||Issue No. 269||24 June 2005|
Truth In Advertising
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
Stuck for words
More care, less scare
Do or die time
China throws in Mao’s towel
Don’t strike out strikes
Choice Bro, Andrews Unmasked
Twenty four hours after Andrews labelled ads about his government’s IR agenda "deceptive" and "misleading", staff from his own department confirmed they were spot on.
Angry Department of Employment and Workplace Relations staffers rallied in Sydney to refute their Minister's claims workers' wouldn't be forced to sign individual contracts by legislation he is introducing to federal parliament.
Andrews' own department, they revealed, is already forcing new starters to sign non-union AWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements) as a condition of employment.
Further, they blew the whistle on the department's attempt to coerce 15 Melbourne colleagues into signing AWAs.
Their union, the CPSU, produced DEWR documentation supplied to the 15 with a Yes box already ticked, alongside the statement, "I acknowledge my commitment to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement".
The revelations rip the ground away from the government's attempt to soft-sell its radical IR agenda under the "freedom of choice" banner.
They left the Minister looking out of touch with his portfolio, coming just 24 hours after he demanded that an ACTU ad campaign be pulled off radio and television.
In an emotional counter-attack, Andrews blasted ads which claimed his legislation would force workers to sign AWAs.
"The bottom line is that no Australian worker can trust the word of the ACTU when it comes to explaining this legislation," Andrews said. "It is all about scare. It is dishonest and wrong."
The following day his credibility was in tatters.
Rather than dealing with his department's actions, Andrews chose to kick for touch. Andrews refused to comment on the CPSU evidence, saying he couldn't interfere with departmental IR strategies.
ACTU secretary, Greg Combet, called the Andrews defence "absurd" and pledged the advertising campaign would continue.
He labelled Andrews a "hypocrite".
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