||Issue No. 301||31 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
The Earl Speaks
Let Us Rejoice
Doctors Orders - Take a Walke
The doctors, E Lau and K Lai, waited until John Howard's pro-sacking legislation was in force to drop new, non-negotiated terms of employment on three receptionists.
Walke, who shares a car with her TAFE-student daughter, said one of the main things she had wanted clarified was the doctors' insistence that she make herself available for duties at their Cabramatta operation.
"I had a job where I could walk to work and I wanted to talk to them about what the new terms would mean," she explained.
"I wanted to talk to the employer but I didn't even get the opportunity. I was given the new conditions on Wednesday and, about 12.15 today (Thursday) I was sacked by the office manager.
"I feel I have been unfairly dismissed because I have done nothing wrong. Why should all my conditions change, after 20 years, without any discussion?"
If the doctors had dumped Walke, last week, the longstanding USU member would have been able to challenge the decision through an unjustified dismissal action.
But one of the cornerstones of the Howard government's workplace changes, was to remove that right from any Australian at a workplace of less than 100 people.
The Prime Minister, last week, said the only person who needed to worry was the "office whinger".
Walke said she would "definitely" have sought redress if she had been sacked one week earlier.
USU executive president, Michael Want, said his union had advised Walke to talk to her employer about the new terms but the doctors had "clearly decided to take advantage of Howard's industrial relations changes".
Meanwhile, the AWU is going in to bat for a young Dad who was sacked on the spot after trying to stick up for a customer.
Windsor Turf Supplies jumped onto the Howard bandwagon when Waylon Vaughan questioned the quality of turf being sent to a customer.
AWU official, Nick Allen, said it was "ridiculous" that Howard had given business the right to dump a person in those circumstances.
He said Vaughan was a qualified greenkeeper with chemical handling certificates.
"He's raised a legitimate concern and the boss has said - right you're gone. No notice, no entitlements, just sent him on his way.
"An awful lot of people are waking up to the fact that this legislation is anti-worker, anti-customer and anti-Australian," the AWU's Nick Allen said.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|