Geoff Dixon likes to adopt the persona of the workers' friend, a lover of a beer and a laugh, a knock-about battler despite his millions. When shooting the breeze with union leaders, he always likes to play up the fact he's a card-carrying member of the ALP. But there's nothing comradely about the way he's been treating Qantas's public face, the long-haul flight attendants, in recent times.
It all started in late 2001 when the aviation industry was picking up the pieces from September 11, unsure of whether anyone could ever suspend their disbelief again and enter a commercial aircraft. The flight attendants' agreement was up and Dixon cried poor, asking them to cop a pay freeze until the landscape were clearer. They also agreed to cut back the number of crew on some flights, again with the promise that these would be 'recognised' in the next agreement.
Fast forward 12 months and the flight attendants sit down to nut out a new deal. Qantas has survived the S11 downturn and, indeed, thrived, gobbling up Australian travellers with Ansett in the grave, eyeing off Air New Zealand for take over and racking up the sort of profits that sees Dixon rewarded with $1 million in shares. Using the same logic, flight attendants believed it was time to spread some of the booty and table their claim for seven per cent. But the tune had changed; according to Dixon the crisis has returned and there's no money for a wage rise. As for the commitment to recognise the lower crews, all bets are off.
They may be a well-groomed bunch, but this position sent cabin crew understandably feral and they called stop work meetings around the nation to air their grievances. And what did the workers' friend do in the face of collective action? Call in the scabs, of course. In a move reminiscent of the infamous Dubai waterfront exercise, Dixon shipped in inexperienced contract labour, with just weekend training, to keep his fleet in the air. For a group who had built professional pride around their status as safety and security professionals it was the ultimate low blow. Here was Qantas saying that their work was so complex that any mug could be trained to do it in a couple of hours.
All of which fuelled the anger that saw a record turnout at the stop-work meetings and the prospect of more to come. At the Sydney stop work, Labor Council secretary John Robertson laid into Dixon, branding him a rat in a memorable grab that ended up on the evening news. Word is that Dixon was not too pleased with the analogy and made some phone calls to convey that point. All we can say is that if it smells like a rat and acts like a rat it tends to have whiskers. And 'Stinky', the CFMEU's inflatable rodent, is on standby, ready to change his name by deed poll.
A high-powered delegation, headed by conservative Lord Mayor Alex Darling, will meet the French Consul General in Sydney next week to support France’s opposition to war in Iraq and urge it to continue expressing a view shared by “rank and file Australians”.
The delegation will include church, trade union and other community representatives.
South Coast Labor Council secretary Arthur Rorris confirmed his organisation had swung behind the radical proposal because it could see "no evidence of the Howard Government listening to Australians".
"It may seem like a joke but it isn't," he said. "It is a sad state of affairs when we have to even contemplate approaching a foreign country to have our voices heard on such an important issue.
"There is something wrong when the Government of France is more in tune with the hopes and aspirations of ordinary Australians than their own Federal Government.
"We are deeply disappointed that John Howard has seen fit to put the interests of the United States above those of the Australian people."
Rorris said it was historically "ironic" that Australia and the UK found themselves lineing up behind military imperialism while France and Germany were backing peace.
NSW Labor Council has given its support to the Wollongong initiative and urged affiliates to join Tuesday's delegation.
Meanwhile, a South Coast food company has decided to withhold 10 percent of its taxes if Howard supports George Bush's attack on Iraq.
In a stinging rebuff to the claim of Howard apologists that anti-war sentiment was the preserve of "inner city elites" staff and partners at Bega-based, Candelo Bulk Wholefoods, voted in favour of the anti-war protest this week.
"The tax to be withheld is the percentage of our tax the government spends on defence," a Candelo press release reads. Staff and management say they will donate an equivalent sum to the Bega Valley Rural Australians for Refugees.
Oanh Nguyen was celebrating IRC vindication this week with baby son, Jaidyn, after Commissioner Donna McKenna ruled she had been unjustifiably dismissed from her casual processing job at Chullora and awarded her $10,000 in compensation.
"It's not the money, most of that will go in legal fees," she told Workers Online. "This decision is saying that if you are pregnant, you still have the right to work. It doesn't matter if you are casual or permanent and it doesn't matter if you are employed by the company or an agent, you have rights they can't take away.
"It means other people should be treated better in the future. I think it's important""
Her analysis of the decision's signficance was endorsed by union and employer reps, as well as industrial lawyers.
