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Issue No. 144 12 July 2002  

The Lotto Economy
The failure of George W Bush's much-hyped pitch for corporate responsibility underlines the current crisis facing unregulated global capitalism: the system is corrupting all before it.


Interview: Capital in Crisis
ACTU president Sharan Burrow outlines the global union response to the corporate carnage gripping an increasingly shaky system.

Industrial: No Sweat
Neale Towart surveys the international debate around sweatshops and what can be done to regulate them

Bad Boss: Super Spam
Several late scratchings have seen Workplace Relations Department secretary Peter Boxall win this week’s heat of the Workers’ Online Bad Boss handicap.

History: Living Treasures
Labour History is 40 this year. Greg Patmore looks back at what it took to get a regular journal of the labour movement in Australia up and away.

International: Axis of Evil
George W Bush’s scarecrow trio of Iran, Iraq and North Korea is not an original invention, argues Stephen Holt

Solidarity: Pride of Place
NSW Labor Council and CFMEU flags sit alongside the mounted jersey of former Kiwi Rugby League hooker Syd Eru in a modest home at Manurewa, south Auckland.

Technology: The Art of Cyber-Unionism
More Unionism? Transformed Unionism? Peter Waterman looks at a new handbook for unions and the internet

Poetry: The Masochism Tango
Tony Abbott's comment we should accept a bad boss like a bad husband or bad father has made us all realise that instead of fighting bad bosses, we should love them. Anyone for a tango?

Satire: Foxtel-Optus Merger 'Anti-Repetitive'
The ACCC has ruled today that the proposed content sharing arrangement between Foxtel and Optus Vision would constitute anti-repetitive conduct

Review: Bob Carr's Thoughtlines
Stephen Holt reviews one man's journey from collectivism to the centre


 Sweat Shops – Coming To A Street Near You

 Glassworkers Walk for the Umpire

 Family Friendly For A Buck

 Abbott in Slow GEER

 Royal Commission Bugs Workers

 Drivers Frozen Out by Corporate Spin

 Coca-Cola Brews Storm In A Tea Cup

 Bush Prepares for War on the Wharves

 Safety Summit A Hit With Unions

 Beattie Faces Bargaining Face-Off

 Casual Work Exploits – Catholic Church Agency

 More Effort Required On Disabled Workers

 Protecting Security Officers From Disease

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Why Modernisation Matters
Labor frontbencher Mark Latham argues that the ALP's reform agenda must go way beyond the 60-40 debate.

The Locker Room
Playing To The Whistle
Phil Doyle takes a look at the man in the middle, and he doesn’t like what he sees.

Inquiry Into Executive Pay
The ACTU Executive this week called for a public debate on spiralling executive pay packets, seeking feedback from workers, community representatives and unions.

Up In Smoke
Wobbly Radio's Nick Luccinelli reports from England where drug law reform is on the political agenda.

Week in Review
Bulldust and Boofheads
Jim Marr casts his eye over a week in which bullshit and bad bosses fought for headlines…

 On Aspiration
 GST Agenda
 Amanda's Mediocrity
 Capital Ideas
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Casual Work Exploits – Catholic Church Agency

The Catholic Church has is worried about the “disturbing increase” in the number of Australians employed as casuals.

In a Pastoral Letter the chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop William Morris, highlights the increasingly insecure and precarious nature of employment for casuals, most of whom would prefer permanent employment on a full-time or part-time basis.

Bishop Morris points to the steady growth of casual employment to about 27 percent of the labour force.

"It is a matter of grave concern that between 1984 and 1997 over 60 percent of new jobs created were casual jobs," he writes in his Pastoral Letter.

An important development states Bishop Morris, is the increasing number of employees engaged as casuals for extended periods.

"Sometimes, these workers are mistakenly referred to as 'long-term' casuals when in fact they are more properly viewed as full-time or part-time employees," he writes.

"They are engaged as 'casual employees' but in fact work on a regular and systematic basis, sometimes under the same pattern for years.

"Such employees often have the same workplace continuity as their permanent counterparts, yet are engaged without the same entitlements, such as sick leave, holiday leave and parental leave."

The Pastoral Letter stresses Church teaching that work is the key to building a just society.

"As far as working conditions are concerned, arrangements should provide as extensive protection as is possible for the dignity, safety and health of workers, rather than being geared only towards the realisation of profits.

" Australia cannot be described as a fair society if a growing number of workers are engaged on an uncertain, irregular and insecure basis without access to the basic rights of more permanent workers.

"There is a place for casual employment, but not as a substitute for ongoing employment.

"Workers need to be able to make a free choice between casual and permanent employment conditions."

Church as an Employer

The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations has just produced a useful resource to assist Church employers and managers to conduct employment relationships in a way that reflects the Church's own teachings in this area.

Copies of The Catholic Church as an Employer Today are available from the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations at: [email protected]

Excerpted from Justice Trends the newsletter of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council


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