||Issue No. 260||22 April 2005|
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
Sewage In The Streets
Sydney Water has flagged it will dismiss the workers in defiance of IRC Judge, Justice Boland, who supported the workers at the IRC on Wednesday.
The water utility claims Ron Austin and Tony Bagala carry injuries making them unfit to perform their jobs. But the workers insist they can do the work, are qualified for other roles, or could be retrained for clerical work.
ASU official Colin Lynch says the sackings are the tip of the iceberg with at least 120 other workers marked for termination. Lynch a mass meeting of 1500 workers voted for strike action, and more workers could follow them.
"These workers built the sewerage system of Sydney and were injured, often working in unsafe and dangerous conditions, and now they've reached middle age Sydney Water wants to dump them," said Lynch.
"Sydney Water owes then the opportunity to be retrained and to continue in productive jobs which are less manually demanding."
Lynch says Sydney Water is required by law to redeploy staff.
"You can't tell me in an organisation of 4000 people they can't find someone another job, they haven't even tried."
Bagala, who tore his bicep on the job in 1992, says though he can't use large jackhammers he can still perform his normal duties such as repairing sewers, and preparing pipes.
The team leader, who's been at the corporation for 29 years, says he's only on restricted duties at the insistence of Sydney Water.
"I can do all kinds of fieldwork, I can do plumbing, concreting, work on manholes, bricklaying, and steel work," said Bagala.
Bagala believes he is allocated jobs that simply set him up to fail.
"They're losing an experienced guy only because my manager makes a decision and it's final."
"You give the best years of your life to Sydney Water...the moment you get hurt, even though you get better, they don't want you anymore."
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|