Labor Council assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou honed in on company attempts to wash their hands of Nguyen because she had been on the books of labour hire outfit, ANT, which in turn told the Commission she hadn't been dismissed, they just had no work to offer her.
Christodoulou said that sort of attitude was "too common" in labour hire arrangments.
"Companies often try to hide behind labour hire entities to avoid their responsibilities but this decision strips away much of that defence - anti-discrimination, victimisation and health and safety rights were all elements of this case," he said.
Prominent industrial lawyer Steven Penning of Turner Freeman Solicitors, who ran Nguyen's case, also said it was a landmark labour hire ruling. It was, he said, the first Commission unfair dismissal decision that decided the host employer was the "real and effective" employer.
He said it had "big implications" for labour hire and challenged employers to launch an appeal.
"We would welcome an appeal," Penning said. "Host employers have had open slather for a long time and that is challenged by a decision that is both strong and well-reasoned. I think it would be endorsed by a full bench and that would give it even stronger authority."
Peter Rochfort, who represented Theiss, conceded the implications were "mammoth".
Ms McKenna found Theiss was liable because if had effective control over Nguyen's recruitment, employment and termination. She ordered it to pay the compensation.
In her judgement she referred to the "husk" of an employment relationship with ANT.
Another key element in the case was the 23-year-old's long history of union activism and the evident dislike this had created with a supervisor. The longest-serving casual at the recycling plant had been a delegate and safety committee secretary. She had fought and won a previous unfair dismissal case.
"I was not one of their favourite people because I had taken up a few health and safety issues," she conceded.
Ms McKenna said Nguyen's "industrial activism" and the fact that Theiss management were not "particularly well-disposed" towards her formed part of the backdrop. She found Nguyen's pregnancy had been the "catalyst" for her removal from duties at Chullora.
The gloves came off as the newly-created task force, headed by controversial federal policeman Nigel Hadgkiss, went in to bat for Brisbane employers facing protected industrial action this week.
Police insiders say Hadgkiss built his reputation on the use of telephone tapping and within days of his office tripling numbers in Brisbane, a range of union officials were reporting telephone "irregularities".
ETU Queensland secretary, Dick Williams, described what was bugging him.
"Sometimes, when I go to my message bank a recorded voice will come on the line saying only one person can be logged into this service at once," he said.
"Put it this way, I've been using a mobile phone for more than 10 years and I have never had a problem with my message bank until now. It's strange because I don't get it all the time, just every now and then.
"It started with one of my organisers and now, all of a sudden, four of us are getting the same message."
Williams' revelation came days after the Courier Mail reported the task force had offered Brisbane building companies help to play "hardball" against their employees.
The newspaper said this would include the "possible use" of a strike breaking force.
Building workers returned to dozens of Queensland sites this week, after 10 days of strike action in support of EBA claims which include a 36-hour week. Unions agreed to lift the stoppages and employers suspended legal moves while a solution was sought through the offices of the IRC.
The taxpayer-funded task force had, however, already caused a furore.
Federal Parliament heard allegations that one task force member had sought to use apprentices and contract labour as strike breakers, particularly on the high-profile Suncorp Stadium redevelopment.
Hadgkiss conceded he had six investigators examining alleged award breaches at Suncorp and told the Courier Mail his organisation was supplying legal advice to employers.
Labor MP Arch Bevis lashed the task force in parliament, alleging it had provoked the Suncorp dispute.
"Phone tapping citizens going about their lawful jobs is an extremely serious issue," he said. "It's a disgrace that warrants further and full investigation."
Victorian senator Gavin Marshall took Abbott's industrial police force to task in the Senate.
Both legislators have backed ETU calls for a full Senate Inquiry into the task force, its funding and operations.
Meanwhile, in Sydney, creditors are moving to have Building Industry Royal Commission favourite, S & B Industries, wound up in the Supreme Court.
One action against the company, run by husband and wife team Stephen and Barbara Strong, has been adjourned, apparently so a creditor owed even more money can take over the running.
The Strongs created a sensation with Royal Commission allegations of union standover tactics, threats and extortion attempts. However, a belated examination of telephone records cast severe doubt on the legitimacy of these allegations, seriously embarrasing Counsel Assisting who had already submitted that they should be believed in all regards.
Once again workers look like missing out. Prior to moves for the company to be place into liquidation, the CFMEU had filed claims, on behalf of four employees, for more than $10,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements.
Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, earning up to $1.5 million a head, failed to put the Strong's business practices under any scrutiny at all, despite evidence of safety and other irregularities.
