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Issue No. 192 22 August 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Flexing the Muscles
If there was an over-riding mood from this week’s ACTU Congress it was one of pent-up energy, as if the time was fast approaching where the sleeping giant that is the Australian workforce must wake from its slumber.

F E A T U R E S

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 month’s 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.

N E W S

 Kids Win From Building Stoush

 Airline Bombs Staff

 Socialists Give Banks a Kicking

 Workers Bag Leave Entitlements

 Bosses Keep the Merc

 Canberra Off The Rails

 Australia in Terrorists’ Sights

 Labor Pledges Taskforce Fight

 Unions Go Back To School

 Yumaro Shows The Way To Go

 Rheem Taps into Lock Out Pattern

 100 Stranded in Bass Strait

 Call Centre Workers Cash In

 If It Looks Like A Duck...

 Stellar Dials an Ernie

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

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.

Education
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.

Postcard
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.

L E T T E R S
 Misplaced Trust
 A Harsh Lesson
 Axe The Max
 India On A Dollar A Day
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Call Centre Workers Cash In


20,000 contract call centre workers have won a raft of entitlements and conditions under a new award hammered out over 18 months between the ACTU, employers and the Industrial Relations Commission.

Until now the contract call centre workers have been among the worst paid and worst treated of any employees working in Australia's fastest growing industry (call centres now employ around 350,000 people.)

Under the award, contract workers will receive penalty rates for work performed between 7pm and 7am Monday to Friday. In one company, workers estimate they will be about $1,000 per annum better off.

The new award also includes:

* casual loadings of 20% for the first 12 months of the award, then

* rising to 25%

* overtime rates and shift loadings

* safe travel home allowance

* notice of roster changes for employees

* recognition of trade union delegates and training

* a six level career structure

* improved minimum wage rates linked to skills and qualifications

To date, Australia's national contract call centre industry has been largely unregulated with contract workers receiving worse wages and conditions than their counterparts performing exactly the same work in-house.

This award will provide a consistent national safety net of wages and conditions for all contract call centre workers across Australia.

The new award is supported by the Australian Industry Group and will apply to three of seven major employers. The ACTU and unions will continue to negotiate with the remaining four employers over next few weeks.


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