||Issue No. 295||17 February 2006|
Interview: Court's in Session
Industrial: Whose Choices?
Politics: Peter's Principles
Environment: TINA or Greener?
History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
Education: No AWA - No Job
Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
Review: Charlie the Serf
The Locker Room
The Black GST
STOP PRESS - 262 Day Strike Set To Finish
The Australian Workers Union National Secretary Bill Shorten has welcomed the release of the report of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission inquiry into the 262 day strike by Boeing employees who maintain the Airforce‚s F/A-18 Hornet jets at the Williamtown RAAF base near Newcastle.
The NSW Industrial Relations Commission Full Bench today found that it has jurisdiction to resolve the dispute and recommended an immediate arbitration and that the workforce return to work whilst it is arbitrating the matter.
The AWU will recommend to the striking Boeing workers that they return to work on Monday morning and will be supporting the application to arbitrate the dispute immediately. The AWU will also cease all actions in the Federal Commission.
AWU National Secretary Bill Shorten said he was pleased that the NSW Commission found in favour of the Union's and NSW Government's claims and appealed to Boeing to abide by the independent umpire's decision.
"The NSW Industrial Relations Commission has found in the favour of the AWU and the NSW Government and we thank them for that - now it is time for Boeing to get serious and sit down at the bar table and negotiate a solution to this dispute that is fair and reasonable for all parties involved.
"These workers were not asking the world of Boeing, they were only seeking to get a fair day‚s pay for a fair day‚s work and the fact that the Commission found in their favour is testament to the fact that their claims were not unreasonable," Shorten says.
AWU Newcastle Branch Secretary Kevin Maher thanked the NSW Government and in particular Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca for their assistance on this matter and said that meetings will be taking place with the Boeing workers immediately.
„We will be conducting mass meetings of the Boeing workers immediately and are recommending that they will be returning to work on Monday whilst the matter is arbitrated‰ Mr. Maher said.
The Boeing Dispute in Newcastle arose in February 2005 when Boeing management initially refused to negotiate with their workforce on their employment conditions. Since that time the AWU representing the workers have before the Federal Industrial Relations Commission three times where the Commission was unable to resolve the dispute due to John Howard‚s unfair Industrial Relations laws.
The NSW Government referred the dispute to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission after NSW Commerce Minister John Della Bosca became concerned that Boeing did not intend to negotiate with their workers or seek to resolve the dispute.
The 25 workers and their families have been on strike without pay since 1 June 2005 when they were initially locked-out after taking legal industrial action by refusing to fill in their time sheets.
Evidence before the Inquiry indicated that AWU members were being paid up to $15,000 less per annum than comparable workers in the Australian aviation industry including other Boeing workers in Australia.
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