||Issue No. 238||17 September 2004|
Interview: True Matilda
Politics: State of Play
Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Unions: Rhodes Scholars
National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
International: People Power
Economics: A Bit Rich
History: Mine Shafts
Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Organising: Building a Wave
Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Culture: The Word On The Street
The Locker Room
Invest In Dignity!
Capt Cook Discovers Flexibility
Captain Cook Cruises boss, Anthony Haworth, made that clear on the first day of employer testimony to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission full bench.
Haworth said his company could employ more part-time staff as long as it wasn't obliged to offer them work or money.
"Ideally," he said, he would like to offer part-time workers "zero, total flexibility".
When Labor Council counsel put it to Haworth that he would not guarantee hours at all, he replied "you are making it sound dreadful. I guess the thing they would get out of it is pro rata holiday pay and sick leave and security of tenure of some kind. They would know that they are part of a core of people who would be given permanent accord, permanent status in the business, permanent part time status."
Haworth parroted the John Howard line that the key to greater employment opportunities with businesses like his was "flexibility" where, he reiterated, guaranteed hours for employers would be "ideally none".
Haworth was opposing guaranteed minimum hours of work contained in the part time section of the Caterers State Award.
Captain Cook Cruises, he said, operated four vessels on Sydney Harbour every day of the year with a permanent workforce of seven, supplemented by casual labour.
He agreed Captain Cook had the "work capacity" to employ more permanent masters and engineers than it did.
"You could put that case forward," Haworth said. "Yes."
Metalliferous Mining representative, Simon Billing, told the hearing that labour hire was helpful to companies who wanted to limit their Worker Compensation premiums.
He said a "predecessor rule" landed new owners with the claims history of a previous mine operator.
Billings said that if Labor Council's claim for the right to convert to permanent employment had been in effect it could have prevented the continued operation of Cobar's Elouera Mine when new owners used labour hire to avoid being landed with the claims history built up by self-insurer Pasminco.
NSW Labor Council is arguing for provisions that would ...
- entitle regular casuals to choose permanency after six months service with the same employer
- entitle labour hire employees to employment with the host employer after six months doing the same job for the same employer
- commit employers to full consultation with employees and relevant unions prior to contracting out, and to guaranteeing existing jobs, wages and conditions.
The case is continuing.
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