The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 243 22 October 2004  

The Perfect Storm
The storm clouds are gathering on the industrial horizon, an unholy trinity of a hostile legislative agenda, a radical High Court decision and emboldened employers.


Interview: The Last Bastian
AMWU state secretary Paul Bastian has been at the centre of the three year battle to bring James Hardie to account.

Unions: High and Dry
Jim Marr unpacks the recent High Court Electrolux decision to test whether the ruling matches the media hype.

Security: Liquid Borders
The Howard Government loves to trumpet its national security credentials but a close look at its record in shipping sinks the myth argues MUA�s Zoe Reynolds.

Industrial: No Bully For You
Phil Doyle reports on how bringing dignity and respect to the workplace is undermining bullies.

History: Radical Brisbane
Radical Brisbane extends the 'Radical City' series into the Red North. Two experienced activists, academics and writers turn South East Queensland history on its head.

International: No Vacancies
More than 1400 hotel union workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 2, are on strike at four major hotels in San Francisco, California, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Life After Capitalism
A situation that all anarchists dream of? Michael Albert has been more than dreaming., writes Neale Towart

Technology: Cyber Winners
Labourstart's Eric Lee looks at a good news story of global online campaigning that has delivered a victory.

Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Teaser: Wondering why the polls are all over the place? Ask our resident bard and psephologist.

Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Voice of Southern Labor highlights the role music played in the 1930's US textile strikes, but more than that it provides a lucid insight into the roots of modern capitalism and some truly organic organising, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Hardie Rewards Asbestos Rats

 Kentucky Fried Kids

 Miner Shafts Democracy

 Fine Drop in Ocean of Blood

 Sydney Water Outsources Brains

 Head Injuries to No Injuries

 Bosses Celebrate with Sack-athon

 Kangaroo Strikebreakers Spotlighted

 Officers Change Customs

 Union Backs League

 Carr Trouble At Port Botany

 Pratt Backs Warwick Farm Loser

 Students Fight Summer Blues

 Activists What's On!


True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues It�s Time � for an IR reality check.

The Westie Wing
Much work has been done in the past to ease the plight of clothing outworkers in New South Wales. It's time to step up the pressure, as sweatshops and clothing contract work are thriving stronger than ever, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Who Started the Class War?
Evan Jones looks across the Australian political landscape and asks who are the real class warriors?

The Locker Room
First Past The Post
Phil Doyle is coming up in class and is all the better for recent racing

Westie Wing
Our favourite state MP returns for his monthly Macquarie Street wrap.

Positive Action
Australian unionists are helping give hope to Filipino workers living with HIV/AIDS.

 Historical Reversion?
 Whose prosperity?
 Shop Till the Worker Drops
 Unreported Views
 Bob�s Silver Anniversary
 Hit And Myth
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees



Kangaroo Strikebreakers Spotlighted

The flight attendants union is supporting people hired by Qantas as strike breakers.

The FAAA is offering protection to people hired on short-term contracts that require them to be available for up to two months without pay.

The new recruits, who have received 11 days training rather than the usual six weeks, finish their course on October 21 but don't have any shifts shifts scheduled until December 11.

The employees are contractually prevented from doing other work in the interim and will not be paid for at least seven weeks.

Though initially lured into training with the offer of 12 month contracts the newly trained workers have only been offered three months.

Flight Attendants Association official Steve Reed says Qantas has no intention of giving the workers fulltime jobs and is playing on their enthusiasm to work in the industry.

Reed says many resigned from fulltime jobs for the chance of working for Qantas.

"It is very cruel," says Reed "we have amended our claim in the EBA to try to get these people full time employment."

"Patrick's don't have anything on this mob."

In a letter to the FAAA one recruit expresses "disgust" that Qantas has trained her simply as back up in the event of a strike.

"This is shattering news as we are after fulltime positions not just for a week or two and then (sic) left out in the cold with no job and no security.

"Our training group is scared that we are becoming the meat in the sandwich of this whole affair," the recruit writes.

The new recruits are training in the dead of night from 11pm until 8am and have to give passwords to be picked up from hotels by drivers.

They were also forbidden to talk to other flight attendants or other Qantas staff.

Qantas initially denied union claims the workers were strike breakers until media exposure forced them to admit, last week, the staff would be used in the event of industrial action by Flight Attendants.

Qantas plans to shift 1000 staff to London when the current EBA expires in December in a bid to save $18 million in accommodation and allowance costs.

The FAAA says the move mean flight crews will work longer hours for less money. Flight attendants have signalled their preparedness to strike over the issue during the busy Christmas period.

The dispute is looming as a key Bellweather for the Federal Government's new aggressive Industrial Relations strategy.

Management of the former publicly owned company have already clashed with the Australian Services Union this month after awarding directors a 66 percent pay rise.

ASU members have threatened industrial action over the million dollar pay rise, which comes only two years after a 40 percent increase.

Bomb in Santa's Sack

The media furore over Qantas' new recruits broke only days after Workers Online revealed plans by the airline to sack one of it's longest serving employees on the eve of Christmas.

Margaret Takis, who has served Qantas for 30 years and speaks five languages, injured herself pushing a wheelchair at the airport earlier this year, and was forced to take time off.

Takis' doctor says she is ready to return to work but Qantas labels her a "risk" and says, if she can't find an alternative position, she will be dumped.

Over 50 of Margaret Takis' workmates at Sydney's International Terminal have already signed a petition expressing outrage at the treatment of the 57-year-old, who is only a few years off retirement.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 243 contents

email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online