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Issue No. 209 20 February 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Regions To Be Cheerful
Rule changes endorsed by this week’s NSW Labor Council Annual General Meeting reorganising the South Coast Labor Council into as a regional branch council should not be under-estimated.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Trading in Principle
AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, a key figure in the Labor movement, discusses the big issues - from Mark Latham to Pavlov’s Dogs.

Unions: While We Were Away
While Workers Online was washing sand from between its toes and enjoying an Indian summer at the cricket, there was a reality show chugging relentlessly away in the background, Jim Marr reports.

Politics: Follow the Leader
Worker’s Online tool man, Phil Doyle, dives into the ALP’s Darling Harbour love-in and nearly drowns in treacle.

Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
The CFMEU has come up with a killer nomination to kick off our 2004 hunt for Australia’s worst employer.

Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
British academic, Kevin Doogan, sets the record straight on casualisation and warns unionists about the dangers of scoring an own goal

History: Worker Control Harco Style
Drew Cottle and Angela Keys ask if it's worth rememberinng the 1971 Harco work-in.

Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
The 1998 maritime dispute threatened to tear many a family apart but Katherine Thomson's Harbour tells the tale of at least one that it brought back together - albeit reluctantly, writes Tara de Boehmler.

N E W S

 Trains Go Backwards

 Mum Can’t Bank on Westpac

 Andrews Up for Hanke Panky

 Riot Raises Safety Probe

 ABC of Solidarity

 "Shameful" Action Pays Dividends

 Bum Rap for Bump Caps

 Strikers Tie Down Gas Project

 Heat Rises at Uni

 TeleTech's Dead Heart

 Tired Drivers Fight Hypocrisy

 Seven Days on a Leaking Boat

 Families Back Safety Calls

 Howard Pushes Pay Cut

 Activist's Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Dog Whistlers, Spin Doctor and Us
John Menadue argues the "better angels" of the Australian character are having their wings ripped off by an ever-expanding group dedicating to keeping the public at arms length from our decision-makers.

Postcard
Something Fishy In Laos
Phillip Hazelton fishes around in Vientiane, Laos, and looks at the impact of Bird Flu on those relying on feathered friends for survival.

Sport
Magic Realism
Phil Doyle discovers that literature and sport may have more in common than you would think

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Trickle, flood or drought? Workers friend Ian West, MLC, is wet, wet, wet on the issue of bilateral Free Trade.

L E T T E R S
 On the Road
 Bullying
 A Casual Affair
 Latham Is A Bad Man
 Congrats Johnny
 Tom’s Bit
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

TeleTech's Dead Heart


TeleTech has rejected a claim by an employee at the company’s Pennant Hills call centre for leave following the death of his grandmother.

This follows similar action against a woman at the company's Moe operation.

The Pennant Hills based employee is a member of the Jewish faith, who traditionally have a seven day mourning period. The worker sought additional leave, but the company refused to let him use either accumulated sick pay, leave without pay or annual leave to meet his responsibilities.

United Services Union (USU) organiser Paul Morris slammed the decision as "unfair, mean spirited and disrespectful to his culture."

TeleTech workers in New South Wales and Victoria stopped work on Monday February 16 over the company's refusal to negotiate with the USU and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)

"These are young workers aged 20 to 25 who up until 6 months ago didn't even know a union existed,' says Morris. The statement that young people think unions are dinosaurs is simply not the case."

The company is resisting pressure from employees who have endorsed the unions going into bat for them.

Management sources have revealed that the company is close to talking to the union.

"Staff have refused to accept sub-standard individual contracts, otherwise known as AWAs," explains Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) Organiser Hayden Jones. "TeleTech has decided to punish them by leaving them on expired agreements and refusing to negotiate."

Meanwhile, award winning TeleTech safety representative Jerry Gambacorta has been elected to the chair of the company's occupational health and safety committee at Pennant Hills. Gambacorta was suspended last year for expressing health and safety concerns.


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