Thatís Our Team
Hereís a test. Hands up all those who watched the news last night. Who can remember the weather forecast for tomorrow? What about the forecast in Perth?
Evan Thornley was a labour activist. Then he rode the tech wave. Now he's home with new ideas on how Labor can win the economic debate.
Workplace: Dirt Cheap
In her new book, Elizabeth Wynhausen learns how hard it is to live on the minimum wage.
Industrial: Daddy Doesnít Live With Us Anymore
Andreia Viegasí tells the story of the loss her young family has felt since her husband was killed at work, and the need for justice for families who fall victim to industrial manslaughter.
Economics: Who's Afraid of the BCA?
Big Business's agenda for Australia has gone from loopy to mainstream at the speed of light, writes Neale Towart
International: From the Wreckage
Working people across Iraq are struggling to build their own independent unions Ė and are successfully organising industrial action on the vital oil fields as well as in hotels, transport outlets and factories, Writes Andrew Casey
Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones
History: Meat and Three Veg
A new book recounts the impact of the Depression on women workers, writes Neale Towart,
Savings: Super Seduction
Sharks are circling your super. From July 1, banks and financial planners will have access to the nesteggs of an extra four million workers, writes Jim Marr.
Politics: Popping the 'E-Word'
Federal shadow treasurer Wayne Swan unveils Labor's new economic doctrine.
Poetry: To Know Somebody
This week saw an appointment to the ABC Board that was even more breathtaking than that of Liberal Party figure Michael Kroger. Resident Bard David Peetz celebrates the occasion with a reworking of an old Bee Gees hit.
Review: Off the Rails
A new play on the impact of rail privatisation in Britain has a poignant message for Sydney commuters, writes Alex Mitchell
Rev Kev: Innocent Shall Be Guilty
Itís Official - Taskforce "Hopeless"
Hollywood For Tropfest Evictees
Miner Problem for Feds
Students Driven to Sleep
Brogden Dances On Graves
Let Them Drink Beer
Traffic Fines Parked
The Airline That Flew a Kite
Hundreds Resist Porridge
Experts Back Better Childcare Pay
Mushroom Mums Win
Rotten Fruit Exposed
Workers Sue Rumsfeld
Activistís Whatís On
The Big Picture
Think about this: It takes 150 tonnes of iron ore to buy a plasma TV, writes Doug Cameron.
The Locker Room
Reducto Ad Absurdo
Phil Doyle offers advice for the lovelorn, and finds that things are getting smaller
Work is In
The rise and fall of the working hours debate in france is relevent to Australian workers, writes Daniel Donahoo and Tim Martyn
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP surveys the upcoming conservative centralist collective attack.
Stay Terra Firma on Tax
Postcard from Harvard
Australian union officials making the annual pilgrimage to the Harvard Trade Union Program learnt that, at least, they are not alone, says Natalie Bradbury.
Janetís Job No Victory
Royal Finger Lickers
Will $20 Restore Carr?
|other LaborNET sites
Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Rotten Fruit Exposed
Fruit growers complaining of a shortage of labour have been pinged for underpaying seasonal workers.
Pickers have also been hit by a lack of affordable accommodation and transport, and misleading conduct by some labour hire operators, according to unions.
Australian Workers Union (AWU) organisers are visiting the Mildura and Shepparton areas to act on complaints from seasonal workers during a two-week organising campaign last month.
Bill Shorten, AWU secretary, said stamping out exploitation of fruit pickers was essential to overcoming seasonal labour shortages that have led to plans to import "guest workers" from overseas.
The Sunraysia Mallee Economic Development Board announced plans earlier this year to import thousands of Chinese fruit pickers. The Federal Government is considering "guest worker" schemes.
"The AWU is working to improve occupational health and safety, accommodation, transport and Centrelink policies to make seasonal fruit picking more attractive,' says Shorten. "We are consulting with employer groups and government authorities about how to improve opportunities for local workers and build a strong future for the industry."
The AWU is also warning farm workers to check their rights before signing individual contracts or Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). Some growers are offering AWAs to avoid the conditions of the federal Horticultural Industry Award that came into effect across Victorian farms on January 1, as part the new "Common Rule" system.
The Australian Industrial Relations Commission will hear AWU cases against Mildura farm companies accused of exploiting seasonal workers.
Farm workers can contact the AWU for free advice by calling the toll free AWU Pickers Hotline during business hours on 1300 362 298 or e-mailing the AWU Pickers' On-line Service at any time on: [email protected]
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