A planned 24-hour strike at Sydney’s Star City Casino during Chinese New Year was banned by a decision of Fair Work Australia. This is one of the busiest times of the year at the Casino and would have caused serious disruption.
Under Rudd’s workplace laws, authorised periods of industrial action must be extended by a decision of the court 30 days after a successful ballot agreeing to action. Although the Star City ballot had authorised both 24-hour and one-hour stoppages, the court found that because the union had not called a 24-hour strike within the 30-day period, it would have to reballot if it wanted to strike for 24 hours.
The decision is another example of the restrictions against strike action under Rudd’s WorkChoices-lite.
The union’s plans to step up strike action from one hour stoppages to a full day strike was thrown into disarray by the decision. It means the campaign at Star City will be further drawn out, meaning a loss of momentum for the union and more time for management to prepare scabbing operations to make the strike ineffective.
It is another example which shows that unions need to be able to defy the law to organise effective strike action. The union was holding another ballot for 24-hour and 48-hour strikes as Solidarity went to press.
Workers went on a one-hour stoppage for the eigth time in early March. Star City is standing by its appalling EBA offer, with plans to cut sick pay and offer just a 2 per cent pay rise in the first year.

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