||Issue No. 210||27 February 2004|
Rock Of Ages
Interview: Trading in Principle
Unions: While We Were Away
Politics: Follow the Leader
Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
History: Worker Control Harco Style
Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
Taking The Piss
Tom Goes Off I
Tom Goes Off II
Youngsters Taken For A Ride
Wonderland boss, Steven Galbraithe, whose car boasts the personalised plate CEO 1, has rejected any form of severance payment for 200 predominantly young western Sydney employees who kept the amusement park ticking over.
Galbraithe, accused of "rorting the system" by the LHMU, has been caught out in a number of discrepancies since regaling the public with a tale of woe, worthy of the park's Disneyland theme.
Initially Galbraithe blamed a string of outside factors, including SARS, Avian bird flu, terrorism and the Ansett failure, for his company's decision to close Sydney's last remaining amusement park from April 26.
He categorically denied to staff, and the public, that the land had been sold.
Some doubt was thrown on all these claims when State Minister for Western Sydney, Diane Beamer, revealed International Theme Park Prop Ltd had, in fact, sold the Wonderland site to ING's real estate arm which planned to develop it as another industrial park.
Wonderland has capped payouts for around 40 permanent employees at a maximum of eight weeks.
Galbraithe's attitude to the plight of employees has been described as "ordinary" by the LHMU's assistant secretary Mark Boyd.
"They list the vast majority of their staff as casual but they are not casual in most people's understanding of the term and they are probably not casual in law either," Boyd says.
"They are using casualisation to deny 200 western Sydney workers any redundancy or severance payments. But these people work regular shifts, with a regular expectation of work, and set rosters. Many of them have been with Wonderland for years.
"Now that we've dismissed Avian Bird Flu and SARS from the equation, it's obvious this company has a $52.5 million pot of gold it is not prepared to share with its workforce.
"It is another example of employers rorting the system by hiding behind casualisation."
Workers at the park were angered when police were called to a stop work meeting in the car park last week.
Boyd claims Wonderland is still searching employee's bags on entering and leaving the site, despite giving the IRC an assurance the practice would cease.
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