|Issue No 17||11 June 1999|
Revealed: Bosses Bash Unions
Employers have admitted discriminating against union members in research conducted by the Office of the Employment Advocate.
The research designed to support the Howard Government's assault on building unions, contains great news for trade unions, with approval membership ratings of up to 78 per cent
More than 1000 trade union members and 980 employers were surveyed by Wallis Consulting.
While the survey has been painted in some sections of the media as evidence that closed shops still exist, the actual findings make much more interesting reading.
- two thirds of members were satisfied with the services of the union, with approval ranging from 78 per cent in the retail industry to 64 per cent in construction.
- more than three-quarters of members said they would not be tempted to leave their union even if the law was changed to make it easier.
- workers believe 73 per cent of bosses have either a positive or neutral attitude to unions.
- seven per cent of employers admitted they "may' not hire union members, and a similar number said employees were not fully free to exercise their right to choose whether or not to join a union.
- in 10 per cent of cases unions were not allowed access to the workforce for the purpose of recruitment.
These finding back a recent Newspoll commissioned by Labor Council showing more than 42 per cent of workers would join a trade union if they were free to do so.
"Rather than looking at the non-existent problem of compulsory 'unionism', the Employment Advocate should be putting the same resources into stopping bosses that intimidate their workforce from joining unions," Labor Council secretary Michael Costa says.
"In its two years of operations, the Employment Advocate is yet to launch a single case on behalf of a worker who has been discriminated against for joining a union.
"The $100,000 spent on the survey was a complete waste of money and working people would ask why it was spent on political propaganda rather than something constructive, like supporting the efforts of the sacked Oakdale miners to recover the $6.3 million owed to them by their employer."
Interview: Class Consciousness
Long-time ALP member Michael Thomson has thrown a few grenades with a new book arguing that middle class trendies have taken over the ALP.
Legal: Reith¹s AWAs Dealt a Blow
ASU v Electrix rules that AWAs can't be a take it or leave it proposition.
Unions: Survey Misses the Point
Last week's attempt by the Australian newspaper to rank trade unions contained some fundamental flaws.
History: The Light on the Hill
Fifty years after his seminal address, Ben Chifley's words still ring true -- and still challenges Labor.
International: Child Labour: Kerala’s Recipe
Of India’s 55 million slave children, not one is to be found in the state of Kerala, in the south of the sub-continent.
Review: Bazza Mckenzie Holds His Own
Tony Moore on perhaps the greatest Australian movie ever made.
Women: Equal Pay - We've Come A Long Way
Thirty years have passed since women around Australia raised their fists in victory at the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission's historic equal pay for equal work decision.
Activists: Throwing Off the Chains
Thirty years ago, Zelda D'Aprano was so incensed by the lack of progress in achieving pay parity that she twice chained herself to public buildings in Melbourne.
Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005