||Issue No. 293||20 December 2005|
Waves of Destruction
Interview: Back to the Future
Unions: A Real Page Turner
Industrial: The Pin-Striped Union
International: Around The World In 365 Days
Legends: Terrific, Tommy
Your Rights At Work: Worth Fighting For
Politics: The Year That Was
Economics: Master and Servant Revisited
Culture: 2005: The Year of Living Repetitively
Bad Boss: The Bottom Ten
Religion: Hymns from a Different Song Sheet
The Locker Room
Free to Rat
Tax Cuts and Cockroaches
Proportion, Not Distortion
Workers Walk As Warnings Wiped
About 50 workers stopped work at BlueScope's Springhill operation after finding out they had been singled out; being sent letters saying the company was "extremely disappointed" with attendance at the protests against the Government's workplace changes.
The letter warned any further "unauthorised absences" would result in disciplinary action.
BlueScope went to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, where Commissioner McKenner directed the company to take back the letters and remove references to them in employees' files.
"They were just trying to say we will decide what you can do and what you can't do," says AMWU Wollongong organiser Brad Hattenfels. "The workers thought the letter was an attack on them and the thing is they didn't take the whole day off, not all workers stopped, production didn't stop and they didn't lose any money."
"The 50 employees that took the action saved the 500 strong workforce at Springhill from receiving these letters."
Meanwhile workers from John Danks and Son in Sydney welcomed a recommendation by the NSW IRC that they should not receive written warnings for attending the November 15 rallies.
They were given the warnings two weeks after attending the National Protest that saw over 500,000 people across Australia protest against the Howard government's WorkChoices legislation.
National Union of Workers secretary Derrick Belan said he was proud that the workers at Danks and Son decided to walk with tens of thousands of other workers in Sydney on November 15.
"In a time where the Federal Government is determined to take away the rights of ordinary citizens, workers like those at Danks and Son exercised their democratic right to protest on November 15.
"The recommendation also illustrates just how well the NSW Industrial Relations Commission works.
"I just hope that the now-removed warnings issued to our members at Danks and Son is not a sign of things to come under John Howard's new workplace landscape."
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