The Ten of Hearts has been at it again.
Our beloved Workplace relations Minister disappeared up his own logical fundament when he accused a NSW employer of misadvising themselfs.
Apparently, according to Andrews, there are sound protections in the WorkChoices legislation, a statement which left them all in stitches over at head office.
About the only obvious protection provided by WorkChoices would be using its couple of thousand odd pages to clobber someone over the head with if they came at you with evil intentions.
It's something we could probably clear up with our Tool Of The Week, after all, this man has, literally, written the book on evil intentions.
The idea that you protect people by sacking them is certainly a unique departure from most conventional wisdom vis-a-vis the workplace.
Only someone as naive as a Siberian Ice Cream salesman could believe that taking away protection for workers wouldn't be ruthlessly used against people who, after all, are only your fellow human beings.
But the fact that we share a common humanity appears to fly obliquely over the beady little eyes of the Altar Boy, along with most other bits of information, such as which direction his arse is pointing in and what day it is.
Now, Kev can be forgiven for being as thick as two short planks, after all, that is the nature of being a part of that class of people that run the shop these days, but when he expects us to be as stupid as him he may run into trouble.
When the pressure from the union movement shining a Klieg Light on the situation at Cowra proved too embarrassing, Kev decided to try a little positive projection.
That Kev would reach for some whacky new age solution should come as no surprise, after all, there really isn't much else left in the kit bag to use to defend a set of laws that will send the standard of living off on a holiday to Argentina for a generation.
So Kev claimed, in true Tony Packard style, that the laws that were used to sack the workers were actually the laws that saved the workers.
Yes, that left everyone else blinking and wondering if Kev was back on the Ritalin or not as well.
Unfortunately Kev's pronouncements on the situation at Cowra were devoid of two essential ingredients: Truth and Common Sense.
While his attempts at positive projection may be considered by some to be a rather advanced form of denial, others with a broader perspective may appreciate that Kev was merely making it all up.
That, and his considered opinion that people were misadvising themselves (which sounds like a rather unconventional activity that appears to run counter to several Vatican Catechisms on keeping the mind and body pure), led to people backing away from Andrews slowly, not taking their eyes off him.
Especially given that his great job-generating policy was seeing people punted from Cairns to Kalgoorlie all week. After all, most people seem to be able to grasp the subtle differences that separate getting a job and getting the sack.
For the slower members of the audience, and that includes you Kev, the difference is that in the former state you have a job, with the latter state meaning you don't have a job.
It is generally accepted that most people on the sane side of the philosophical spectrum see having a job as a good thing, and the absence of a job as a bad thing.
The ten of hearts may wish appreciate this fact as there's going to be a lot of the latter going around in the near future, and a number of people experiencing the bad thing may not be very happy about it at all, and may wish to come after those responsible.
If that happens the responsible parties would probably find a copy of the WorkChoices legislation handy, as a clobbering implement may come in handy.
So our Tool Of The Week is correct, WorkChoices does offer protection, unfortunately not for employees in the workplace though.
A letter written to 29 workers on Thursday withdrawing their terminations directly refutes claims made by federal workplace relations minister Kevin Andrews 24 hours earlier that he had solved the dispute.
The manager of the Cowra Abattoir, Ray Petterson, told meatworkers that the decision to withdraw the notices of termination had "nothing to do with the government".
In a letter to the meat workers union on Wednesday, Petterson said he would "withdraw the notice of termination" as "a show of good faith" because "union officials have indicated that they are prepared to enter into further negotiations".
When the WorkChoices Minister told a press conference in Melbourne on Tuesday that 29 sacked meatworkers would get their jobs back following an investigation by the OWS it was news to both the company and the workers.
"When Andrews announced the notices of termination would be withdrawn it was the first we had heard of it," said Charlie Donzow from the Meatworkers Union. "We were stunned.
"We were in meetings with the company that day and at no time did they indicate that they would withdraw the notices of termination.
"On the Wednesday they [Cowra Abattoir] told us that they hadn't indicated their decision to the government."
The timing of Andrews' maiden attempt to defend Australian jobs has been portrayed as a desperate ploy to disguise the real intent of WorkChoices.
Both the Prime Minister, and Andrews, were on the public record denying that their legislation allowed companies to sack workers and rehire them on inferior wages and conditions - precisely what the abattoir proposed.
The Australian described Andrews' reaction as "red-faced" and industrial lawyers backed union accusations that the Cowra manoeuvre was exactly what WorkChoices green-lighted.
Anthony Longland, a partner at law firm Freehills which helped draft WorkChoices, told a conference on March 23 that protected conditions under the new laws were "smoke and mirrors" and that employees were "protected but not protected".
ACTU secretary Greg Combet said the comments confirmed unions' fears about the new laws.
"This is exactly what the ACTU has been saying from the outset, we've been accused of running a scare campaign, accused of trying to elevate unnecessary concerns about these laws, but here we have a partner of the firm who helped write the laws saying exactly what we have been putting.
The 29 meatworkers had been sacked and invited to re-apply to the abattoir for 20 jobs on new employment contracts that involved pay cuts of up to $180 a week.
Combet said it was good news that the workers would get their jobs back but The fact remained that it was legal to act as the company had done.
Andrews claimed the company had backed down after pressure from his Office of Workplace Services, saying it was evidence that employees were protected.
Around 20 union members were locked out after they refused to sign take-it or leave-it AWAs that stripped holidays, including Australia Day, and undercut EBA rates.
When they were forced back to the Naracoorte Abattoir, by the introduction of John Howard's new IR regime, Teys Brothers celebrated by "suspending" delegates, Jamie Stokie and Terry McCarthy, and slashing the wages of their supporters.
