||Issue No. 298||10 March 2006|
Interview: Organising In Cyberspace
Industrial: How Low Is Low
Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
Unions: Bad Medicine
History: Right Turn, Clyde
Economics: Long Division
International: Union Proud
Politics: Howardís Sick Joke
Indigenous: The year of living dangerously
Review: Lights, Camera, Strike!
Culture: News Front
The Locker Room
Bank Shops Skilled Workers
Business Council heavyweight, Geoff Dixon, has pulled back from his threat to outsource the company's entire heavy maintenance operation to low-wage Asian workshops.
Dixon, who extracted $6.1 million from the company, last year, announced his decision after months of community campaigning, headed by the AMWU and AWU, around aviation safety, Australian jobs and the country's skills base.
Dixon's retreat, however, contained a sting in its tail, with an announcement that heavy maintenance at Mascot would cease. More than 100 of the lost Sydney jobs will be picked up at Qantas depots in Melbourne and Brisbane.
The city's Daily Telegraph revealed, last week, the job shedding had nothing to do with Qantas' international competitiveness and everything to do with Mac Bank's profit drive.
A Mac Bank subsidiary, Macquarie Airports, has been gouging Sydneysiders, and tourists, since paying the federal government $5 billion for the airport two years ago.
The precinct is becoming no-go zone for families and friends of travellers as prices for everything, from a cup of coffee to luggage trolleys and parking, has gone through the roof.
The Terror says it was the privatised airport's insistence on a gigantic shopping precinct, over the objections of local authorities and state government, which cost the city nearly 500 high-skilled jobs.
It blew the whistle on a master plan, released last November, that set aside insufficient room for ongoing maintenance operations.
Instead, the Millionaire Factory plans a massive retail and cinema complex, that planners warn will lead to traffic chaos and threaten the future of existing suburban shopping centres.
Qantas engineering general manager, David Cox, confirmed space had become an issue, under the new regime.
"There is not sufficient for us," he said.
Cox said shopping centres hadn't been part of airport planning five years ago.
Dixon confirmed Qantas' intention to use Work Choices to strip thousands of dollars out of family budgets when enterprise bargaining negotiations resume.
AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, said that agenda would be resisted.
"The AMWU gives this guarantee to workers and the flying public - we will ensure Qantas does not pursue cut-price safety or cut-price maintenance," he said.
Cameron said the AMWU would pursue Qantas to justify every single job it has targeted for destruction.
"We believe no jobs should be lost from a profitable company where the CEO has taken a 302 percent wage increase over the last five years," Cameron said.
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