||Issue No. 187||18 July 2003|
Hearts, Minds and Other Body Parts
Interview: As They Say In The Bible ...
Industrial: Just Doing It
Unions: Breaking Into the Boys Club
Activists: Making the Hard Yards
Bad Boss: In the Pooh
Unions: National Focus
Economics: Pop Will Eat Itself
Technology: Dean for President
International: Rangoon Rumble
Education: Blackboard Jungle
Review: From Weakness to Strength
The Locker Room
Sid Einfield Would be Proud
Tom in the Manger
Sermon on the Mount
Longer Strikes Spark Picket Code
Citing ABS statistics showing that proportion of industrial disputes lasting 10 days or more had tripled from 1997 to 2002, the ACTU Executive this week recognised the need for a set of rules.
"The AIRC no longer has the power to intervene and resolve potentially lengthy disputes," the guidelines say
"As a result more industrial disputes are taking longer to resolve, and the use of lock-outs and aggressive industrial and legal tactics against workers by some employers has become more common.
Under the code all pickets and demonstrations should:
- Be coordinated and organised by a person or committee with the authority of the union(s).
- Have a clear and understood plan of action.
- Be peaceful and absent of acts of violence, intimidation or the intentional destruction of property.
- Not permit drunkenness or the drinking of alcohol.
- Honour agreements or understandings that exist or are reached between police authorities and unions or Trades and Labor Councils in respect to picket or demonstration activity.
- Have a union officer or delegate appointed as the principal union representative responsible for making decisions, and ensuring these guidelines and the agreed plan of action are observed.
- Have a group of identifiable marshals who should work with the principal union representative to establish and maintain observance of these guidelines the agreed plan of action.
- Establish protocols with police that ensure potential issues or areas of conflict between police and unionists are notified in the first instance to the principal union representative who should endeavour to resolve the issue before police are required to take further action.
- Ensure the responsibilities of marshals include dealing peacefully and effectively with any group or individual seeking to disrupt or hijack the demonstration for their own political or other reasons, or any unionist or demonstrator who acts in a way that threatens the success of the demonstration or the achievement of its objectives.
Abbott Invited to Wool Lock-Out
Meanwhile, the ACTU has invited Federal Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott to visit a group of textile workers who have been locked out of their jobs at Geelong Wool Combing west of Melbourne for the last 11 weeks.
One hundred workers have been locked outside the company's Corio plant since May 1 for refusing to accept a pay cut.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow says that as the responsible minister, Mr Abbott should explain why the government's industrial laws allow employers to lock out workers who refuse to accept a pay cut.
"The workers at Geelong Wool Combing had not taken any industrial action," Burrow says. "They have been locked out of their jobs for refusing to accept a 25 per cent reduction in their pay and conditions."
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