||Issue No. 167||21 February 2003|
Scales of Injustice
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 Locker Room
Who Let The Troops Out?
Wagga Wagga Calling
Ode to Johnny
Murdoch Hacks Dropping Like Flies
More than half of those surveyed say the pressure of work at News Ltd caused them trouble sleeping and many reported regular headaches, according to a safety survey conducted by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
This information was collected by a voluntary national survey at News Ltd metropolitan newspapers, conducted by MEAA in October and November 2002, with more than 250 responses from across the country.
Such symptoms are likely to be the precursor to more serious health problems later in life. Interestingly, no-one from the Canberra bureau said their health was damaged by their workload.
"News Ltd appears to have failed to create a positive work environment, with more than a third admitting to chronic irritability," MEAA na5tional secretary Chris Warren says.
"While you might want to chuck a sickie to have a break, there's problems there too, with half the respondents reporting pressure to battle on through an illness."
The pressure comes mostly from management (55%), but 23% reported pressure from colleagues (who have to pick up the extra work) and 22% said they felt obliged to come in themselves, presumably due to their professionalism and unwillingness to leave colleagues shorthanded.
57% said they'd had to work on a rostered day off, an average of 3.7 times since 1 January 2002. Virtually no-one got paid double time, instead receiving a day off in lieu.
While rosters appear to be posted in time, 47% said they change sometimes or all the time. This difficulty in organising a normal family life is worsened for the quarter of all respondents who said they can't take holidays when they want them. Even after holidays are scheduled, 22% said they've been cancelled or rescheduled.
Around half the workforce appears to take work home sometimes or all the time. Canberra reported the lowest 'take home' rate, possibly explained by the fact that 90% said they work an average of 8 hours more than 38 hours a week.
Nationally, 72% said the same, working an average of 7.6 hours per week over 38 hours. That's an extra day's work from three quarters of the workforce. News Ltd gets their pound of flesh and it's getting worse according to the 49% who said their workload increased in 2002.
Ed's Note This story will not be picked up by the Daily Telegraph.
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