||Issue No. 296||24 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
For Whom the Toll Bells
Labor Sells Hydro
Stop the Hordes
Car Plant Puts Pedal to Metal
According to a 41-point plan obtained by Workers Online, workers at Dana Car Parts could be stood down without pay if union members at another business took 'action(s).
The plan, proposing to slash existing workers' wages by five per cent, because "we don't believe what we paid for in the last EMB"; cuts new starters' pay by 20 per cent and cancel all rostered days off. This means a new employee on $50,000 a year would stand to lose $10,000 annually.
Two hundred workers protested outside the factory last week to show their anger at Dana's proposal.
AMWU National Secretary Doug Cameron told the workers that the proposal was a taste of what unscrupulous employers would try and get away with under the Howard Government's work laws.
"New staff would take five years to get to the current rate for other workers under this unacceptable proposal," Cameron said.
"There would also be restrictions on workers compensation, the removal of rostered days off, cuts to redundancy and long service leave, and the employer would get power to force workers to take holidays whenever they wanted."
The proposed wage cut is part of a 41-point plan unveiled by Dana in enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations.
Although there are no immediate plans for industrial action, workers warned it was possible if negotiations break down.
"The AMWU will not allow deals such as this to go through. Our members are united in their stance that wages and conditions will continue to rise not fall," Cameron said.
The Federal Government's Work Choices legislation is expected to come into force next month after passing through Parliament late last year.
The Work Choices legislation removes protection given to workers' conditions through things such as the award safety net and access to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
"Attacks like this are likely to be repeated at other workplaces many times over, but the cold hard reality of Work Choices cannot be allowed to continue past the next election", said Cameron.
"The strong demonstrations of opposition that were held last year must be continued. We must hold John Howard to account and we must never accept that this 'law of the jungle' is welcome in Australia.
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