||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
Teens Changing the Landscape
The would-be tradesmen flung in their first fulltime jobs after JAL Landscape and Construction dudded them on wages and allowances, and failed to register their apprenticeships.
Stephen Pemberton and Brett Conlon joined the CFMEU and, with the support of their parents, began leafleting Sydneysiders about the reality of John Howard's workplace.
Conlon told Workers Online there was "no way" he thought he would be a union activist when he left St Pat's College, only a few months ago.
"It was unbelievable," he said of his treatment at JAL.
"When they offered me an apprenticeship I was very keen but, then, they didn't pay us.
"We didn't get paid for four weeks, there were no pay slips and no overtime. We were working long hours, until 10.15 at night. All we were getting was $250 a week.
"I would like to continue my apprentice but, after this, I'm not sure."
He said he had been comfortable seeking union support because his father, a bus driver, and teacher mother were trade unionists.
The CFMEU estimates both youngsters are owed more than $10,000 for work they did at JAL.
Pemberton's mother, Paula, explained how the families went looking for help.
"The boys were so happy when they got the apprenticeship offers," she told Unions NSW delegates.
"Then, we didn't know what to do so we put it into Google and up popped the union. We haven't looked back since."
The two 17-year-olds say they were required to sign individual contracts that contained no sick leave, overtime or public holiday entitlements.
Pemberton said JAL boss, John Lintmeijer, owed him thousands of dollars and he had no qualms about going public.
CFMEU secretary, Andrew Ferguson, praised the courage and commitment of the pair whose plight has attracted widespread media coverage.
"John Howard has written a rorters charter for the building industry," Ferguson said. "This type of behaviour is exactly what he spent millions of taxpayer dollars trying to stop us stamping out."
The CFMEU, supported by Unions NSW, is asking supporters to:
- contact John or Adam Lintmeiger from JAL and demand payment for Pembeton and Conlon. John Lintmeiger 0422 677199, Adam Lintmeijer 0412 120604. Email [email protected]
- contact Rudoph Belin of Newinvest, who contracted JAL to work on the site, and ask him to ensure that people who worked on his project are paid. 0410 606213. Email: [email protected]
Ferguson asked supporters of the campaign not to be rude or abusive, during phone calls, irrespective of provocation.
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