News of the radical policy came as the Coalition vowed to scrap an industry-based program to cut workplace accidents and funnel the money into chasing compo fraud.
According to reports in the Daily Telegraph the Coalition policy would:
- prevent union representation in workplaces where less than 50 per cent of workers were members.
- allow non-union agreements to be approved without scrutiny of the Industrial Relations Commission through a new Enterprise Agreements Commission
- Create an anti-union police force, modelled on the federal government's Employment Advocate.
Labor Council secretary John Robertson says the laws would become a tool for employers to drive unions out of the workplace by forcing 'union recognition ballots' for every workplace agreement.
He says the Enterprise Agreement commission appears to be modelled on the 1991 NSW laws which employers and unions agreed was unwieldy and unworkable.
"The effect of this proposal would be to force a ballot on whether unions should play a role in each agreement - a process that employers would exploit to keep unions out and drive wages down," Robertson says. "If anything, this policy is more extreme than the Reith-Abbott federal model.
Policy an Insult
Robertson says the Coalition policy is an insult to NSW workers and the responsible trade union movement that works so hard to promote the interests of this State.
"John Brogden seems to have a very short memory - just three years ago we were celebrating the best Olympics ever, delivered without a hitch by a unionised workforce," Robertson says.
"Now the Coalition wants to replace this successful model of co-operative labour relations with a US-style system predicated on conflict and division."
"Like the USA, we run the risk of creating a system weighted in favour of the employer where the rights of all workers - whether union or non-union come second."
And in a bizarre section of the Liberals' policy, employer associations also cop it, with an impossible barrier to entry into any non-union agreement.
According to a release from Gallacher, employer associations appear to require a majority vote of employees before they can take part in the negotiations. "This shows the policy is either ill-conceived or loopy," Robertson says.
Safety Cuts Will Cost Lives
Meanwhile, the Labor Council has panned a Coalition plan to scrap the WorkCover Assist program would have a devastating effect on occupational health and safety across the State.
"This program, which provides assistance to both employer organizations and unions, has already trained more than 8,000 people to create safer working environments," Robertson says.
"To scrap the program and replace it with money to investigate workers compensation fraud is akin to scrapping cancer research to invest in better morgues.
"Michael Gallagher talks about the Liberals representing a light at the end of the WorkCover tunnel. On evidence to date, that light is an oncoming train for workers."
Australia Post management was looking at another backflip over the kits after hours of negotiations with the CEPU Post and Telegraph branch, this week, averted threatened mail disruptions across NSW.
Government promised to count returned terrorism kits after anti-war activists organised a "return to sender" protest but conflicting instructions to postal workers saw some put aside, others returned to Canberra, and an increasing number destroyed.
"Some workers were throwing them in the bin as unadressed junk mail while others were putting them in the Canberra mail as part of the protest," CEPU branch secretary Jim Metcher revealed.
Then, suddenly, the Attorney General's department revealed it had given instructions for them to be destroyed because, it alleged, some had been contaminated with an unidenfied white powder.
That was the cue for postal workers to move, threatening to ban collections from street boxes on health and safety grounds.
"Obviously the Government wanted to play down the numbers but we didn't get into that game," Metcher said. "They didn't inform the union or workers of the danger so we could only take Senator Ellison at his word. This was a health and safety issue for us, nothing more or less."
Metcher said postal workers had reported tens of thousand or returns. The Canberra Mail Centre, he said, had been swamped.
But Australians will never know how many of their number joined the protest, despite Government assurances to the contrary. Australia Post first justified the destruction of returned kits on the basis of "storage problems", then the white powder line materialised.
Now it is arguing privacy restrictions prevent it giving the number of returns to either the Government or Senate Estimates. Metcher refused to comment on claims, made in Parliament, that someone had leant on the corporation.
Workers Fly Peace Flag
Meanwhile, NSW workers are gearing up for March 14. Public transport workers will wear badges, building workers will hold stop work meetings and schools will conduct peace assemblies as part of coordinated action under the 'Unions Work for Peace' Banner.
The day has been earmarked to send a public message of opposition to John Howard's handling of the war and is part of a series of events in the lead-up to the next major peace rally on Palm Sunday.
The Labor Council's Peace Committee has produced badges, posters and fliers for the day, all available through our No War on Iraq '' campaign page
ACTU President Sharan Burrow told a hearing of the Senate Economics Committee Inquiry this that there are no rules at the top end of town.
