||Issue No. 133||26 April 2002|
The Struggle Continues
Interview: If The Commission Pleases
History: Protest and Celebrate
Unions: A Novel Approach
Industrial: Hare Tony, Hare Tony
International: Never Forget Jenin
Politics: Left Right Out In France
Health: Delivering A Public Health Revolution
Review: The Secret Life of U(nion)s
Poetry: May Day, May Day
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Gold Star Student
Time for a General Strike?
Thumbs-up For Union Immigration Role
The commitment came at a meeting between Labor Council and the Office of the Employment Advocate in Sydney this week after the OEA sparked anger by initially refusing to endorse the clause.
Unions, particularly the CFMEU, have taken to policing immigration issues on worksites because, they say, the Government won't.
Their concerns centre on the growing number of employers using illegal immigrants to slash wages and conditions, while avoiding workers comp and tax liabilities.
Last week it appeared the Government was set to use the OEA to strike down a clause in the Lucas Heights agreement that has become standard for Sydney building industry documents.
After meeting OEA representatives, Labor Council deputy assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou, was confident the clause would survive.
"They accept the right of unions to have these clauses," Christodoulou told Workers Online. "They want minor alterations to comply with privacy provisions, otherwise, it should be alright.
"The Office of the Employment Advocate is representing ANSTO and they understand it is an important Federal Government project, that it is in the public interest to have a workable site agreement in place."
The biggest sticking point now is the Office continuing to baulk over delegates rights.
Christodoulou is hopeful that issue, already agreed with the employer, will be resolved next week.
Ruddock A Hypocrite - TWU
Meanwhile, the TWU is accusing Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock of hypocrisy over his announcement of a 5000 person increase to immigration levels.
State secretary Tony Sheldon argued Government's move, aimed at attracting skilled immigrants, hadn't been matched by a commitment to training.
Sheldon holds up the inbound tourist coach industry as a prime example.
He says participants on the working visa programme from Japan, Europe, South East Asia and Korea are being routinely exploited.
"We have information that some of these people are being paid as little as $10 an hour for up to 17 continuous hours as drivers or guides," Sheldon says.
"Some are overstaying visas and driving with little or no experience of Australian roads or conditions.
"Despite been made aware of these concerns, Government has boosted numbers on the programme from 35,000 to 74,000 over a five-year period."
Sheldon is urging Ruddock to back the TWU's call for a radical review of working and temporary visa programmes in the industry.
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