupting the company-UWU operation against the workers.
In the video below, SEP member and WSWS writer Oscar Grenfell outlines the significance of Swindells’ comments, and responds to his claims. Read more here.