Herald Sun

POLICE have been accused of using heavy-handed tactics to arrest 29 protesting workers outside packaging giant Visy's Melbourne plant.

But police say no one was injured and they had no choice but to forcibly remove demonstrators after they refused to leave the entrance of the Dandenong plant.

Almost 400 workers at Visy sites in Victoria and NSW began striking 10 days ago.

They are angry about the company wanting to freeze the hourly pay rates of casual staff for the duration of a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

"We're not criminals, we're human beings," one protestor shouted, as police dragged the workers into divisional vans on Monday.

"Shame Visy, shame," some 90 workers chanted, as they sat locked arm-in-arm outside the Dandenong plant's Greens Road entrance.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union national secretary Dave Oliver said it was inappropriate for police to become involved in a "peaceful" industrial dispute.

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