The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 156 11 October 2002  

Work and the Meaning of Life
The high-profile case of Kamal El-Masiri takes the debate over the intersection of work and family onto an altogether higher plane.


Interview: The Wet One
NSW Opposition industrial relations spokesman Michael Gallacher stakes out his relationship with the union movement.

Bad Boss: Like A Bastard
Virgin Mobile is sexy and funky, right? Well, only if those terms have become synonyms for dictatorial or downright mean.

Unions: Demolition Derby
Tony Abbott likens industrial relations to warfare and, like a good general should, he is about to shift his point of attack – from building sites to car plants, reports Jim Marr.

Corporate: The Bush Doctrine
For the powerful, consumerism equals freedom, and is all the freedom we need, writes James Goodman

Politics: American Jihad
Let’s get real. The origins of modern Islamic terrorist groups are in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Langley, Virginia not Baghdad, argues Noel Hester.

Health: Secret Country
Oral history recordings are an inadequate tool in trying to find out what happened to Aboriginal stockmen and their communities on cattle stations in Northern Australia, writes Neale Towart

Review: Walking On Water
On the 20th anniversary of the first AIDS-related death, Tara de Boehmler witnesses the aftermath of losing a loved one to the illness in Walking On Water.

Culture: TCF
Novelist Anthony Macris captures life on the shop floor in this extract from his upcoming novel, Capital Volume II

Poetry: The UQ Stonewall
The University of Queensland has sought to join the ranks of union-busting companies like Rio Tinto in trying to sack the president of the local union - and made the mistake of thinking they were dealing with an array of acquiescent academics.


 Muslims Snubbed in Discrimination Laws

 Workplace Racism Rife Post S11

 Mad Monk’s World In Turmoil

 Qantas Directors Bust Wages Freeze

 Deregistration on Cole Agenda

 Aussie Wharfies Save Farmers

 Victorian Libs Block Pay Rise

 Dad’s the Word For Steelworkers

 Funeral Workers Dig in Their Heels

 Unions Expose Truth Of McDonalds’ People Promise

 Gay and Lesbians Workers To Meet

 VTHC Urges Compassion For Colombian Refugees

 New Zealand Workers Win Paid Parental Leave

 WorkCover Inspectors Off the Road

 Mine Guards Shoot Own Workers

 Unions On Call For Working Young

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
I Walk The Line
American civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has weighed into the Hilton Hotel dispute with this special message to the workforce.

Mekong Daze
Union Aid Abroad's Phil Hazelton fires off a missive from Laos where he is spending a year working with the community.

Month In Review
Bush Whackers
It was a month where the world teetered on the brink of peace, no thanks to the leader of the free world, writes Jim Marr

The Locker Room
The Laws Of Gravity
Phil Doyle goes looking for the fine line that separates sport from an exercise in time-wasting

Snouts in the Trough
It’s AGM season in the corporate world, and deal after shady deal is being exposed as highfliers treat company accounts like the proverbial honey-pot.

Songs of Solidarity
There has been a proud history of pro-worker tunes dating back to the early days of the 20th century, which will be continued in a new CD, writes Dan Buhagiar.

 Who Is Farmhand?
 Direct Voting Rights
 Iraq is a Gobalisation Issue Too
 Letter to George Dubya
 WTO and Schools
 Casual Thought
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



Mad Monk’s World In Turmoil

Tony Abbott’s new world of workplace confrontation has come home to roost, with a strike in his own department and a union delegate facing the sack.

Staff in Abbott’s Department of Employment and Workplace Relations will walk off the job Monday over a stalled EBA and the threats to CPSU delegate Kartika Franks.

The walkout brings to a head bad blood in the Department charged with implementing Abbott's hardline IR agenda that has included:

- a ninety per cent vote against the department's proposed EBA (the second highest 'no' vote in public sector history).

- a new edict that pay increases are not backdated to the date the previous agreement expired

- provisions in the Department's EBA proposal that includes access to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission for individual staff members, cuts to remote localities assistance for staff in Darwin, Townsville and

Cairns, and a pay offer that is below the Australian Public Service standards.

- and the treatment of Kartika in breach Abbott's own Workplace Relations Act.

Kartika, who has been with DEWR's 'Wageline' service in Melbourne for five months, has been given no formal explanation as to why her contract was not renewed. Most of her workmates' contracts were renewed.

Popular and well regarded by colleagues, Kartika is deeply shocked by the decision, particularly as her work performance or commitment to the job has never been questioned by management.

"Basically they terminated me on the spot. It took my breath away," says Kartika Franks. "My husband and I had been pre-approved for a home loan and now it's turned our world upside down."

CPSU national secretary Adrian O'Connell says says DEWR staff are concerned that their department appears to "acting against the spirit" of the Workplace Relation Act, "the very legislation it is supposed to administer."

"In the absence of any other explanation from the department, it looks like Kartika's was terminated because she supported legitimate union activities. Is that really the signal DEWR wants to send?

"Helping employees and employers deal with workplace problems is what DEWR is supposed to be about, which makes Kartika's treatment hard to understand. DEWR should be setting the highest possible standard in workplace relations, not the lowest."

The CPSU is seeking legal advice in relation to Kartika's employment.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 156 contents

email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

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