|Issue No 122||07 December 2001|
Christmas Progress on Sweatshops, Truckies
The Carr Government has made progress on two key areas of union concern with ground-breaking legislation on outworkers and the release of a report into the dangers of long-distance truck driving.
NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca this week introduced the Industrial Relations (Ethical Trades) Bill into State Parliament. The legislation is designed to protect outworkers from exploitation.
Key provisions of the bill include:
- the establishment of the Ethical Clothing Trades Council to oversee the treatment of outworkers and report to the Minister quarterly. It will include industry, union and community representatives.
- provision to impose a mandatory code of conduct if self-regulation fails.
- ensuring outworkers will be deemed as employees under industrial law.
- improved provisions for outworkers to pursue unpaid wages up the production chain.
- greater powers for DIR inspectors to enter sweatshops.
Textile Clothing and Footwear Union State Secretary Mr Barry Tubner says the legislation is a triumph for the FairWear alliance of union, church and community groups who have pushed for the laws for the past two and a half years.
Truckies Make Progress
Meanwhile, Professor Quinlan has delivered his inquiry into the Long Haul Trucking Industry to the NSW Government.
It was commissioned amidst union and community concern that both drivers and the public were being placed at risk by unreasonable workloads in the industry.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) says it included many positive recommendations including:
- the enforcement of a minimum rate of pay.
- the proposal of a 'safe driving plan' for long distance assignments.
- and the prohibition on time bonuses and penalty payments based on arrival times that induce unsafe driving practices.
Among its key elements is recognition of the need for an Industry Chain of Responsibility to make companies and clients accountable for the demands and deadlines they place on transport workers.
Interview: Reality Bytes
Labor's IT spokeswoman Kate Lundy on how a third Howard Government will hurt the IT industry.
Unions: My Way or the Highway
Since 1997, workers employed by Serco/Great Southern Railways, have been locked in a struggle with their employer to have their choice of industrial instrument recognised.
Legal: Three Degrees of Contract
Marian Baird argues there is a need to more fully understand what workers, employers and our society expect from the employment relationship.
International: Bogota Terror
The assassination of a Colombian unionist has prompted international outrage.
History: Freedom or 'Federation'?
Mark Hearn and Greg Patmore argue that the journey to federation was not a one-way street.
Health: Wearing the Right Genes to Work?
Matt Brooks tracks the DNA trail to discover genetic testing in the workplace is already here.
Satire: Demidenko Releases New Book About Her Life As Afghan Refugee
Controversial author Helen Demidenko has written a brand new novel based on her gripping true life experiences as an Afghan refugee.
Review: Can Blinky Bill Save Unions?
Neale Towart browses the kiddies' shelves to find an Australian icon with a union-friendly message.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005