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  Issue No 27 Official Organ of LaborNet 20 August 1999  

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Work/Time/Life

The Good Type of Wharf Security

Extracted from This Working Life - the ACTU's monthly report on Work/Time/Life

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has locked in better job security for casuals as part of its collective agreement with P&O Ports.

Under the agreement permanent part-time jobs will be created and the level of casual employment will be targeted at no more than 10% to 20% of the workforce (depending on the port). About 450 full-time jobs will go as part of a voluntary redundancy plan.

Around 150 permanent part-time jobs will be created, guaranteeing a minimum of 35 ordinary hours work each week and an existing, but little used category of "guaranteed wage employees" (gwe employees) will be expanded.

GWE employees are guaranteed a minimum number of hours work each week (16 hours work a week in most ports, but less in some regional or very small ports), with the opportunity to work more hours if the work is available. GWE's employees in major ports will have work opportunities to earn an income of about $30,000 a year, which means better wage certainty and the ability to make longer term plans, such as taking out a mortgage. Previously, casual workers had no guarantees about hours or wages.

MUA Assistant National Secretary, Mick O'Leary said that the P&O agreement showed that the union was committed to representing casual workers on the waterfront and achieving a better deal for them, as well as its traditional full-time membership.

"Like most industries, the use of casuals on the wharves has grown like topsy over the past twenty plus years. For example, prior to this agreement 35 per cent of the total workforce of P&O in Brisbane were casuals. Now there'll be about 120 permanents, 55 permanent part-timers or gwe employees and less than 20 casuals, or only 10 per cent of the workforce.

"In Melbourne and Sydney, we've replaced all casual jobs with permanent part-time or gwe employment. Previously in Melbourne there were only twenty people employed as gwe employees, with a 15 hour guaranteed minimum and 73 casuals who had no certainty at all about their hours. The new arrangements will mean 55 people will be employed as permanent part-timers and another 55 as gwe employees," O'Leary said.

The new collective agreement also sets the maximum working day at 12 hours. Previously, shifts of up to 16 hours could be worked by permanents who had the option to work the extra hours as overtime before casuals could be used for the work.


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*    See the entire edition of This Working Life!

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*   Issue 27 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Stepping Up To The Plate
ACTU secretary-in-waiting Greg Combet talks about his report on international trade union trends and the need to adapt for the future.
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*  Work/Time/Life: The Good Type of Wharf Security
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has locked in better job security for casuals as part of its collective agreement with P&O Ports.
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*  International: Venezuela Warned By Global Labour Group
Venezuela's new Constituent Assembly has drafted a decree providing for the dissolution of the country's national trade union organisation, the CTV.
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*  Legal: Politically Motivated Case Against Unionist Fails
A politically motivated extortion case against Eric Wicker, a long-time trade unionist on the Port Kembla waterfront has failed.
*
*  Republic: Direct Election Republicans who say YES Ö and MORE!
Despairing at the sight of Ted Mack and Phil Cleary fronting for Kerry Jones and the Australians for A Constitutional Monarchy? Appalled at the disastrous strategy and paralysis of the Australian Republican Movement? A significant group of Republicans has an answer for you!
*
*  Unions: Technology for the Times
New technology offers exciting opportunities which help union growth, according to this extract from [email protected]
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*  History: Australian Unions and Industrial Action 1788-1900
A project is under way to compile a comprehensive record of unions, informal worker organisation and strikes from the period of European settlement to 1900 using a specially designed computer database.
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*  Review: Stage Left! - Workers Theatre Hits the Mark
'Rare' is the word on the Melbourne Workers Theatre production, 'Who's Afraid of the Working Class?' currently touring the eastern states of Australia.
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*  Satire: Australia's Most Earnest
Strewth magazine scours the cultural landscape for its inaugural Earnest Bastard of the Year Award.
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News
»  Combetís Call - Double Effort Needed Now
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»  Rally or Surf Party? Itís the Workersí Call
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»  Vizard Agenda Analysed
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»  Truckies Face Another Oakdale
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»  Former Union Leader to Investigate SOCOG Uniforms
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»  Second Steggles Mum Wins Job Back
*
»  Strip Leads to Fair Wear Win
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»  Rail Security: Scully Cuts Staff as Assaults Rise
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»  Civil Libertarian Support Sought Against "Big Brother"
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»  Dita Sari takes Sydney by Storm.
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Columns
»  Guest Report
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Piers Watch
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Letters to the editor
»  Thanks for Einstein
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»  A Non-Unionist's Sympathy
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»  A Mexican on Piers
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»  Group Homes Claims Disputed
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»  Rallying Cries
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»  Security Overload
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