||Issue No. 189||01 August 2003|
The Secret Life of Us
Interview: The New Deal
Unions: In the Line of Hire
Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
International: The Domino Effect
Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Poetry: Just Move On.
Review: Reality Bites
The Locker Room
It Is Still About The Members Isn't It
Max Swings Axe at Safety
The boss at Sydney’s privatised international airport is contracting out 160 jobs in a re-run of the debacle that saw Adelaide Airport punt contractors and re-employ maintenance staff after a series of alarming incidents.
When Adelaide Airport was sold the new owners removed experienced staff within 18 months, largely by slashing wages and conditions through the use of AWAs.
A labour hire company put newcomers into their positions with potentially life-threatening consequences.
In one incident, the Instrument Landing System was shut down after a labour hire "safety officer" parked his vehicle in front of the Glidepath aerial, ignoring signs forbidding entry to the area.
On several occasions lighting was lost as electricians battled with airport requirements. At least once, it had to be restored by regular employees with no electrical qualifications.
Sydney Airport maintenance officer, Alan Dale, can see the similarities.
He is one of 14 workers employed on jobs from fixing perimeter fences to repainting taxi way lanes, maintaining lighting, and repairing runways.
The potential for safety blunders with labour hire workers, he says, is real.
"It's one thing to ride a mower or drive a tractor properly and its another thing to do it at an operating airport," he says.
"I hear the pilots on the radio, all the time, when I am on the runways. They always ask, does he know I am there?
"It's the same with any job, a lot of safety comes down to experience and knowing your workplace."
Dale and his colleagues are in a similar position to that which resulted in the majority of Adelaide workers seeking other jobs.
Moore-Wilton's sub-contractor, operated by the Botany Council, is offering wages they estimate would cost them between $20,000 and $25,000 a year, after losing sick, holiday and other entitlements.
CPSU representative, Larissa Andelmann, says security will come more sharply into focus in the next round of Moore-Wilton's cuts which focus on staff, including baggage handlers and safety officers.
SACL returned a $380 million in its first year after privatisation, slashing labour cost nearly 11 percent, and Moore-Wilton has announced his intention to double that figure over the next 12 months.
The IRC has ordered SACL to put off forced redundancies until August 12 when it will hear a report on negotiations between the company, the CPSU, AMWU, CEPU and APESMA.
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