||Issue No. 166||14 February 2003|
A Call To Arms
Interview: Agenda 2003
Peace: The Colour Purple
Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
Solidarity: Workers Against War
Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
International: Industrial Warfare
History: Unions and the Vietnam War
Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Poetry: Return To Sender
Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
The Cuffe Link ï¿½ Taxpayers Cough Up
Carr: Secret Lib Plan to Slash Public Sector
Thanks a Million: Coleï¿½s Lawyers Clean-up
Gnomes Fess Up ï¿½ Unionism Best For All
Ribs and Rumps Something for Government to Chew On
Workers Online Scoops Global Prize
Letï¿½s Get Real! 2nd Australasian Organising Conference
Guard Knocked Out in Villawood Escape
The Locker Room
A Tale of Two Malls
Talk Back Tom
On The Beach
Labor Council of NSW
Abbott Comes Out Swinging
The former Oxford boxing blue is also believed to be gearing for a fresh stoush with building unions with legislation being drafted that would give courts the power to remove union officials from office.
The ACTU has condemned Abbott's move to alter the objects of the Federal Workplace Relations Act, claiming it could lead to real wage cuts for one million low-paid workers.
Under the Abbott plan, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission would need to give 'primary' regard to three factors: the needs of the low paid, employers capacity to pay and the impact on employment.
The ACTU believes effect of these changes would be to restrict minimum wage safety net adjustments to only the lowest paid workers in the economy, and not to all those covered by industrial awards.
"If Mr Abbott gets his way, award wage rises for low paid workers will be abolished or reduced to trivial and tokenistic increases," ACTU secretary Greg Combet says.
The ACTU released figure claiming that Abbott and employer groups were deliberately misleading the public by saying a significant number of workers earning more than $50,000 per annum were benefiting from safety net increases.
In fact, only 0.8 per cent of the Australian workforce fell into this category, with 80 per cent of the nations 1.7 million award only employees earning less than $35,000 per annum.
"Abbott is trying to nobble the independent umpire because the Industrial Relations Commission has rejected the Government's flawed arguments against pay rises achieved by the ACTU for low paid workers," Combet says.
One of unions whose members will be hit hardest, the LHMU, plans to enlist State Governments if the Federal Government pushes through the new law.
LHMU Assistant National Secretary Tim Ferrari says he'll ask State Gov4ernments to support state-based wage increases, effectively bypassing the federal system..
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