||Issue No. 267||10 June 2005|
Rivers of Gold
Interview: The Baby Drought
Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
Workplace: The Invisible Parents
History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
Politics: All God's Children
Economics: Spun Out
International: Shakey Trials
Legal: Civil Distrubance
Review: Crash Course In Racism
Poetry: You're Fired
The Locker Room
All The Way With The USA
Expensive Door Charge
Teen Years in Detention
Court Cases are Media’s Drug
Lang Is Right
Hertz Meenz Hurtz
Howard Chokes Working Women
The service which helps between 2000 and 3000 working women every year has been forced to close its doors due to a funding freeze and continuous uncertainly about Government support.
The Working Women's Centre is the state's only independent provider of free industrial legal advice for non union women. It is funded by the NSW and Federal Governments and supported by a range of unions and individuals.
This week the Centre said it had no choice but to close after the Federal Government refused repeated requests for a funding boost and failed to confirm any money would be available until almost the day last year's funds were due to run out.
Unions NSW deputy assistant secretary and Working Women's Centre treasurer Alison Peters said it was a deliberate tactic on the part of the Liberal Government to hold back on funding in order to choke unwanted services.
"It is no coincidence that on the eve of launching the greatest attack of workers' right in Australia's history, the Howard Government has cut off assistance to those who will be hardest hit."
"This is about gagging dissent on unfair laws and stripping workers of every protection."
Working Women's Centre Chair Rae Cooper said it was the state's most disadvantaged women who would be hardest hit by the closure.
She said the major clients of the service were low paid casual, part-time and permanent workers who were not members of their union and were unable to afford to hire a private solicitor.
Of the thousands of women helped every year by the service about one third were experiencing pregnancy related discrimination, whether it be outright sackings, problems returning to work following maternity leave, or being blocked from accessing flexible work arrangements.
Cooper said bullying, unfair dismissals, and underpayment of wages were also major issues, with demand for the Centre's services increasing every year.
Doors are set to close at the Centre from Wednesday 30 June.
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