"The Howard Government has been standing idly by as the corporate greed of its business friends continues to flourish," Burrow says. "Meanwhile it does everything it can to deny low paid workers a decent wage increase."
When the Minimum Wage Case begins later this month, the government will argue against the ACTU's modest claim of $24.60 a week for 1.7 million workers.
Meanwhile average annual remuneration, excluding retirement benefits, for Australia's top 1OO CEOs increased by 38 per cent to $2 million, 44 times average weekly earnings, up from 34 times average earnings in the previous year, and amounting to a weekly pay rise of $10,567.
"In the current climate, Tony Abbott's counter-offer of $8.70 a week after tax, or 85 cents adjusted for inflation, is an insult to hard-working Australians," Burrow says.
In its submission to the Senate Inquiry, the ACTU has recommended the following amendments to the Corporations Amendment (Repayment of Directors' Bonuses) Bill 2002:
- Requiring boards of public companies to establish remuneration committees comprised of independent directors;
- Requiring all options packages to be subject to performance benchmarks which are disclosed to shareholders;
- Requiring performance benchmarks to be applied to all bonuses or other payments exceeding $40,000 in a year where the recipient's base remuneration exceeds $100,000;
- Removing tax deductibility for that portion of remuneration packages which exceeds $1 million.
Prepared by the Allen Consulting Group for the Sustainable Energy Development Authority, the Report models the potential economic impact of sustainable energy options.
Contrary to assertions by some commentators that reducing greenhouse emissions necessarily leads to economic loss, the Report concludes that sustainable energy has strong potential to deliver economic as well as environmental benefits.
The study looks at a series of scenarios to gauge the employment impact of different government policies.
With a broad-based package of measures in place, including a a Sustainable Energy Investment fund, strengthening training and certification and lifting home and building star rating reuqirments, the Report concludes that economic activity in NSW could increase by more than $500m annually.
This would lead to the creation of up to 4,000 new jobs created - around one quarter of these in the sustainable energy industry and the remainder in the broader economy).
The report concludes these benefits depend critically on adopting a multi-pronged approach - rather than individual measures in isolation - so that the savings from improved energy efficiency can offset the added cost of increasing the share of renewable energy.
The Sustainable Energy Jobs Report also examines global trends and uses case studies to highlight the importance of government support for the sustainable energy industry and key sustainable energy technologies.
It concludes that ongoing effort will be required in order to keep pace with global trends and ensure that NSW maintains a healthy slice of the booming global market in greenhouse friendly technologies and services.
The decision sparked another strike at the Zoo, with workers outraged at the treatment of the female horticulturalist.
Public Service Association organiser Stewart Little says the woman, who had injured her shoulder after working at the zoo 12 years had undertaken extra study in landscape gardening and zoo-keeping while recovering from her injury.
But Little says zoo management had medically retired her and refusal to negotiate a fair agreement covering the redeployment if all injured zoo workers.
"They sometimes put down injured animals and call it as mercy killing; but to do this to a worker is unconscionable," Little says.
There is also widespread concern at the large number of Keeping and Horticultural Staff that are carrying injuries picked up at the Zoo.
"In December last year we had 20 out of 90 keepers on workers compensation or light duties," Little says.
"There is a huge proportion of the workforce that face being kicked onto the scrap heap."
Talks between the PSA and zoo management are scheduled for Monday.
The CPSU donation of $19,000 was warmly received by the Canberra volunteers and will be used to replace equipment destroyed in the devastating summer fires.
The National Secretary of the Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU), Adrian O'Connell says the tragedy sparked members to raise funds in a range of novel ways.
The CPSU donated $5000 from union funds to the appeal, but there were also many generous and novel donations from individual members and workplaces.
One member walked into the CPSU office in Sydney and donated $1000 to the fund on behalf of herself and her husband.
A Queensland Health Insurance Commission workplace raised $350 by having each employee donate 15 minutes of their day and getting their boss to allow them to hold a competition where the winner won a day off work.
Jim Bodsworth, Commander of the Guises Creek brigade and a CPSU member himself, said that "It's an absolute pleasure to see the CPSU support the volunteers who support the ACT and surrounding communities".
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions report Equality through pay equity collates statistics and case studies from around the world and shows what various trade unions are doing to secure a fair go for women.
It says trade unions are building up their strategy of developing a clearer understanding of the nature of discrimination, identifying where it exists, and bringing women's wages up to the same level as men doing similar work or jobs of comparable worth.
It says there have been some major successes in the industrialised world, particularly in Canada, New Zealand and Britain.
