Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 22 Official Organ of LaborNet 16 July 1999  




*  Interview: You’ve Got To Be Kidding!
British legal academic Dr Keith Ewing can’t believe we’re still debating whether workers’ entitlements should be protected.
*  Unions: The Shaw Plan
Jeff Shaw unveils his national plan to protect workers entitlements.
*  History: The Case of the Packer Lift
An industrial history of Australian Consolidated Press looks into the media empire.
*  International: Crisis in Ecuador
An urgent appeal for solidarity with the popular uprising in Ecuador.
*  Environment: It's In The Genes
Did you eat genetically modified food today? Add your voice to label all gene tech foods campaign.
*  Review: Around the Grounds
Labor Council's Don Machiatto goes in search of the perfect cup of coffee.
*  Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
Read the latest issue of Labour Review, a resource for trade union officials.
*  Satire: Darth Reith's Workplace Relations (Phantom Menace) Bill
Workers have been positively thrilled by the prospect of less pay, no sick leave.

Oakdale Miners State Their Case

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Wobbly Radio


A Major Beef for Meaties!

Workers' Rights Butchered
Meatworkers at a southern NSW abattoir are being forced to pay their own workers compensation insurance after being moved onto body hire arrangements.
[ Full Story » ]

Unions Back Shaw Plan
NSW trade unions have backed the NSW Attorney General Jeff Shaw's plan to protect workers entitlements and will campaign to shame the Howard Government into embracing it.
[ Full Story » ]

Buddy’s Buddy Still Singing Blues
When performer Jonathon Mill landed a plum role in the Buddy Holly musical he never expected to end up $6,000 out of pocket when the promoters pulled the plug.
[ Full Story » ]

Labour Calls Labor to Account
ALP Members of Parliament should commit themselves to the trade union movement or lose preselection and financial support, according to unions angry at the Carr Government’s continued push towards competitive tendering.
[ Full Story » ]

Olympic Gear - Labor Standards Should Apply
Organisers of the Sydney 2000 Olympics who have admitted that cost-containment is a major factor in producing official uniforms overseas are being asked to ensure that minimum labour standards will be met abroad.
[ Full Story » ]

Ship of Shame into Darling Harbour
The MV Global Mariner has arrived in Sydney as part of a $25 million international campaign to raise awareness about the widespread abuse of seafarers and our environment in the world shipping industry.
[ Full Story » ]

Cardboard King Seeks Warehouse Showdown
One of Australia’s richest men, cardboard king Richard Pratt, has escalated a showdown with striking workers by advertising for secruity guards prepared to break picket lines.
[ Full Story » ]

Nurses Enter New Years Fray
Nurses have called for a coordinated push by public sector workers who’ll be forced to work New Years Eve to receive a one-off payment, as the union movement awaits a response on its call for December 31 to be declared a public holiday.
[ Full Story » ]

University Under Fire For Union-Busting Tactics
The NSW Minister for Education has been urged to intervene after the Southern Cross University stopped all membership payroll deductions in the middle of pay negotiations.
[ Full Story » ]

Inquiry to Lift the Lid on Public Service Bargaining
The CPSU has welcomed the announcement of the Finance and Public Administration References Committee inquiry into Public Employment matters.
[ Full Story » ]

Currawong Back on Agenda
NSW unions will this week consider a new deal to upgrade facilities at the Labor Council’s Pittwater property Currawong in a management agreement with the Transcendental Mediation movement.
[ Full Story » ]

APHEDA Seeks Campaign and Marketting Officer
The trade union aid agency, APHEDA is looking for an experienced campaigner and marketer for a 12-month part-time position.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Youth Wages Campaign a Must for the Union Movement

  • Cheers for Piers

  • Cheers from Geneva

  • Editorial

    A Basic Entitlement

    "What you have already earned is rightfully yours" seems to be a an uncontroversial enough proposition.

    But in an era of slick corporate lawyers, penny-pinching management and constant economic change even the basic givens of working life seem to be up for grabs.

    The Oakdale miners, whose plight has so focussed community attention on the issue of unpaid entitlements, are just the latest in a long line of workers who have been left out of pocket when a business has failed.

    An estimated 3,000 workers each year are robbed of their entitlements like long service leave, accrued sick leave, holiday pay - entitlements that have been legally secured by the trade union movement over the past 100 years.

    It says much about our priorities in the last two decades that these rights have been swamped by the higher demands of corporate law, justified in the name of encouraging investment. All workers should join the Oakdale miners in posing the simple question: at what cost?

    Jeff Shaw's plan to secure workers' entitlements deserves support because it places these industrial rights back where they belong; at the top of any carve-up of a corporate pie.

    Workers Online accepts that economic change is inevitable. There will be losers as the globalised economy takes hold. Jobs will disappear. Businesses will legitimately go belly up.

    No single national government can reverse this trend; indeed to do so will only harm the workforce as a whole. But most have at least managed to protect the lawfully earned entitlements of the workers become the innocent victims of this change.

    Surely that is a fundamental test of any civilised society.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Chris Connolly on the People's Bank Version 2.0 Neill Jones Squeezes the Magic Sponge Deirdre Mahoney on Women, Reith and an Unwanted Wave Piers Goes Missing



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