A New Mark for Labor
Few of us who care about the future of the labour movement would not admit to a surge of hope and sense of excitement following the election of Mark Latham to the federal parliamentary leadership.
Interview: Muscling Up
Labor’s Craig Emerson discusses how the changes to his party’s leadership will impact on the industrial relations agenda.
Unions: Thinking Pink
What’s the difference between a Nursing Home and an Aged Care Facility? More than semantics, according to nurses worried Australia is woefully unprepared for the crash at the end of the baby-boom cycle, writes Jim Marr.
Bad Boss: Global Bully
If nothing else, US-based call centre giant TeleTech is consistent. After being nosed out of last year’s Bad Boss gong it is back, bigger and badder than ever in its search for Tony honours.
Unions: National Focus
In this national round up by Noel Hester, Hugh McKay tells us how the young are sticking together in a bewildered society, the gongs get handed out at the ACTU awards and there is a chance to win as a worthy wordsmith.
Economics: Friend or Flunkey?
On New Years Day as you look at the wine stains and tread on a soggy puddle on the carpet, will you look for the phone and call a cleaner? Gabrielle Meagher gives a few ethical dilemmas to confront before you make that call.
History: Young Blood
Youth is no barrier to political leadership, as the 37-year-old John Watson proved 100 years ago, writes Neale Towart.
Industrial: Living For Work?
Mark Hearn reports from a recent conference addressing the dilemma of work, citizenship and community.
International: Fighting Together
The international trade union movement is launching a Global Unions HIV/AIDS campaign to combat the spread of the virus.
Poetry: Medicare Plus Blues
Is the Government's new health plan a plus for Medicare? Asks resident bard David Peetz
Review: Human Racing
Seabiscuit is a great horse movie but more than that it serves as a powerful metaphor for the importance of living for the future while maintaining passion and compassion in the present, writes Tara de Boehmler.
Peeking Dicks in Pickle
Lights Out on Cheap Labour
Blackout Hangs Over Sydney
Contractors Hang Up on Telstra
Uni Workers Too Smart For Minister
Employer Bullies Vie For ‘Tony’
South Coast Deal to Build Movement
TeleTech Safety Rep Vows to Fight On
Corporates Urged to Come Clean
MP Too Busy For Teachers
Bosses Block Good Shops Code
Engineers Ground Safety System
Workers Win At Safety Meet
In his 500th piece of activist journalism, long-term Workers Online contributor Rowan Cahill sends a personal message to our prime Minister.
The Locker Room
Every innings comes to an end, some too soon, and others not soon enough, writes Phil Doyle.
Labor's Craig Emerson puts the spotlight on the Howard Government's politics of division.
Feds Ignore Building Deaths
The Westie Wing
Workers Friend Ian West MLC is back with his monthly round-up from Macquarie Street.
Bob Gould On Kicking The Liberals Out
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Corporates Urged to Come Clean
Canberra cleaners are putting the acid on corporate giants, Woolworths and the Commonwealth Bank – to distance themselves from rip-off artists slashing award conditons and exploiting immigration labour.
Both corporates have been asked to sign up to the ACT's ground-breaking Code of Best Employment Practices to ensure their cleaning contracts aren't let to racketeers.
LHMU spokesman, Gil Anderson, said letters were sent to the both companies last week but, so far, nothing has been heard back.
The Canberra initiative is part of nationwide LHMU push to force clients to take responsibility for contractors who usually win work on the basis of lowest tender prices.
The Australian newspaper recently blew the lid on companies paying cleaners as little as $8 an hour when award minimums are $13.02 for full-timers and $16.90 for part-timers.
It identified Sydney's huge Market City complex, in Chinatown, as a site where part-time commercial cleaners earn only $10 an hour.
NSW MLC Ian West says building owners and managers, who know the award rates but consistently take lowest tenders, are the real problem.
The Australian pointed out rampant underpayment and the widespread use of either illegal immigrants, or vulnerably newcomers desperate for money.
Industry watchers say the problem is getting worse as big property owners, like Woolworths, Coles Meyer, Westfields and the like target every area of their operations for cost savings.
"If the union isn't aggressive in policing it (the award), $10 an hour will become the norm," LHMU Victorian official, Terry Breheny warns.
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