Canada public sector unions have won a very substantive pay award for women in the low paid sector while, in New Zealand, primary teachers have achieved parity with secondary school teachers, the report says.
In one British case study, women in a school meal-service had their pay cut when their jobs were privatised yet maintenance staff who were mainly men did not. With the support of their union UNISON, the women were able to win an equal pay case, the report says, adding that "successes like these make women want to join and participate in the union and also strengthen the union as a whole."
Meanwhile, the Sydney leg of Women's Day celebrations will saw thousands march in the name of peace and diversity on Saturday, highlighting the effects of war and racism both on women and on society as a whole.
The event will kick off 11am at Sydney Town Hall, and march onto Belmore Park. Speakers include Kerry Nettle from the Greens, trade unionist Naomi Arrowsmith, and Indigenous activist Cleonie Quayle.
Since 1995 the CFMEU has been involved in the Child Labour Schools Project in India to teach illiterate and semi-illiterate children from disadvantaged families basic literacy and numeracy skills to allow them to enter the mainstream educational system.
"Children from the poorest areas have no access to education and too often end up as child labourers," CFMEU National President Trevor Smith says.
"By helping provide them with a basic education, we are giving them a chance to break the cycle".
Speaking at a recent Sydney fundraiser that raised $15,000, CFMEU National Secretary John Maitland described the project as "a practical way in which those of us who abhor the exploitation of child labour to do something about it."
"While we need to continue to inform people in the developed world about the widespread scandal of child labour, we also need to organise workers and our communities to contribute in a practical way to help in resolving the issue".
Across the nation, the CFMEU is reaching out to others in the labour movement, community groups, politicians, lawyers and employers for support. They are aiming to taise$100,000 in this fund-raising drive.
For further information or advice on how you can help in this project contact the Child Labour Schools Company on (03) 9349 2488, or write to the Child Labour Schools Company, level 1, 500 Swanston Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053.
Workers will assemble around noon to send a message to Governments that vital assets must not be sold off as part of the controversial expansion of GATS to include services.
ASU Sydney Water delegate Harvey Purse says workers are keenly interested in the question because job losses and inferior services would be the most likely result of sale to a profit-driven operator private operator.
"Australia's water resources must be owned and controlled by all Australians. It's our most precious resource and we must never sell it off," Purse said.
The protest comes as Governments, including Australia's, conduct secret negotiations on the extension of GATS to include Trade in Services. Such an agreement would put electricity, water and media up for grabs, without any rules to protect local interests.
It was the push for this type of system that led to Enron taking over vital services in India and Latin American, chopping workers and pricing electricity outside the reach of many citizens.
The proposal took another black eye when international pharmaceutical giants tried to block Third World attempts to produce AIDS drugs at affordable prices. Australia's own Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is already coming under heavy pressure from the same source.
Protest organisers say they are not aware of any plans to privatise Sydney Water but argue it would become a "distinct possibility if foreign multinationals came hunting armed with another GATS club
Free Screening of Sunday Too Far Away to Launch the Celebrations
If you are in Sydney get down to the Valhalla in Glebe for the launch of the AWG40 celebrations. We kick off at 7pm with a screening of classic Australian film Sunday Too Far Away. This screening is free, open to members of the public and will be followed by drinks.
Sunday Too Far Away won Best Film, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 1974/75 Australian Film Awards and was a huge hit at the Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Festival in 1975.
Set on a sheep station in 1955 just before the infamous 9-month shearers strike, the film stars Jack Thompson as a brawling, hard-drinking, gun shearer back from retirement for one last season.
Sunday Too Far Away was the first great international success of the Australian Feature Film Renaissance and made a star of Jack Thompson. Screenwriter John Dingwall is a lifetime member of the AWG and has won 12 national writing awards including the AWGIE, AFI, Logie, Penguin and Australian Film Critics Award. John is coming to Sydney and will introduce the film. Don¹t miss the film nor the opportunity to hear from one of our great screenwriters.
Sunday Too Far Away is just one of a number of classic Australian films that will be screening at the Valhalla from March 7-16. The full programme is as follows:
Friday, 7 March 7pm Sunday Too Far Away
Saturday, 8 March 2pm My Brilliant Career
Saturday, 8 March 7pm A Night of Short Films
Sunday, 9 March 7pm The Clinic
Monday, 10 March 7pm A Night of Award Winning Television
Tuesday, 11 March 7pm The Year of Living Dangerously
Wednesday, 12 March NO SCREENING
Thursday, 13 March 7pm Dead Calm
Friday, 14 March 7pm A Night of Classic Australian Television
Saturday, 15 March 7pm Proof
Sunday, 16 March 7pm Shine
Valhalla Cinema, 166 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, NSW.
