||Issue No. 263||13 May 2005|
A Fistful of Dollars
Interview: Fortress NSW
Unions: Fashions Afield
Industrial: Pay Dirt
Politics: Infrastructure Blues
History: Big Day Out
International: Making History
Economics: The Fear Factor
Review: The Robots Revolt
Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The Locker Room
Giant Collapses on Ankle
Angry delegates from the union’s construction and timber divisions mounted a protest outside QBE’s Parramatta offices, last Friday, after learning insurance company-ordered cuts to workers compensation payments had resulted in Isabelita Cruz having her power cut off.
QBE had slashed the former timber worker's weekly entitlement to $89.95 a week, forcing her to seek assistance from the Salvation Army.
Timber Workers' president, Brad Parker, said QBE had also "stood over" a vocational assessment officer to try and have Cruz taken off the books.
After meeting CFMEU protestors, QBE agreed to apologise to the Filipina immigrant, boost her weekly entitlement by around $250 and pay for a long-awaited ankle operation.
"For every Isabelita there are nine other people out there getting done over by insurance companies," Parker said. "They go to extraordinary lengths to deny injured workers their entitlements. It's what insurance companies do.
"Isabelita had been a process worker in a bedding factor for over 16 years. Suddenly, they ruled she was fit enough to do clerical work and, on that basis, chopped her payment to $89.95 a week, the difference between the clerical award and the rate for the job she actually did.
"In the end, it was a great result but no more than Isabelita was entitled to.
"These insurance companies have got to start treating workers properly."
Cruz was forced to quit work after sustaining injuries to her shoulder and ankle.
She had been booked in for ankle surgery but the procedure was cancelled when QBE refused to pay.
When the CFMEU made contact, she was hobbling around and surviving with the help of Savation Army handouts.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|