||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
Boeing Hits Turbulence
The union claims Hawker de Havilland, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing, is illegally discriminating against more than 1000 members employed at Port Botany and Port Melbourne.
Workers on collective agreements were shocked when the company denied them $1300 bonuses, last year. The company quarantined payouts to workers on individual contracts and senior staff, and financial analysts believe this year's payouts could hit $3000 a head.
Payments under Boeing's Share Values Trust arrangement are triggered by the company's share price.
The AMWU and APESMA won the right to pursue discrimination action, last month, when Federal Court Justice Donnell Ryan granted them leave to file an amended claim, and to discover documents.
The documents controlling the Share Values Trust are held at Boeing's Seattle headquarters and its subsidiary has stone-walled efforts to see them.
"Hawker de Havilland hides behind the terms of the trust but has made it extremely difficult for anyone in Australia to see them," AMWU spokesman, Maurice Addison, said.
"We have been asking to see them for the last nine months, without success."
Essentially, Addison says, the company says it cannot be held accountable for arrangements entered into by its parent.
"Our claim is that it is unlawful, under Australian law, to discriminate against workers under the freedom of association provisions of the Workplace Relations Act," Addison says.
"They are using the corporate veil to try to dodge their obligations under Australian law."
Australian workers, union and non-union, had expected to be paid under terms set out by Boeing in 1996.
Addison said when it became apparent the distribution point would be triggered, last year, delegates asked managers about allocations and had been assured everyone would qualify.
The company now claims that the US deed precludes payouts to anyone on a collective agreement.
Justice Ryan rejected Hawker's bid to have the discrimination action thrown out. It has been set down for a directions hearing on September 9.
Blue Goes Global
Meanwhile, locked out workers at Boeing Williamtown RAAF base are taking their campaign for a collective agreement global.
The International Metalworkers' Union has offered assistance to the locked out workers.
An email campaign is featured on the IMF's website .
Those supporting the Boeing workers are writing letters of protest to the following people:
Senator Robert Hill, Federal Minister for Defence [email protected]
Kevin Andrews, Federal Minister for Workplace Relations [email protected]
David Gray, Managing Director, Boeing Australia Limited [email protected]
W. James Mc Nerney, Chairman, President and CEO, Boeing World Headquarters [email protected]
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