||Issue No. 271||08 July 2005|
Interview: Battle Stations
Unions: The Workers, United
Politics: The Lost Weekend
Industrial: Truth or Dare
History: A Class Act
Economics: The Numbers Game
International: Blonde Ambition
Training: The Trade Off
Review: Bore of the Worlds
Poetry: The Beaters Medley
The Locker Room
Do It Yourself?
Vale the Eight Hour Day
The vision thing
Campaign Pushes Right Buttons
It’s Time to Punt the PM
Bob Each Way
Hits the Mark
Reforms not an Erosion
Dad's Choice Goes AWAL
Masterton Homes told carpenter Phil Withington to sign the AWA, which would have slashed his family’s income by more than $7000 a year, or he wouldn’t have a job.
He was one of seven Masterton employees punted after they refused to sign individual contracts, last week, further undermining federal government insistence that its AWAs would be voluntary.
Withington tried to meet his bosses with a union representative but was told he was no longer required.
"I was surprised that they didn't have the respect to discuss the matter," he said.
"I asked if I don't sign what would happen - she [the Masterton representative] said that would be your resignation."
When he raised projects he was working on, he was told contractors would do the job.
"My work was repairing sub-contractors' work," he said.
In the union movement's first "naming and shaming" of a workplace law "abuser", the CFMEU will take Withington's case to prospective Masterton customers outside its Warwick Farm showroom.
Union members are picketing, distributing flyers and talking to customers about the treatment of the seven dumped workers.
They are calling on the public to back their colleagues and join an email campaign, telling Masterton Homes what they think of its action.
The CFMEU's Andrew Ferguson said this was a warning to all employers that if they attacked workers' rights they would be up for a fight.
Withington said he had to take a stand on the issue to set an example for his boys.
"I tell my kids to always stand up for your rights as my father told me," Withington said.
"I said to my wife I have to set an example - I can't go against what I told my boys."
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson said it was "nothing but a fraud" that Masterton Homes continued to bill itself as a company devoted to family security.
Details on how to contact Masterton Homes are available at http://www.cfmeu-construction-nsw.com.au/.
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