||Issue No. 272||15 July 2005|
Home Ground Advantage
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
The vision thing
You C.A.N. Do It
Crafty Boss Bytes Staff
Bytecraft, which has the contract to maintain TAB betting machines, has staff on AWAs that include a 48 hour week with no penalty rates or leave loading. They force workers to take parental leave out of sick leave – all for a base salary of $27,000 a year.
Under a 2000 Certified Agreement between Bytecraft and the ETU provided technicians earned $54,000 a year.
In October, 2003, the Office of the Employment Advocate okayed the AWAs, arguing they complied with the Business Equipment Technical Service Award, although no TAB betting machine maintenance technician had ever been employed under this award.
A competitor was paying technicians $44,000 prior to Bytecraft taking over the contract.
The individual contracts provide an hourly rate a little under a dollar above the minimum wage and allow for summary dismissal, 12-hour shifts and make no mention of occupational health and safety, or personal protective equipment.
An anti-discrimination clause covers every legislated ground for discrimination except union membership.
In 2001, Bytecraft CEO John Rowland made two ETU members redundant a day after his manager told staff that there was an "excess" of work.
The ETU took the matter to the industrial umpire as a case of anti-union discrimination. Commissioner Lewin of the Industrial Relations Commission was scathing of the evidence of Rowland in determining a payout of over $60,000 to the two sacked workers, on top of their existing entitlements.
Virgin "Robs" $4,000
Meanwhile, the Office of the Employment Advocate has ticked off on AWAs that allow Virgin Mobile to "rob" call centre staff by up to $4,000 a year, according to United Services Union secretary Michael Want.
Want says the move totally contradicts Prime Minister John Howard's 1996 claim that no worker would be worse off under his laws.
"This proves that Howard's commitment is a joke and that without collective protection workers are being ripped off right across Australia."
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