The Official Organ of LaborNET
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 123 21 December 2001  

The Unmaking of History
The new millennium has got off to an ominous start. The fireworks, circuses and self-congratulation of 2000 were a thing of the past and we were left with the task of redefining ourselves in a new era.


Interview: Braveheart
Labor Council secretary John Robertson looks back on a turbulent year and forward to a dynamic 2002.

International: Global Year in Review
Labourstart's Eric Lee gives his take on a year where the world changed forever.

Unions: A Year at the Barricades
2001 was a year when workers were forced to fight for what they once took for granted.

Technology: Unions Online 2001
Social Change Online's Mark McGrath looks at the advances unions made in web development in 2001.

Republic: Terror Australis
ARM national director James Terrie asks where to now for the Republic?

Economics: 2001: Annus Horribilis
Frank Stilwell looks back at a troubled year and looks forward to the challenges for the labour movement.

Campaign Diary: Melanie and Me
Strewth's Steve Cannane went into the viper's nest on election night and emerged with an ordinary feeling.

Politics: Tony Moore's Final Word
Wide boys, spivs, spin doctors and hereditary idiots have hijacked a once great Australian institution.

Review: You Are the Weakest Program
Cultural theoritician Mark Morey deconstructs the televisual subplots of our collective consciousness.

Legal: The New McCarthyism
The �war on terrorism� declared in the wake of the American events of September 11 dramatically threatens Australian democratic life.


 Unions Take Lead in Refugee Rethink

 Workers Christmas Wish List

 Sparkie Snares Organiser of the Year Title

 Bosswatch Gets International Attention

 Bank Workers Get Serious in 2002

 Qantas's Warfare Agenda Exposed

 Cabin Crew Stand Up for Themselves

 Win for Medibank Workers

 City Council's Tactics Rival Worst in the World

 Dynamic New Start for Musos

 Unions in the Mosh Pit

 Scholarship Opportunity


The Soapbox
Into the Crystal Ball
What will happen in 2002? We asked some of the players in the world of industrial relations to look into the crystal ball.

The Locker Room
The 2002 Workers Online Sports Awards
There may have been no Olympics, but there were some stellar performances in 2001, from madass bad boys to terminated talents, these are the big ones.

Trades Hall
Neale Towart's Labour (Year in) Review
Sporting a Costa crew-cut, a new look Neale looks back on some issues of 2001 that look likely to the centres of debate for unions in 2002.

Tool Shed
Tool of the Year? You're Standing In It
After a year when Australians brought out the worst in themselves, we all stand condemned for a stint in the Tool Shed.

 A Fair Go For All
 The First Bastion
 Tom Collins' Christmas Wish
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees




City Council's Tactics Rival Worst in the World

"Hey hey, ho ho, Frank Sartor has to go!" The chant rang out loud and clear when over 800 council workers rallied at Sydney Town Hall last week calling for an end to Competitive Tendering at Sydney City Council.

Municipal Employees Union members from South Sydney and Leichhardt Councils joined Sydney Council members in a show of solidarity to fight the job destroying regime. If boundary changes take place then many workers from Leichhardt and South Sydney will come under the Agreement currently being pushed by Sydney Council management. The rally was supported by other unions including the PSA, CFMEU, AMWU and the NSW Labor Council.

MEU General Secretary Brian Harris addressed the rally, quoting from a letter addressed to the State Government from the Secretary of the Public Services International Union.

"These tactics are nothing short of disgraceful and set a poor example for not only the City of Sydney, but the State of NSW and Australia.

The PSI is used to seeing these intimidatory tactics in undemocratically elected Governments in South America, some parts of Asia and approaches by conservative and anti union governments."

"The Sydney City Council is adopting the worst industrial tactics in the world," said Brian Harris.

Brian Harris had just come from a meeting with NSW Premier Bob Carr. The MEU has called on the Government to give additional guarantees on jobs following any boundary changes and to act immediately on the anti-union approach of the Sydney Council.

Brian Harris reiterated his commitment to oppose competitive tendering and asked members to disregard the lies coming from Council who have reverted to bully boy tactics by physically and verbally assaulting an MEU official.

Of major concern is the Council's attempt to divide and conquer union members. The Council has tried to intimidate MEU members into voting in a secret ballot for the Council Agreement. MEU Official Ben Kruse told the rally about the threat to job security and cited the experience at Mosman Council. "Workers put in a bid for their own jobs and won a 7 year contract and six months later they were sacked without redundancy because Council said they were not working to the contract. CT is simply a process of losing jobs."

MEU Organiser Mark Wheatley told of his experience at Sydney City Council when CT was first introduced in 1996. "There are no winners in this process because to 'win' the contract to keep your own job you have to downsize," he told the rally. Warning workers not to be duped he emphasised to those present that if the new agreement goes through "one third of you will be out of jobs."

The loudest cheers were for the 2 delegates Scott McNamara and Hal Assoni who addressed the rally. They urged their fellow members to help stamp out CT and anti-union behaviour.

Good news came just as the rally was drawing to a close. The Upper House had just announced it would hold an inquiry into the financial and social impacts of any boundary changes in the inner city. The MEU had been calling for a social impact study and sees this as a big win for residents, ratepayers and workers.

However the MEU fears it may come too late for the workers at the City Council who are still being intimidated into accepting an agreement that extends CT and blocks the MEU from future negotiations on behalf of its members. "Together we can do anything," Hal Assoni reminded the rally.

As Scott McNamara a street-sweeper from Sydney Council urged "End the farce - give CT the arse!"

Postscript: In great news which came just days after the rally, workers at Sydney City Council rejected the Council's proposed agreement which would have extended Competitive Tendering and excluded the MEU from future negotiations.

Following a recent secret ballot called by Sydney City Council, workers at the Council have rejected the proposal with the vote well short of the required 65%.

The MEU has now called on Council to pay the first 5% wage increase on an unconditional basis to its workforce BEFORE Christmas.

All members and delegates are to be congratulated on their efforts in very difficult circumstances. Together we can ensure that all future agreements and negotiations are conducted in a fair and open manner.


*    Visit the MEU

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 123 contents

*   Email this page to a friend

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online