|Issue No 25||06 August 1999|
Rail Workers on Collision Course with Carr
Plans to contract out more than 300 rail jobs at below award conditions are set to spark major industrial action and conflict between the industrial and political wings of the labour movement.
Rail Bus and Tram Union state secretary Nick Lewocki has called on State Labor backbenchers to intervene in Caucus to roll Transport Minister Carl Scully or face the withdrawal of union support at future preselections.
The blue centres around plans by CountryLink to outsource customer service jobs to the lowest bidder to save a measly $3 million.
Lewocki says he's been informed that a private consultant has benchmarked labour costs against workers in South Australia, where workers were forced to sign individual workplace agreements that reduced their wage rates and conditions of employment by 40 per cent.
He says it's an outrage that a Labor Government was using Liberal states as the benchmark for its workers, when the low rates are the result of anti-worker industrial relations policies they purport to oppose.
And even there, Lewocki says the Kennett Government's privatisation of public transport in Victoria provided for the protection of railworkers' conditions of employment as part of the privatisation.
The RBTU has resolved to campaign against these anti-worker proposals both industrially and politically - including using October's state conference to call Carr and key Ministers to account.
Backing Australian Workers Union state secretary Russ Collison's call for Labor MPs to be forced to commit themselves to the labour movement before receiving any further support, Lewocki says it's time for all Labor MPs to stand up to the economic rationalists running this government.
"It's time for a backbench revolt," he says. "It's time for Labor MPs who rely on our vote to realise that it's now their jobs that are in jeopardy."
Interview: Beneath the Arch
Arch Bevis has been given the job of charting Federal Labor’s agenda for the 21st century. He tells us where he’s heading.
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Health workers are planning contingencies for the Millennium Bug. Just in case...
Politics: It's a Wired, Wired World
Labor's federal IT spokeswoman Kate Lundy looks at some of the challenges for politics in the information economy.
International: Lufthansa faces Global Cyber-picket
270 workers sacked for a one–day strike - support the T&G campaign for human rights at Heathrow.
Satire: Outrage as Freed Killer Lives in House
Despite moving away from Waterloo Primary School, controversy continues to follow released killer John Lewthwaite after it was discovered that he is now living in a house.
Review: Reversing Union Decline
A leading labour thinkers asks: how do we turn back the membership tide?
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005