Australia is facing a major crisis that could affect all of us in the decades to come, a shortage of skilled apprentices, tomorrow’s tradespeople who are the backbone of the economy.
Interview: Power and the Passion
ALP's star recruit Peter Garrett shares his views on unions, forests and being the Member for Wedding Cake Island
Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Tony Butterfield became a State of Origin gladiator at the unlikely age of 33. Even that, Jim Marr reports, couldn’t prepare him for the knock-down, drag-em-out world of modern IR.
Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Proposals to flog off NSW’s forests have raised eyebrows and temperatures amongst some of the key players reports Phil Doyle.
Housing: Home Truths
CFMEU national secretary John Sutton argues for a radical solution to the housing affordability crisis.
International: Boycott Busters
International unions have issued a new list of corporations breaching ILO sanctions to do business in Burma.
Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
The absurdities of neoclassical economic assumptions has never stood in the way of their being trotted out to justify profiteering and attacks on the rights of citizens. The AUSFTA is the latest rort we are supposed to swallow, writes Neale Towart.
History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Interest in JC Watson's short time as Labor's first Prime Minister should not detract from his more substantial role as Party leader, writes Mark Hearn
Review: Chewing the Fat
As debate rages in Australia about Fast Food advertising, Julianne Taverner takes a look at a side of the industry that Ronald McDonald won’t tell you about in Supersize Me.
Poetry: Dear John
Workers Online reader Rob Mullen shares some personal correspondence with our glorious leader.
Goons, Scabs in Desert Showdown
High Jump for Hardies
Task Force in Hiding
Court Cans Radio Bully
Trade Deal Muddies Water
Union Saves Kevin’s Bacon
CFMEU Bowls Howard Model
Mildura Bans Toxic Avenger
Breakthrough Saves 87 Positions
Two Million Jobs Traded
Death Halts Sydney Tunnel
Trainees Score $200,000
Apprentice Crisis Worsens
Activists What’s On!
The Westie Wing
As the NSW Labor Government sells its first budget deficit in nine years, the real concern for the union movement is the devil in the detail, especially when it comes to procurement agreements, writes Ian West.
Labor's IR spokesman Craig Emerson launches a few characteristic salvos across the Parliamentary chamber
The Locker Room
Tears After Bedtime
Phil Doyle says that it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
Left Holding The Baby
Postcard from Vietnam
APHEDA's Hoang Thi Le Hang reports from the north of Vietnam on a project being fund by Australian unionists.,
Tom On Alienation
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Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Trainees Score $200,000
Nine trainee engineering officers are splitting up more than $200,000 thanks to ETU advocacy.
The trainee engineering officers are employed outside the award that covers 3500 workers at Energy Australia.
They have no sick leave, holiday pay, or long service leave - one had done over 10 weeks work for no payment whatsoever.
After working for substandard pay rates, up to $10,000 a year less than award trainees, and without many basic entitlements some of the youngsters are receiving over $35,000 in the hand.
Third year trainee Adam Nelson, who has $16,000 and six weeks paid holidays coming to him, says he was notified in March by the ETU he wasn't getting award entitlements.
Nelson says it's so hard to get meaningful full time work that provides a life long career he was prepared to accept any offer to get a chance.
"We are happy to have it sorted out and to be official full time employees of one of the best companies in the state," says Nelson.
ETU delegate Mike Brien says once Energy Australia was made aware of its error it was quick to make amends.
"We had them over a barrel, they didn't take us to the Industrial Relations Commission because they knew they'd lose," says Brien.
Brien says the victory is an example of great teamwork between the trainees and ETU organiser Steve Butler.
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