||Issue No. 264||20 May 2005|
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
Protest is Child’s Play
The funsters will perform alongside big name entertainers and comedians at Sydney Olympic Park as working people and their families enjoy their "Last Weekend’.
Event organiser and Unions NSW secretary John Robertson says the August 7 event should be a great family day with clowns, rides and stalls to entertain the kids.
But he says it would also have a serious purpose, sending the message that time with the family would be one of the big casualties under the proposed changes to work laws.
Under plans expected to be unveiled this week, the Howard Government is targeting workers rights in four key ways:
- reducing the minimum wage by taking control away from the independent AIRC
- drastically cutting awards and removing key conditions from all workers
- removing dismissal and redundancy rights from all workers employed in businesses with less than 20 employees
- removing bargaining rights, making it harder for workers to join unions and actively promoting secret individual contracts.
"The bottom line is that work rights and the pillars that support secure families and that if you attack these rights you end up attacking families," Robertson says.
"It's only apt that our energy is put into a major event that puts quality family time front and centre in this debate."
The Last Weekend will be the culmination of a three month campaign to raise awareness about the attack on workers which formally kicks off this Friday with a state wide hook-up of delegates over Sky Channel.
A series of campaign events are planned over the coming months including:
- 'The Things Fall Apart' on conference on June 3 where leading academics will chart the impact of labour market deregulation on families and the community.
- The national week of action -
- The state wide stop work meeting, broadcast via SKY channel - July 1
- Lobbying government Mps in marginal seats
- Community action days targeting junior sports events.
Robertson says the aim of the campaign in NSW is to mainstream the message that reducing work rights weakens families, the community and the economy.
"This is a low road agenda that will leave more and more families struggling to have a decent quality of life."
For more on the national campaign go to http://www.rightsatwork.com
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