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  Issue No 110 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 September 2001  

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News

Medibank Workers 'Feel Bitter Now'


New rosters by Medibank Private will destroy the lives of health insurer's largely female workforce by forcing them to start work as early as 7am and work back to 9pm.

The new rosters - which also include a six day rostered week - have led workers to accuse Medibank of turning back the clock 100 years in their treatment of workers.

While the company is attempting to trade-off the extended rosters with a $1000 sweetener, the majority of workers are standing firm in defence of their family lives.

Worker Carol Jordan addressed the NSW Labor Council this week, painting a grim picture of her life under the new rostering system.

Under the changes, all staff would be rostered between 7am and 9pm, with compulsory Saturday shifts 12 times per year.

Major problems include the lack of ability of child care before 7am and after 6pm, problems with getting children to school and the total dislocation of domestic routine by having the shifts varied on a week to week basis. The lack of secure public transport outside the 9-5 spread of hours

The staff - who have never taken industrial action before - have begun wearing lapel ribbons to work, emailing their opposition to the managing director and have carried a resolution to consider a possible industrial campaign.

Labor Council secretary John Robertson says Medibank Private was emerging as another 'stone-age employer'.

"Unions are often accused of wanting to turn back the clock - but more and more it is the employers who are acting in a retro way turning back the clock to a six day week and trashing the notion of ordinary working hours," he said.


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*   Issue 110 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Cast Adrift
Ethnic Communities Council chair Salvatore Scevola gives his take on the Tampa saga and the underlying attitudes driving the debate.
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*  Workplace: Coming to Australia
Jagath Banderra recounts his own experience as a new arrival in Australia entering the workforce.
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*  Human Rights: Long Road to Nowhere
Iraqi refugees travel the same tortuous road as Afghans. The refugees on the Tampa have almost certainly endured a similar ordeal.
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*  Immigration: Experience Required
Veronica Apap looks at the many difficulties migrants face in having their skills recognised in Australia.
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*  International: Why Economic Rationalism Isn't
The CFMEUs Phil Davey surveys the wreckage after 10 years of Brazil's Government doing what the free marketeers want.
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*  History: Johnny's Naruan Wet Dream
Rowan Cahill looks at how Australia's preferred refugee dumping ground's history is indelibly linked with our own.
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*  Unions: Getting the Message Out
Caroline Alcorso argues the integration of immigrant workers into the trade union movement has been a central issue in Australia’s post-war labor history.
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*  Work/Time/Life: Driven To The Edge
In the ACTU’S groundbreaking Fifty Families report there is one particularly sobering story. Frank tells how the modern workplace is driving some people to the fatal edge.
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*  Review: Whose Party?
NSW Labor’s century of successes began in 1910, as did the “middle classing” of Labor policy.
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*  Satire: Ethnic Wog Gangs Rape Everyone
People who are white in colour are being raped by people who are not white, an exclusive Chaser investigation found last week.
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News
»  Unions Rescue Afghan Worker
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»  Revealed: Migrants Face Hidden Unions Barriers
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»  FOI Seeks Royal Commission Papers
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»  Long Hours Corrode Family Life Says Study
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»  Medibank Workers 'Feel Bitter Now'
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»  Chronic Stress in Child Care
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»  It's a Steal! Workers Underpaid Since 1991
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»  WorkCover: Bell Rings for Round Two
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»  Transfield Fire Sale Threatens Entitlements
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»  Foot-And-Mouth Heroes Face The Boot
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»  Superannuation Warning to Labor
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»  Bully Casino Locks Out Workers
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»  Bra Wars: US Giant Quit Burma
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»  Sydney's Salsa for Saharawis
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»  Labor Council Revamps Online
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»  Get Ready to Wobble
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»  Activists' 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
»  Tampa Feedback
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»  Battling the Bullies
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»  Searching for John McNeill, Labor MP
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»  Tom Seeks Family Leave
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»  Spell Check
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»  Injured and Ripped Off
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