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Issue No. 191 15 August 2003  

Three Year Itch
The triennial ACTU Congress meeting Melbourne this week comes at the most difficult of times for the union movement, as the horror prospect of seven years of conservative government becomes an ongoing reality.


Interview: The New Deal
US union leader Amy Dean expands on her agenda to give unions a real political voice

Unions: In the Line of Hire
Unions have lobbied and negotiated in a bid to stem casualisation and insecurity. Now, Jim Marr, writes they are seeking protection through a formal Test Case.

Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
Young people are amongst the most vulnerable in the workforce. So why aren't they joining the union, asks Carly Knowles

International: The Domino Effect
An internal struggle in the biggest and strongest industrial union in Germany IG Metall has had a devastating wave effect across not just that country, but also the rest of Europe, writes Andrew Casey.

Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
Max Ogden looks at the vexed issue of Works Councils and the differing views within the union movement to them.

National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
Achieving a fairer society and a better working life for employees from across Australia will be key themes at the ACTU's triennial Congress meeting later this month reports Noel Hester.

History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Rowan Cahill looks at the role Australia's conservatives played in supporting facism in the days before World War II.

Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Frank Sartor might have shot through but Robert Domm still calls the IR shots at Sydney City which pretty much explains why the council is this monthís Bad Boss nominee.

Poetry: Just Move On.
Visiting bard Maurie Fairfield brightens up our page with a ditty about little white lies.

Review: Reality Bites
The workers, united, may never be defeated but if recent episodes of Channel 10 drama The Secret Life Of Us are to be believed, this is not necessarily a good thing, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Public Backs Services Over Tax Cuts

 Seafarer Awards Ė Full Steam Ahead

 Sunnybrand Plucks Workers

 Call Centre Stink Over Time in Loo

 Reynolds Banks on Safety

 Workers To Back League Stars

 Witnesses Line Up for Test Case

 Unfair Legislation Dismissal

 Tax Office "Bites" Its Own

 Bosses Grab Massive Pay Hikes

 IR Staff Walk Over Job Cuts

 Government Kills Manslaughter Bill

 Rail Workers Spitting Mad

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Fighting Words
Craig Emerson gave what could be the most spirited Labor spray in a decade to the NSW Labor Council this month. Here it is in all its venom.

Out of Their Class
Phil Bradley argues that Australia's education system should not be up for negotiation in the global trade talks.

The Locker Room
The ABC of Sport
Phil Doyle argues that the only way to end the corporate madness that is sport, is to give it all back to the ABC.

Locks, Stocks and Barrels
Union Aid Abroad's Peter Jennings updates on the situation in Burma, where the repression of democracy is going from bad to worse.

 Tomís Tool
 Neighbourhood Watch
 MUA CD Launch
 The Remittance Man
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Call Centre Stink Over Time in Loo

Union members at a Chatswood call centre are pulling managementís chain over being timed in the toilet and forced to make up time at the end of the day.

CEPU members at RSL COM, Chatswood, have launched a petition amongst workmates urging the company to end "harrassment, excessive surveillance and monitoring" associated with visits to the toilet.

More than 60 workers, across several departments, have been directed to log-off to go to the toilet. They then have to make up the time spent relieving themselves at the end of their shifts.

Last week, RSL COM responded by calling two individuals into a manager's office and instructing them to "stop creating negativity in the workplace".

CEPU organiser, Alice Salomon, said workers were determined to pursue their "low-key campaign" until management changed the policy.

"Going to the loo is a right, not a privilege," Salomon said.

She said serious health conequences could flow from putting off toilet visits, including urinary tract infections, incontinence, conswtipation and bowel distension.

"It is demeaning for grown adults to be treated like school kids and have to account for the time taken to the toilet," she said.

"It's indicative of what bosses think they can get away with in Tony Abbott's anti-worker, anti-union industrial relations environment."

A RSL COM worker confirmed workmates were being called into the manager's office daily and quizzed about time taken to visit the toilet.

She called the process "humiliating and degrading".


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