The Advance Party
JIMMY MCGOVERN - A WRITER IN THE COMMUNITY
Held in association with Australian Writers' Guild 40th Anniversary Celebrations.
Venue: Wharf 2 Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company
Date: Tuesday 11 March 2003
Time: 7.30pm Sharp
Following his award-winning work on Dockers and Hillsborough, screenwriter and playwright Jimmy McGovern (The Lakes, Sunday, Cracker) talks to Mac Gudgeon (Waterfront, Ground Zero) about the work and responsibilities involved in writing for, and in, the community.
The forum will be preceded by a short new work by Vanessa Bates, AWG member and part of the Blueprints Writers¹ Assembly, directed by Melinda Collie-Holmes. Cast Includes Paul Barry, Jeanette Cronin, Tanya Goldberg and Joshua Lawson.
THE ADVANCE PARTY is the bimonthly forum for playwrights, and those interested in the art of playwriting. Evening sessions are
interactive, incorporating staged readings, guest speakers, and performance to provoke further discussion.
To reserve seats please email [email protected] or call the AWG on (02) 9281 4321.
For a full list of events both in NSW and interstate www.awg.com.au/artman/publish/article_78.shtml.
Sex, Lies & Television and Murder, Mystery & Mayhem: The Secrets of Successful Television Writing
Want to know how to write great TV drama? As part of the 40th birthday celebrations the AWG presents two informative and stimulating workshops on the essentials of writing for television.
Murder, Mystery & Mayhem - Making Crime Pay
A 3 hr workshop on the basics of television writing. With emphasis on crime and medical dramas, the workshop examines the principals of drama: creating unforgettable characters; the process of script development; the nuts and bolts of plotting and common pitfalls. Presented by AFI, Logie and AWGIE award winning writer Tim Pye (White Collar Blue; Water Rats, A Country Practice) and Peter Neale (All Saints; Farscape, Home and Away)
Sex, Lies & Television - The Secrets Revealed.
The team from The Secret Life Of Us Amanda Higgs (Producer) and Judi McCrossin (principal writer) present a 3-hour case study on the secrets of creating a successful television drama. Writing the series proposal and the pilot episode, creating story and character arcs that keep viewers glued to the screen week after week, what works and what doesn't. Amanda¹s credits include Police Rescue, Fallen Angels, Wildside and the Australian feature films Praise, Angst and Walking on Water. Judi McCrossin¹s first short film Fetch was in competition in the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. Currently she is developing a new six-part series for SBSI.
Date: Sunday 16th March, 2003
Sessions: Murder, Mystery & Mayhem - Making Crime Pay (10.00-1.00pm)
Sex, Lies & Television - The Secrets Revealed (2.00 - 5.00pm)
Venue: Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, King's Cross.
AWG Members $126.50 ($115.00 + $11.50 gst)
Non Members $176.00 ($160.00 + $16.00 gst)
AWG Members $71.50 ($65.00 + $6.50 gst)
Non Members $93.50 ($85.00 + $8.50 gst)
For further information and booking forms please visit our website www.awg.com.au or contact Sarah Odillo Maher on 02 9281 1554 Ext 223.
Why dont Australians say things the way they used to ?
John Howard,Phillip Ruddock,Tony Abbott and Peter Reith are Liars.
There that wasn't hard.
Being honest like that i'm wondering does that make me Australian or un-Australian ?
Steve Presley Morwell.
Ok, they've nabbed one )Kirstie Marshall's baby Charlotte), but I am aghast at the laxity of Australia's Parliamentary Sergeants-at-Arms who have long allowed stealthy little Strangers to move about freely on the floor of each House, concealed in their Mummies' tummies.
