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Issue No. 182 13 June 2003  

The Dead Couple
The message from the ACTU’s Future of Work research is that the two theoretical frameworks for understanding work in the 20th century - ‘Harvester Man’ and ‘TINA’ are both dead.


History: Nest of Traitors
Rowan Cahill uncovers a ripping yarn that could redefine the way we look at Australian involvement in World War II.

Interview: A Nation of Hope
Former PM Bob Hawke bemoans the demise of industrial relations but takes heart from the prospect of peace in the Middle East

Unions: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on a soap star rebellion, Howard’s plans to renuclearise South Australia, more historical atrocities in the north, the redundancy test case plus more in the monthly national wrap.

Safety: The Shocking Truth
It’s every power worker’s worst nightmare – and it happened to Adrian Ware. In a flash of voltage, his life changed forever, as Jim Marr reports.

Tribute: A Comrade Departed
From Prime Ministers to wharfies, the labour movement paid tribute to Tas Bull this week. Jim Marr was among them.

History: Working Bees
Neale Towart looks at a group of workers who got sacked so their boss could keep making the Bomb.

Education: The Big Picture
The NTEU’s Dr Mike Donaldson and Tony Brown join all the dots in the current debate around higher eduction.

International: Static Labour
Ray Marcelo argues there’s another side to the recent furore over Telstra’s use of cheap Indian IT contractors.

Economics: Budget And Fudge It
Frank Stilwell argues that Peter Costello’s latest budget plumbs fiscal policy to new depths.

Technology: Google and Campaigning
Labourstart’s Eric Lee argues the latest weapon for campaigning could be the humble search engine.

Review: Secretary With A Difference
Looking for a new job can be hard enough, without having to worry about sadomasochistic bosses and the threat of being spanked for forgetting to cross your ‘t’s, says Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Minimale
The Labor Party leadership is in the news again, inspiring our resident bard David Peetz to song

Satire: Howard Calls for Senate to be Replaced by Clap-O-Meter
John Howard released a controversial policy statement today, arguing that the Senate be abolished in favour of a device measuring noise from the gallery of the House of Representatives.


 Air NZ Grounds Mums and Kids

 Unions to End Casual Affair

 Carr Faces Acid On Job Security

 Abbott Prescribes Dole for Mother of Six

 Cole Batting Zero from Thirty Two

 Labor Insider Makes Mess

 Dust Busters – MUA Sails into Allianz Fight

 Security Forces Come Out Firing

 Women’s Centre Faces Ideological Jihad

 Varsity Casuals Win Wage Increase

 Fortress NSW Protects BHP Workers

 Pharmacists Seek Jobs Medicine

 Iranian Textile Workers Sewn Up

 Unique Union –Uni Partnership

 Activists Notebook


It’s Our Party
Long time union watcher Nicholas Way looks at the changing dynamics between the industrial and political wings of the labour movement.

The Soapbox
Grass Roots
In his Maiden Speech, new MP Tony Burke argues that the ALP’s union links are nothing to be ashamed of.

Opinion Forming Down Under
Evan Jones condemns the mainstream’s media coverage of the War on Iraq and the damage it is doing to our national psyche.

The Locker Room
Location, Re-Location!
It’s all fun and games until someone loses a club, writes Phil Doyle

 Costa Must Be Crazy
 Saharwi Struggle
 Vinegar Hill
 Tom's Toons
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Security Forces Come Out Firing

Big wins on the ground in the hospitality and power industries show the time is ripe for a union assault for job security, with the LHMU and ETU celebrating breakthroughs in converting casuals and contractors to full-time work.

Regular casuals in pubs, hotels and casinos will be able to convert to permanency after 12 months, while power workers whose jobs were contracted have been re-employed by Integral Energy.

The new award clause negotiated between the LHMU and the Australian Hotels Association, will apply initially to many thousands of casual employees in pubs, accommodation hotels and casinos in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

The LHMU's Assistant National Secretary, Tim Ferrari, welcomed the breakthrough and praised the AHA for its constructive approach in negotiations in the past three months.

" The agreement does not make it compulsory for long term casuals to convert to full-time or part-time status, nor does it permit employers to compel casuals to convert their status", Ferrari says

" But it provides a process for those who want more secure employment, including those who need evidence of secure employment to get access to personal or housing loans".

In dealing with a request for conversion, an employer will be obliged to act reasonably. The employer can refuse a request on a number of grounds - such as the size and needs of the enterprise, the nature of the work, the trading patterns of the enterprise, and the qualifications, skills and training of the employee.

But where an employer rejects a request and the employee thinks the rejection is unreasonable, the employee will be able to refer the refusal to the AIRC for decision.

Integral Turns Back Contracts Tide

Meanwhile, the push towards outsourcing in the power industry has stalled, with Integral Energy agreeing to bring workers whose jobs had been contracted out back to full-time employment.

Under the deal, more than 120 permanent full time jobs will be created inside Integral Energy, a recognition that permanent employees are a better bet when it comes to the provision of vital public services.

It also includes a major commitment to apprenticeships, with more than 100 young workers to get an opportunity in the trade over the coming years.

Electrical Trades Union state secretary Bernie Riordan says the deal is a sign that your union's war on outsourcing is beginning to yield results, delivering real benefits to workers.

"Our experience is that jobs that are outsourced cease to be part of the workplace culture," Integral delegate Dino Oppio says. "That means you feel less of a team."

The Integral Energy agreement provides for:

. The immediate employment of 50 new workers to work on capital infrastructure expenditure with a guarantee of ongoing reviews of workloads.

. Immediate employment of 30 apprentices (15-4th year and 15-3rd year) to overcome the acknowledged shortfall of qualified personnel.

. An increased apprenticed intake of 40 first year apprentices per year for the next four years.

Riordan says the win sets a new standard for the industry and will provide the platform for campaigns around the state.

"This is a sign that contracting out has failed to deliver for the power industry," Riordan says.

"I think more employers are recognising that the costs of contracting outweigh the short-term benefits, particularly in terms of training up staff and quality control.


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