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Vic food warehouse picket to stop: court

AAP logoAAP 27/07/2016 By Caitlin Guilfoyle

Workers picketing at a cold storage warehouse that supplies Coles have been ordered to stop by a Melbourne court.

More than 600 Polar Fresh workers are striking, as employees, who say they have struggled with insecure work for years, negotiate a new agreement.

Coles and Polar Fresh on Tuesday applied for court orders against the National Union of Workers over picketing activity at a Truganina warehouse.

Polar Fresh runs the warehouse and supplies to Coles.

Paul O'Grady, acting for Coles, said workers holding union flags were linking arms and standing across the exit at the site to stop Coles trucks exiting.

But they were also stopping Coles trucks gaining access to other contingency sites set up so business operation could continue, he said.

Those sites were unrelated to the Polar Fresh dispute, the court heard.

"This is a specific targeting of Coles trucks," Mr O'Grady told the Victorian Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon.

"One can infer it is to apply pressure to Polar Fresh through Coles."

There was a risk fresh produce could be wasted, the court heard.

Justice Michael McDonald ordered the workers stop the picket action at the concerned sites by midday Thursday at the latest, and the matter will be revisited on Monday.

The union was not represented at the hearing as it was at a Fair Work Commission conference over the dispute, the court heard.

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