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  Issue No 105 Official Organ of LaborNet 03 August 2001  

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News

Big Gain for Weight Loss Workers

By Andrew Casey

The 200 Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centre workers, who first organised themselves into a union in October 1999 to fight their poor working conditions, have just had their first Award certified.

" This is the first step in what we hope will be an on-going campaign to provide collective security and workplace improvements for a group of very poorly paid workers in our community," Terry Breheny, Victorian LHMU Assistant Secretary said .

" The weight loss industry sells gloss and glamour but they pay their workers a pittance.

" Ninety-percent of the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centre workers have joined the LHMU and stuck with the union through a long process to win this first Award. "

The certified award has provided consultants and managers with pay rises of more than 30 per cent.

" We want to maintain a good activist and delegate structure so that these workers can win better conditions and the respect they deserve."

The Jenny Craig (Victoria) Award 2001 has increased the wages of the workers; provided redundancy benefits; overtime rates; accident pay; a choice of superannuation fund; Saturday, Sunday and public holiday rates; annual leave loading and public holidays.

The LHMU has now also lodged a claim in the Federal Court for back pay for members. The company is believed to have paid under th statutory minimum rate of $10.50 an hour since 1997, despite offering commissions on top of basic pay.

Individual employment contracts

The Award conditions will not apply to the few individuals who chose not to be in the union but signed individual employment contracts.

" Individual employment contracts are promoted by the Howard Government.

" Few individual employment contracts provide the same protections, conditions and benefits that Award-based collective agreements can provide.

" Individual employment contracts tend to provide little public accountability for bad workplace practices, lock people into poor conditions and demeaning relationships with the boss and fellow workers," Terry Breheny said.

The wages of Weight Loss Counsellors have gone from $8.79 per hour to $12.34 per hour.

The wages of Weight Loss Centre Directors have gone from $9.60 per hour to $13.35 per hour.

There are about 20 Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centres in Victoria.


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In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Whose Advocate?
Employment Advocate Jonathon Hamberger argues the case for his organisation's survival and reveals his secret union past.
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*  Politics: CHOGM: What Should Unions Do?
Activists Peter Murphy and Vince Caughley kick off the debate about what is the appropriate action ot take when CHOGM leaders meet in Brisbane
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*  E-Change: 2.1 - The Changing Corporate Landscape
In the second part of their series on the impact of new technology, Peter Lewis and Michael Gadiel try to understand the new corporate playing field.
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*  Unions: Hamburgled
Jim Marr reports that the Employment Advocate has been handed a chance to salvage some credibility by cleaning up anti-union practices in the call centre industry.
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*  Economics: Privatisation: The Dangerous Road
Frank Stilwell argues that the corporate collapses of HIH and One Tel are potent reminders of the downside of ‘people’s capitalism’.
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*  History: Hard-Earned Lessons
Art Shostack looks at the legacy of the landmark strike by PATCO air traffic controllers 20 years ago.
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*  International: Political Prisoner
Greenpeace campaigner Nic Clyde, facing up to six years gaol in the United States for taking part in a non-violent protest, speaks exclusively with workers Online.
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*  Review: Seven Pubs and Seven Nights
Labor Council's newest recruit, Susan Sheather, shows she respects tradition by going in search of the perfect bar
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*  Satire: Obituary: Mr Rob Cartwright - Captain of Industry
In all fields of endeavour, there are those who command our respect through their sheer commitment to excellence. One such titan was Rob Cartwright, whose chosen field, the obscure HR discipline of "moving people onto individual contracts" lost its greatest practitioner and champion late last night, following a tragic self-inflicted accident.
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News
»  Paradise Lost – Insurers Kill Workers' Camp
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»  Piggins Pledges Support for Building Workers
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»  Legal Win for Wharfie Widows
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»  Unions Call for Dropping of Greenpeace Charges
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»  Jubilee Marches On Despite G8 Debt Fatigue
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»  Cleaner Sacked For Visiting Aging Parents Overseas
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»  Bracks Plans Curbs on Assembly Rights
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»  Big Gain for Weight Loss Workers
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»  Qld Wage Increases Welcomed
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»  Protecting Children, Protecting Jobs
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»  Child Labour Fine on McDonald's
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»  Call for Colombian Inquiry Into Murders
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»  Activist Notebook
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  War of Words: Crosby Goes Botsman
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»  Tri-Star - Just In Time to Blame
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»  Just a Tip
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»  Concerns About Members Equity
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