||Issue No. 191||15 August 2003|
Three Year Itch
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
MUA CD Launch
The Remittance Man
Witnesses Line Up for Test Case
Teachers and administrative workers from as far away as Victoria left names and phone numbers with NSW Labor Council, volunteering to tell how insecure employment had impacted on them and their families.
Labor Council secretary, John Robertson, was further boosted by emails received at Channel Seven when he debated the issue with Employers First executive director, Gary Brack, on Sunrise.
"Security strikes a chord," Robertson said. "It is a real issue in the community.
"On Sunrise, they were reading emails from viewers which we did nothing to generate. One woman wrote in saying she had worked four years as a casual, without any security, in the hope of being made permanent.
"That's exactly what this Test Case is about."
Workers Online understands that another man has written in, offering to give evidence of being kept on casual terms by one of Australia's most high-profile companies for more than six years.
Buoyed by the public response Labor Council will take its argument for restrictions on employers who keep workers in casual limbo, or use labour hire to defeat security of tenure and entitlements, to state and federal politicians.
Just last week, the Sydney Morning Herald produced data labeled "alarming" by ETU secretary, Bernie Riordan. It quoted studies showing that a quarter of Australians, aged between 20 and 24, were in neither fulltime work nor study, and that this situation applied to 70 percent of Indigenous Australians in that age group.
Riordan called the figures an "indictment" on Government policies and urged Labor Council to add the researchers who produced the studies to its Test Case arsenal.
The Test Case, formally supported by the NUW, PSA, CFMEU and MEU, will argue specific awards should contain a clause, or clauses, that ...
- entitle regular casuals to opt for permanent employment after six months service with the same employer
- entitle labour hire employees to employment with the host employer after six months doing the same job for the same employer
commit employers to full consultation with employees and relevant unions prior to contracting, and to guarantee existing jobs, wages and conditions.
Papers were filed in the NSW IRC last week and the substantive case is expected to be heard next year.
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