Peter Ian (Jack) Ridout Woodforde
I was just reading through your entire web sight and was amazed that people are actually allowed to stand up for them selves in the work place.
what Im about to say remember, Nursing homes hire the bulk of its Ains as immigrants.Mainly because they do not know their rights,they do not know anything other then how to give showers and change people take them for a walk and basic skills not requiring anything other then normal ADL's they would perfrom daily on them selves.They have no basic skills and most immigrants are either beginning to make a go in Australia so most are not only unaware they dont have to be treated this way and most have no real education and english isnt a required tool to shower walk and clean a resident in a nursing home.Some come because they are also supporting family members in countries they came from so they work from 6 30 am to 9 or 11 at night.I have seen it done over and over in one place in particular.Not only are they exausted but they often have injurys ,they out of fear DO not report.The boss will cut their hours and they then can"t support two or three families.Another issue,All do!
ing these kinds of hours place other nurses at risk for higher injuries because they often cant carry their work load .But often it is ignored and you just have to put up or shut up
I work for a place now that has dreadful issues with employers treating their employees with disreguard to any rights or dignity a person may have. They dirrectly discriminate towards any race if they feel the need to do so.Its with in the nursing home industry. Most management can yell for no reason in front of other employees making false accusations and it be dirrectly their fault but refuse to admit they are in the wrong but yell and say humiliating things and you are shocked and stand there and cry in fron of everyone.I have had my boss pull my hair saying it needed to be cut. And I had short hair and most girls always look nice there.I take pride in how i present myself at work.And it wasnt a nice guesture and I was shocked I didnt turn around and hit her as hard as she pulled it and she was serious.Alot of us have had our bosses make up rules for one employeee and another for another employee who may have the same request.We have had our bras snapped from behind because it wasnt the "right color" and it was not our choice for the uniform top which she decided upon.We have had our bosses change rosters whith out notice,we have worked short as in one section with 15 patients needing high care attention and our boss say if you dont like it leave.And of course when you do that, you have neglected a person in your care which could be an offence.Which would be carried with you for the rest of your life.Dirrect OHandS issues ignored on our safety in those kinds of respect.
If you get injured its worse.They call you at home wanting to know where you are at at all times.If you werent home at the time they called they would say where have you been why havent you told us where you are going.They ask you to call your doctor and have you caome back to work.And most all injures are serious ones when your injured and you cant but they continue to call and make you feel you will loose your job.And in may cases you are told if you dont tell your doctor you are able to return to work and more planely put if you dont come back now..you wont have a job.Some gilrs have had the boss show up at their homes seeing if they are genuinely ill.This HAS happened.One girl crawled on her lounge room floor to answer her door to find the boss of this nursing home there.Yes,at her door.She had a work cover certificate covering her as she had fell in the bathroom and hurt her ankle and it was in plaster.There have been girls with Xrays and MRIs prooving serious injury and they have been called and told to return to work.They have also been told their doctor isnt competent.They have been denied medical treatment forcing them back into the work force still injured and they work until it comes to the point where they can't and then most always behind closed doors told they either get better or they will no longer support your injury.Most often told its costing them a fortune to get your injury fixed when they have been denied treatment at their request from their insureance company so you will give up and leave injured for the rest of your lives.The general public who bring in their family members for care have no Idea what the Ain's of australia endure.We give the primary care to their family members and at a cost to our own lives and most always never told thank you by the management who do these things to their primary care givers.
Im saying something because most Ains need to work,they dont want to take mony off the governemt to support them at home doing nothing.Ains are paid the least wages for the work they do.Its hard enough .But to have bosses who have no reguard for the workers and their needs is so hard.No one can ever immagine.I wish some one could come in undercover and see what REALLY happens to employess.No one will believe what I am writing but I can tell you along with about 70 people I know of who can say yes this has been happening for a very long time but there is nothing we can do.Our boss has stated many times I know everyone.If you get injured or because of your injury you will never have another job.Its almost like a silent way of saying keep your mouth shut or else.Last but not least one place has a rewards system..it wasnt started like it sounds.It started out as people who dont have an injury there is a reward to have holidays, but when people tried to voice what they felt it changed but we all knew it is dont report injury and you might be lucky to have a 3 day holiday.But to look at this rewards sheet and what you had to do inorder to acheieve this reward, it was unrealistic and they choose who gets it.And its the favorites in their work place who have rules one way for them and another way for the rest.Like i said, most people wouldnt believe it, but Ains know.And I wish we all could come together and fight how Ains in nursing homes are truly treated.
I have said what Ive had to say.I hope others who may view this can come forward and say so too.This IIIS happening and I wish I knew the steps to prevent employers from treating people this way because they "CAN".
While perusing past issues of your publication Workers Online I was more that impressed by the consistency,diversity and catholic themes and issues of not only the excellent articles but the editorials, which continue to be provocative and stimulating, and only rarely resembling the boot spittle journalism so prevalent in the national publications. In fact the article 'Union Journo on Death List", accompanied by a delightful photo of Gerry Adams, displaying a rarely shared smile with a hand on the shoulder of Paddy Gorman a CFMEU , media officer , stimulated my own dormant interests in the commonalty in breaking down barriers in my efforts at a greater understanding of those with different preferences , needs , desires and values.
