Jeld-Wen locks out more than 300 workers in dispute over wages, attendance bonus, at Corinthian Doors and William Russell Doors plants in Australia

LOS ANGELES , September 16, 2011 () – Door and window manufacturer Jeld-Wen, headquartered in Klamath Falls, Oregon, has locked out more than 300 workers at four Australian states in a dispute over pay and conditions, according to a report published by the World Socialist Web Site.

Workers were reported to be picketing Jeld-Wen's Corinthian Doors and William Russell Doors plants in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

The lockout was originally meant to last for three days, but workers say it is now indefinite after 96% of the workforce voted in favor of a two-day strike on Sept. 6 over pay and an attendance bonus.

Under the Australian government's Fair Work Australia (FWA) industrial laws, employers are permitted to lock out workers who take industrial action.

The union representing the Australian workers, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, has offered further flexibilities and productivity improvements in return for a realistic wage claim, according to union spokesman Phil Davies.

Forestweb reported last week that Jeld-Wen had denied suggestions in media reports that it was facing bankruptcy, insisting that an agreement to sell a majority stake to Canadian private equity firm Onex for US$864 million was on track.

Standard & Poor’s noted recently that the company has been forced to close 21 plants and shed 25% of its workforce since 2008 as a result of the recession.

The primary source of this article is the World Socialist Web Site, Bankstown, Australia, on Sept. 13, 2011.

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