Australia Deserves Better
You only have to scan through recent issues of Workers Online to see why the leadership of the ALP is so important – not to the political insiders who judge the beauty contest that is federal politics, but to the millions of workers who are affected by its output.
Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
The Welfare Rights Centre's Michael Raper on 20 years of activism, the politics of punishment and how to make Australia egalitarian again.
Unions: Joel's Law
Building Workers have overcome powerful forces to push workplace safety back up the national agenda. But, Jim Marr writes, their "success" has come at an unacceptable cost.
National Focus: Spring Carnival
It must be spring: punting in Victoria, singing in South Australia, fighting in America. It’s all there in the national wrap from Noel Hester plus an Australian union movement rugby world cup class consciousness poll.
Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
They sacked the job delegate, reinstated him after an IRC hearing, and sacked him again two weeks later. But that was just the beginning.
Industrial: The Price of War
Mass industrial action is brewing in Israel as the policies of the right-wing Sharon Government come home to roost, writes Andrew Casey.
Economics: Who's Got What
Frank Stilwell pours over the latest BRW Rich List to build a picture of the increasing gap between the haves and have-nots.
History: Containing Discontent
Racism against minorities has always been a stock in trade of politicans, writes Phil Griffiths
Review: An Honourable Wally
Most Australians probably look at our politicians and feel they could do a better job but when redundant meatworker Wally Norman gets the chance to find out he realises getting elected is a major hurdle, writes Tara de Boehmler.
Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
A thousand blossoms bloomed during the US President's spring-time colonial visit last month.
Labour Hire Boosts Tech Wreck
Call Centre Throws Safety Out the Door
Miners Tackle Million Dollar Sidestep
Bouquets for Bosses
Mandarins Nail Carpenters
BHP Burrow-ed By UN
ACT Rejects Manslaughter Bullying
No Joy for Fat Exec Packages
WorkCover Walks Away From Racetrack
Contractors Scramble Foxtel Signal
Safety Derails Train Talks
Sydney Uni Strikes At Feds
Workers Up For Safety Awards
Bush's Faith-Filled Life
The President's conversion, 'sense of divine calling' and struggle with sobriety are subjects of a forthcoming book, writes Bill Berkowitz
The Not So Smart Money
Phil Doyle is sick of big money ruining grass roots sport, and he’s taking his bat and going home.
The Westie Wing
The ongoing challenge for Labor members of parliament is to make what the Premier calls the ‘creative partnership’ between the Government and the union movement a reality, writes our favourite MP Ian West.
Mad Monk’s Medicare Minus
Behind the Junta
Saw Min Lwin, Secretary for Trade Union Rights/ Human Rights for the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB), outlines the struggle for workers in his country.
A Tale Of Three Cities
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Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Contractors Scramble Foxtel Signal
Independent contractors installing Foxtel and Telstra broadband in Victorian homes are fighting efforts to slash earnings by up to 15 percent.
The subbies have joined the CEPU and ETU and more than 90 voted to resist efforts to cut wages and conditions, stemming from Telstra's decision to drive down costs in new arrangements with multi-nationals Siemens-Theiss and ABB.
Workers Online understands resistance has moved to NSW where dozens of independent contractors working on Foxtel-Telstra contracts this week also elected to sign-up with unions.
CEPU spokesman, Len Cooper, said the pressure on wages, conditions and safety standards was "typical" of Telstra's contracting arrangements.
"They let contracts on the basis of cost and wash their hands of the results," he said. "Telstra uses this ploy to remain at arms-length from the contractors and avoid the associated employment costs and responsibility for occupational health and safety issues.
"These sub-contractors have said - enough. They won't sign contracts with Theiss or ABB until they get improvements they are entitled to."
Amongst claims served on the companies are a fair price for materials, penal rates for Sundays and an agreed grievance handling procedure.
Top of the list, though, Cooper said, was overall rates for work completed. He estimated that initial offers by the new contractors would leave the subbies down by between 10 and 15 percent on previous years' earnings.
"Their most important action so far has been to demonstrate that they are united," Cooper said. "There will be a report back on Monday and the sub-contractors have indicated that they will not be signing contracts until their demands are met."
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Issue 205 contents