Joining The Dots
ACTU secretary Greg Combet’s call for unions to develop a clear set of values to organise around on a broader social canvass is an important next step in the process of renewal.
Interview: Staying Alive
CPSU national secretary Adrian O'Connell talks about the fight to keep the public service - and the union movement - alive.
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Wollongong workers on poverty-level wages are losing up to $5000 for taking toilet breaks, according to the union representing staff at a Stellar call centre.
Industrial: Last Drinks
Jim Marr looks at the human cost of the decision to close Sydney’s Carlton United Brewery
National Focus: Around the States
If Tampa told us that John Howard circa 2003 is the same spotted rabid dog from 1987, this week’s assault on Medicare confirms it reports Noel Hester in this national round up.
Politics: Radical Surgery
Workers are vitally interested in Medicare, not least because they traded away wage rises to get it. Now, Jim Marr writes, the Coalition Government is tearing apart the 20-year-old social contract on which it was founded.
Education: The Price of Missing Out
University students and their families will pay more for their education following the May Budget, writes Tony Brown.
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
Love is wonderful the second time around, goes the famous torch song. But is the same true for legislation? Asks Ashley Crossland
History: Massive Attack
Labour historian Dr Lucy Taksa remembers the general strike of 1917 to put the recent anti-war marches into perspective
Culture: What's Right
Neale Towart looks at a new book that looks at the failings of the Left, while reasserting the liberal project
Review: If He Should Fall
Jim Marr caught Irish folk-rock-punk legend Shane MacGowan at Sydney’s Metro Theatre. He was surprised but not disappointed.
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Through a distortion in the time-space continuum, we have found a recording showing how people a few years into the future will deal with health care.
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to monitor the Iraqi economy to ensure that the reintroduction of looting into the economy conforms with free-market theory.
Combet Calls On Unions to Muscle Up
HR Honours Death List Author
Hotel Workers Trump Living Wage
Abbott Brushes Security Concerns
Rebates Thorn in Medicare Side
Bosses Infected With SARS Hysteria
Entitlements: Bargaining Chip Ploy Fails
Nelson Plan Faces Higher Hurdle
Public To Pay For Patrick Closure
Airline Ratbags Bigger Than Texas
Credibility Crisis for World Bank
Acid on Billion Dollar Banks
CSIRO Budget Fears
What May Day Means to Me
Reader Marlene McAlear penned this tribue to May Day and worker solidarity.
Labor Council secretary John Robertson's toast to the annual May Day dinner in Sydney.
The Locker Room
The Numbers Game
In life there is lies, damned lies and sporting statistics, says Phil Doyle - but who’s counting.
ZNet's Marie Trigona reports from the streets of Argentina in the rundown to last week's presidential election.
The Workers Press
The Costs of Excess
Some tall business poppies had their heads lopped this week as the laws of economic gravity applied their always chaotic theory.
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Vic Trades Hall Council
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Unions on LaborNET
Hotel Workers Trump Living Wage
Unionised, low-paid workers are spear-heading a deal that leaves the IRC’s minimum wage award in the shade, and throws in a maternity leave breakthrough for good measure.
Two thousand employees of the Starwood Hotel chain are voting on an enterprise bargaining proposal that would boost average weekly fulltime wages by $62 a week, compared to the $17 granted by the IRC, and introduce six weeks of paid maternity leave.
"While the minimum wage decision underlined the crisis of low pay in Australia the Starwood agreement shows unionised workers can challenge the situation," LHMU assistant nation secretary, Tim Ferrari, said.
"Workers can win if they act collectively and campaign and negotiate for decent enterprise agreements."
The maternity leave breakthrough is a further victory for organised workers as the Federal Government distances itself from promised work and family improvements in next week's budget. Most maternity leave breakthroughs, to this point, have been gained with employers eager to retain to middle to upper income women.
The enterprise bargaining proposal came after extensive negotiations between union representatives and Starwood which operates under the Sheraton banner at Brisbane, Noosa and Melbourne; Westin in Melbourne and Sydney; Four Points at Port Macquarie and Geelong; and the W in Sydney.
LHMU members in Victoria, NSW and Queensland will consider the agreement at workplace meetings over the next fortnight. Ferrari expects the formal vote on the proposal to be completed by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, NSW Labor Council has warned employers to expect "significantly higher" minimum wage increases if Federal Government's proposed changes to Medicare become law.
Secretary, John Robertson, said proposed changes would damage the safety net relied on by low paid Australians.
"If changes to Medicare shift a cost burden onto workers, particularly the low paid, we will seek to have that absorbed in next year's minimum wage case," Robertson said.
"Universal health care is an integral part of the social wage and was something workers invested in by trading off wage rises during the Accord years."
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