||Issue No. 289||11 November 2005|
The Great Repression
Interview: Public Defender
Legal: Craig's Story
Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
Politics: Queue Jumping
History: Iron Heel
Economics: Waging War
International: Under Pressure
Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
Review: A Pertinent Proposition
The Locker Room
We're Just Serfin'
To the Shredder
Howard in Redundancy Raid
“Under John Howard’s new laws these people could lose most of their redundancy payments at a stroke of the company’s pen,” assistant Victorian secretary, Steve Dargavel, said.
"Our priority is to ensure that Silcraft doesn't use Howard's new laws to renege on its agreement."
Workplace laws, rammed through federal parliament last week, give employers the ability to back out of previously-binding agreements, on their expiry, by giving written notice. In those situations, employees revert to award minimum entitlements.
Under current laws, agreed terms and conditions, remain effective until they are superseded by a new agreement.
The problem for people at Silcraft is that their EBA expires in March but the company won't shut down operations until July.
For workers, who have up to 25 years service with the auto components company, that could mean the difference between an $80,000 payout and a maximum of eight weeks at award rates, around $6000.
"We are confident we will sort this out because there is good organisation on the job," Dargavel says. "But it is a reminder of one of the ways in which John Howard is trying to rip people off."
Silcraft announced, last week, it would close after 50 years of producing auto componentry. The first 80 people will be shown the door before Christmas and the remaining 370 will be out of work by mid-2006.
The firm cannot meet 20 percent "cost downs" demanded by major car companies who, increasingly, are sourcing parts from low-wage Asian countries.
The demise of the Mount Waverley plant follows the recent closures of Autoliv, and Calsonic, at the cost of more than a thousand jobs in the dwindling sector.
The AMWU is urging state and federal governments to adopt an industry policy to prevent the "de-industrialisation" of Australia.
"Over the last three years, this country has lost 14,000 jobs from the auto sector, alone, while the Howard Government has sat on its hands," national secretary, Doug Cameron said.
"Since the re-election of the Howard Government, last year, 800 fulltime manufacturing jobs have been lost every week.
"It is time the federal government did something to arrest the disastrous decline.
"The reason for these job losses is that Holden, Ford and Toyota have all awarded supply contracts to foreign countries, including China."
Cameron said Holden receives hundreds of millions of dollars in government grants each year but shows "zero loyalty" to Australian suppliers.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|