I was once again touched by the concerns expressed by Paddy as to the information passed on to him, allegedly by an ASIO officer and relating to his inclusion on a list.
Although the actual purpose of this list was unknown or was censured for what ever reason, the insinuation was clear in its intent, and I among many others sent Paddy a letter of support.
While in no way claiming to have an inside knowledge as to that list , I could assert an insight as to the cultural thought of the kilt wearing Ulster/Scot , and as such a commonality with those that may have allegedly compiled such a list , and in my letter of support I empathically indicated that , in my opinion , Paddy was worrying needlessly.
I can now assure you and your readers that no longer should we get our knickers in a knot about such lists , as recent events have not only validated my reassurances to your readers , but also my self , and certainly put Ulster Loyalists in different lights, 'Pinks and Pastels' perhaps , and these , while not your usual tartans , are my favorites!
The recent internal dismantling of one terrorist cell Mad Dog Adairs Lower Shankill 'C Company' , an event instigated by their killing of John 'Grug' Gregg , a loyalist folk hero who had almost succeeded in killing Gerry Adams in 1984, and had turned into one of Adair's bitterest rivals indicates that these people are far too busy with their domestics .
In fact it was 'Michael Stone' who actually claimed that 'Mad Dog Adair' made a pass at him in prison, with the line "the Spartans used to sleep together".
Now before you or your readers dismiss my assertion that this list as was revealed to your readers was not for as insinuated, but rather a list of possible contacts to enable resolution of conflicting preferences, needs desires and wants in a safe environment, I would inform them that 'Michael Stone', to whom 'Mad Dog Adair', had made a pass, is also convicted terrorist.
While we will never know, and Michael claims that he said 'No!' to that particular proposition, perhaps an invitation for 'Mad Dog Adair' to next years Sydney Mardi Gras, and extened to St Patricks Day , sponsored by Workers Online would be an appropriate gesture in the interests of reconciliation.
The architects of the Accord have been out in the media this week, defending their legacy - a period of responsible power sharing where workers received benefits way beyond their pay packets.
They point to compulsory superannuation, their position on the Reserve Bank Board that gave a real input into the economy and the array of social wage benefits that would never have been possible with spiralling wage claims as evidence of the fruits of restraint.
Even critics of the ACTU would be churlish not to concede that self-sacrifice and vision of the union hierarchy was central to the opening up of the Australian economy and the higher levels of growth that have flowed from this.
But they would point to the undeniable fact that in delivering benefits to working people from the top down, the Accord created a framework that fundamentally weakened the union movement.
Every Accord rise came as a deal brokered at the Big Table, workplace activism was surplus to requirements, until it seemed like the rises just happened.
At the same time, stronger union areas were being stymied, leaders holding back their members from claims they could have persues on the grounds of the broader interests of society.
And what did these workers get in return for their restraint? Less security, more pressure and the constant fear that they would be thrown on the scrap heap because their business could not generate the hyper-profits that footloose global capital came to demand.
The deeper question to ponder after 20 years is whether the union movement would be in stronger shape today if the ACTU had played it differently.
It's unlikely that the union movement could have prevented the economic reforms of the Hawke-Keating era; no world economy, save the wreckage that is now Argentina, has managed to insulate its dollar from the world market.
So, the conditions of a globalised economy that make it difficult for unions to organise today - an economy focussed on the service sector, smaller workplaces with more mobile labour markets - would still have come to pass.
But with the benefit of hindsight, the ACTU through the Accord could have set better limits to the way the process occurred - limits on the powers of the banks that were allowed to enter the economy, tighter safeguards on the operations of privatised state businesses, guarantees on protections for the victims of change.
Rather than taking the role of power-broker, more care could have been taken advocating for union members, translating the macro changes to the experience at the workplace.
Ironically, this is very much the philosophy of the ACTU's new focus on grassroots organising: empowering workers to campaign on the issues that matter to them; rather than ceding all wisdom to those on a national executive.
This, more than any political power dynamic, is why a formal Accord between unions and the ALP is unlikely to ever be repeated.
It was like the game got away from us and the Accord was a victory lap that took place while the match was still in progress. Only now are unions rebuilding, with the sort of activists networks that should have been erected as part of the Accord process.