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  Issue No 109 Official Organ of LaborNet 31 August 2001  

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News

Keystone Cops At Wonderland Protest


A group of cleaners at Sydney's largest theme park were threatened with arrest by their employer last Sunday during an LHMU pay protest.

When the police didn't take any action the company said they would get the theme park's security guards to haul them away - but management were warned not to do that.

" It really was a case of the Keystone cops.

" The management just didn't know how to react when the cleaners showed the power that comes through unity, as they took their first ever industrial action ," Steve Klaassen, LHMU Cleaners Union organiser said.

" Wonderland said we were trespassing so they called out the police and threatened to get them to arrest all the cleaners who were protesting outside the park's gates.

" But when the police arrived they told management we were not trespassing and there would be no arrests .

" Wonderland then called in their own security guards. This time we called the police," Steve Klaassen said.

Wrongful imprisonment

" The security guards and management were warned that if they touched the cleaners they could be charged with wrongful imprisonment.

" The company was gob-smacked.

" We were handing out balloons saying 'I support the Cleaners'.

" The company tried to undermine our balloon protest by handing out - for free -

the balloons they normally sell at $10 a pop to the kids.

" It was laughable."

Sack threat

On the day after the protest Wonderland told the cleaners that if they take part in further industrial action, they will be sacked!

" Every cleaner has been given a first and final warning over taking action yesterday," Steve Klaassen said.

Equal pay

Twelve cleaners are paid at $14.08 an hour while nine cleaners are paid at $15.61 an hour.

The pay difference came about because Wonderland found they couldn't attract workers at the lower rate.

" They were advertising the jobs at the lower rate, but no one applied. They were forced to advertise the jobs at a higher rate.

" We are now in the situation that 9 new cleaners get paid at the $15.61 an hour higher rate and the 12 cleaners who have been working at Wonderland for a much longer period are being paid $14.08 an hour.

" Our members believe it is only fair that all the cleaners are paid equally.

" At the end of the day people are doing the same work for different pay."

E-mail campaign

LHMU members and supporters have been asked to back the Wonderland workers - even through their computers.

Members and supporters have been told they can tell Wonderland's Front Desk that they back the cleaners' cause.

Send an E-mail to mailto:[email protected]

Please send any copies of the e-mail to Steve Klaassen.

mailto:[email protected]

Read earlier stories about the Wonderland dispute

Wonderland threatens to sue its cleaners click here to read.

No wonder Wonderland workers unhappy click here to read.


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*    Visit the LHMU

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 109 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Union Power
Electrical Trades Union state secretary Bernie Riordan surveys the union movement's troubled relationship with Labor.
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*  International: Spreading the Word
Veronica Apap profiles Kamal Fadel and the battle he is fighting for the independence of his homeland of West Sahara.
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*  E-Change: Training for a Wired Workforce
Education is the entry point into the new economy; but the system still reflects an industrial age view of the world.
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*  Unions: AWU Defends Millennium Train Workers
Mark Hearn looks at how a group of Newcastle workers are setting a new standard in the railways.
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*  Politics: Chatting with Enemies of the State
Brazils MST is the largest and most radical social movement in the Americas. The CFMEU´s Phil Davey drops in for a chat.
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*  History: Struggle and Inspiration
Rowan Cahill argues that it is only through understanding history that we can make sense of the present plight of workers.
*
*  Technology: A World Without Microsoft
Heather Sharp argues that all technologies involve political choices and moral values. Computer software is no exception, and it is Bill Gates' choices that dominate.
*
*  Review: Let There Be Rock
Kid Rock and Beer Bong, Australia’s Oldest Rock Fans review the week’s music and political events from the safety of the bar stool.
*
*  Satire: Tampa refugees ask to go home: "It's less inhumane than Australia"
The 460 asylum seekers on board the Tampa freight vessel have demanded to be taken back to their oppressive homelands, which they now realise aren’t nearly as hostile as Australia.
*

News
»  The Meaning of Working Life – The Answer is 7.1!
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»  Unions Stand Up for National Soul
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»  MUA Salvages Some Pride
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»  Common Law Report Plea – Make It Public
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»  Maintenance Contract 'Could Put Lives at Risk'
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»  Tax Office's GST Scam - 10 Per Cent Off!
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»  Della Moves on Pay Slip Concerns
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»  Authorities Scotch Bra-Burning
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»  Manusafe Decision Faces Appeal
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»  Orange Finally Saved from Closure
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»  Award Win For Telco Workers
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»  Abbott Clears Way for Lower Wages
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»  SDA Defeats 'Obscene' Westfield Parking Fees
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»  Labor Calls On Abbott To Abide By Convention
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»  Nurses Highlight Staff Shortages
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»  Keystone Cops At Wonderland Protest
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»  Call for Change in Award Increases
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»  Green Tin Box Values Gone At Commonwealth
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»  Dance for Independence
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»  Get Ready to Wobble
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»  Activist Notebook
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»  STOP PRESS: ITF says PM Tampa action illegal
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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
»  Unite Against Racism
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»  WorkCover Impact
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»  Improving the Debate
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»  Botsman's Satire
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»  MUA - Take a Bow!
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»  Economic Predators
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»  Email and the Waterfront Dispuite
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