The Cowra Clause
The plight of the Cowra meatworkers is a fitting illustration of the way the new industrial laws will fundamentally shift the balance of relations in the Australian workplace.
Interview: Head On
John Buchanan has been warning that WorkChoices would be a car crash. Now he surveys the damage.
Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
CFMEU Mining national secretary Tony Maher lets fly at the new industrial laws.
Industrial: Vital Signs
In his new book, Craig Emerson argues that destroying unionism will not be in Australia's long term interests.
Economics: Taxing Times
Frank Stilwell argues that there are progressive alternatives to the slash and burn approach to tax reform.
Environment: It Ain’t Necessarily So
Don't let anyone tell you that jobs and the environment are opposities, argues Neale Towart.
History: Melbourne’s Hours
Neale Towart reluctantly pays homage to Victoria's celebration of the eight hour day.
Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
John Howard is deciding more and more foreign workers should come into this country - without the rights of citizenship, writes John Sutton,
Review: Pollie Fiction
For someone barely 25 years Sarah Doyle has an enviable track record in theatre behind her.
Poetry: The Cabal
Poetry returns to Workers Online with this rollicking ode to employer power.
Abattoir Boss Slaughters Andrews
More Slaughter in South Australia
Pickets Won't Face Cannon
Teens Win Thousands
Praise the Laws
Where The Bloody Hell Is Our Contract?
Building Crusade Raids Pockets
Workers Shows Its Hand
It's All Yellow, Mine Barons
Lismore Nine Breaks Ranks
Uber Bosses Clean Up
Howard's Skills Solution: Sack Apprentices
Spineless Companies Block Safety
Boxall in Sickie Backflip
Activist's What's On!
Democracy in Action
Former NSW Premier Neville Wran's speech to commemorate 150 years of responsible government.
The Westie Wing
There has been activity aplenty in the NSW Parliament this month, reports Ian West.
From Chaver to Cobber
John Robertson, Unions NSW Secretary, hosting Passover at Sydney Trades Hall discovers the first comrades followed a bloke called Moses.
Postcard from New Orleans
Mark Brenner surveys the long-term impact of Hurricane Katrina on the regions workers.
The Locker Room
My Country Right Or In Lane Five
Phil Doyle observes the golden shower at the recent Commonwealth Games, and asks what it means for the last great unpredictable drama.
Vale Bill Hartley
Unlike some of his comrades, Bill Hartley never departed from his position as a radical nor did he die rich in assets, writes Bob Scates.
Belly Spreads The Word
Lying Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
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Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Boxall in Sickie Backflip
Moves by Commonwealth mandarins to force workers to produce a medical certificate after only one day of sick leave have been labelled an “administrative nightmare” and a threat to workers health.
The head of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Peter Boxall, was forced to back pedal on the policy after a memo to supervisors from the Department's Business and Policy Development Branch was leaked.
"This would be an administrative nightmare," says CPSU secretary Stephen Jones. "This government talks about workplace flexibility, yet this move would strip any flexibility from frontline managers."
The leaked email stated all new AWAs will now require that a medical certificate be produced for absences of one day or more, and that this will apply to existing AWA employees because "the current AWA clause already allows this to happen".
Boxall denied that the policy meant employees were required to produce a medical certificate after just one day's absence.
Under individual contracts supervisors have discretion to apply the policy more generously or more firmly, depending on circumstances, said Boxall, meaning that managers could ask for a medical certificate if they wanted to.
The proposed new rules would strip managers of that discretion.
According to DEWR's own figures, about 65% of its 3,000 employees are on AWAs.
The new requirement is a significant change for the department, which previously gave supervisors discretion but generally, provided AWA employees three consecutive sick days before they had to produce a certificate.
The move by DEWR contradicts assurances by both the Prime Minister John Howard and Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews last year that employers would not start requiring single day certificates after Work Choices became law.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) said the workplace changes which recently came into effect trivialised sick leave.
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