|Issue No 110||07 September 2001|
Foot-And-Mouth Heroes Face The Boot
Industrial trouble is set return to the wharves as quarantine inspectors campaign against unsafe working conditions and moves to replace the current workforce with labor-hire staff.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CSPU) says the Botany Bay workers are angry at their shabby treatment and are considering strike action which may affect the movement of containers.
The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) workers at the centre of the dispute are part of a nation-wide workforce put in place earlier this year to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. Their main task is inspecting and decontaminating foreign containers.
CPSU spokesperson, Matthew Reynolds, said, "These people diligently perform vital work in extremely trying and hazardous conditions. Since February, they have put up with substandard accommodation, lack of toilets, lack of water and inadequate protective clothing. Despite repeated requests for action, AQIS have failed to address these problems. Now they are facing the sack," said Mr Reynolds.
On Monday AQIS announced it was terminating the employment of all Botany based staff and engaging a labor hire company to perform the work.
"Some of these workers moved interstate or gave up other jobs to take up this work. Management led them to believe they were in-line for permanent positions with AQIS, should they come up. They have done their bit to keep us free from the devastating effects of foot-and-mouth, surely they deserve better treatment."
"The failure of AQIS to seriously address the concerns of these workers is potentially jeopardising Australia's billion dollar livestock industry. We call on management to reconsider their decision. They should support these workers, not discard them, " Mr Reynolds added.
Interview: Cast Adrift
Ethnic Communities Council chair Salvatore Scevola gives his take on the Tampa saga and the underlying attitudes driving the debate.
Workplace: Coming to Australia
Jagath Banderra recounts his own experience as a new arrival in Australia entering the workforce.
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.
Immigration: Experience Required
Veronica Apap looks at the many difficulties migrants face in having their skills recognised in Australia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Review: Whose Party?
NSW Labor’s century of successes began in 1910, as did the “middle classing” of Labor policy.
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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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005