||Issue No. 258||08 April 2005|
Be My Guest
Interview: [email protected]
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Censors Ban Workers Online
"This is about freedom of speech," says Geoff Derrick from the Financial Sector Union (FSU). "Workers Online is one of the only independent worker oriented industrial news services available to white collar private sector employees."
Workers Online is on a banned list of union publications which Suncorp staff are barred from accessing.
The FSU is concerned about ongoing delays in introducing the proposed NSW Workplace Surveillance Bill, which would make it illegal for employers to play big brother and snoop on employee emails.
The Attorney-General's Department has now advised that it expects the Bill to be tabled in the parliamentary session commencing early May. 2005.
SunCorp has previously been implicated in an alleged 'dirty tricks campaign' including a controversial ballot surrounding EBA approval and a campaign against the FSU during a merger between SunCorp and GIO.
"SunCorp for years has been automatically blocking emails fro the FSU to their workforce, which would be illegal under the proposed legislation," says Derrick. "There are a number of employers that are using electronic blocking of emails."
"What this case shows is that action is needed urgently; the states need to work together and with the Commonwealth to prevent this sort of management bullying,' says Unions NSW secretary John Robertson.
In a dispute before the Industrial Relations Commission over the rights of workplace representatives at Suncorp to engage in union activities, Vice President Lawler said that it would be "no skin off Suncorp's nose" for email to be sent to employees.
In a related incident a delegate at a Westpac branch in southwestern Sydney was cautioned for using work email for union communication.
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