The hardline approach, driven by Brisbane-based Human Resources Manager John Salter, has pitched Teys Brothers onto the frontline of the nationwide battle for workers' rights.
Salter is now mulling over how far he wants Teys Brothers in front of the union-busting pack.
The company missed its own deadline, last Tuesday, to respond to a "war or peace" ultimatum delivered by the Meatworkers Union.
"They can operate on civilised lines or they can take the consequences," AMIEU South Australian secretary, Graham Smith, said.
""Our members aren't going to take this sort of belligerence and they have support from around the country."
The gung-ho nature of the Teys Bros campaign appears to have made it vulnerable on a number of fronts.
It utilised the services of 20 imported Chinese workers, during the lockout. They were brought into Australia as "skilled" guest workers but, Workers Online understands, have since been relegated to labouring positions.
On their return, the protesting meatworkers were downgraded from positions as skilled boners and slicers to labouring jobs, suffering effective wage cuts of around $400 a week.
Stockie and McCarthy were suspended indefinitely, without pay, in a move Smith described as "de facto sackings".
On the surface, the company appears to have opened itself up to possible freedom of association, and discrimination actions, and there are serious questions about its use of guest labour.
Smith wouldn't be drawn on the Meatworkers' strategy.
"We are keeping our powder dry," Smith said. "We have explained the choices carefully and the ball is in the company's court."
The Police Association Executive passed a motion last week endorsing the use of the water cannon for incidents of public disorder but not in cases that involve a union protest.
Secretary of Unions NSW John Robertson said that unions and the police have a history of working together to ensure protests are peaceful and well organised.
A public protocol has been in place for over eight years that creates communication between police and workers conducting peaceful assemblies as part of industrial action.
"It's important that commanders understand they have certain obligations," Robertson said.
"This is a sign of solidarity from the Police Association for those working families that are bearing the brunt of Howard's workplace agenda."
Stephen Pemberton and Brett Conlon took to the streets with leaflets exposing the actions of JAL Landscape and Construction which employed them on as apprentice carpenters.
With the support of the CFMEU they took their message to thousands of Sydneysiders, forcing the company to negotiate a settlement.
"Without the help of the CFMEU and members of the community who rang or emailed our employer we wouldn't have got anything," Pemberton said.
"We are encouraging others to actively resist the use of unfair individual contracts and to join the campaign to throw out these laws and the government that introduced them."
Last week Conlon told Workers Online the pair had been employed on AWAs. They had worked long hours, until 10.15 at night, with no overtime or pay slips for $250 a week.
It was when the pair discovered their apprenticeships hadn't even been registered, after three months, that they decided to seek help.
CFMEU NSW secretary, Andrew Ferguson, praised the 17-year-olds for taking the fight up to JAL.
"No worker, especially not teenagers, should be forced onto unfair individual contracts," he said. "The rights of working people have been sacrificed so business can maximise profits without proper checks and balances."
Employers who are members of anti-union religions can unilaterally bar union officials from their workplaces through the “Brethren clause” in WorkChoices regulations.
Prior to WorkChoices, employees had to agree if a sectarian boss wished to ban union officials.
The clause has become known as the "Exclusive Brethren Clause" after the aggressively anti-union and secretive Christian group, which has been linked to conservative political parties around the world.
The ultra-conservative sect actively lobbied for union exemptions for its members in last year's election in New Zealand.
A Brethren submission to the Kiwi parliament stated the group believed: "the bible does not recognise any union intervention between employer and employee (described there as master and servant)".
The group was also linked to pamphlets misquoting Greens policies at the Tasmanian election this year.
Greens Leader Bob Brown said the clause was payback to the Brethren for supporting the Coalition.
"Unless the government can show otherwise, it appears clear the Exclusive Brethren has won special favour in the industrial relations package to protect itself from scrutiny of workplace abuse," Brown said.
The Equity Division of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance has chalked up another victory in attempts to undermine union contracts for actors working on television ads.
Tourism Queensland's attempts to side step union conditions in their latest advertising campaign were thwarted when M&C Saatchi, who were contracted to produce the advertisement for Tourism Queensland, attempted to engage performers on non-union contracts.
Following unsuccessful talks with the State Government, Equity approached the Advertising Federation of Australia to seek their intervention.
M&C Saatchi, a member of the AFA, then convinced their client to use the standard Equity contracts for the shoot.
Construction company Multiplex has turned its back on a site award for a job at Long Bay gaol, citing a national construction code which blackmails companies from completing project awards.
The code bars companies from tendering for any Federal Government work, if any of its agreement don't comply with its anti-union requirements.
The code bars agreements which limit subcontractors', restricts individual agreements or commits parties to collective labour deals.
Such agreements have been a mainstay of the NSW construction industry in recent times and have seen jobs like Olympic Park completed on time.
Unions NSW deputy assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou said not having a site award would see workers miss out on a $150 a week site allowance, and a number of other conditions that had become standard on Sydney projects.
Christodoulou warned the NSW Industrial Relations Commission of the repercussions if the "co-ordinated industrial relations approach" in the construction industry was to break down.
"...we cannot be held responsible for any negative outcomes that might occur with respect to workers' morale, productivity or indeed the incidents of lawful action that might take place," he said.
In directing Multiplex and Unions to undertake further discussions, Commission Vice-President Walton noted site agreements had produced "relatively stable and harmonious industrial relations" and prosperity for developers and builders.
Walton said if the matter did not settle it would be the first NSW construction project in the modern era where a site award had failed.
Parties were directed to report back on May 22.
Produced to mark 300 editions of sticking it to the man, the deck features 52 of our most noteworthy tools, as well as the original tool - Piers the Hutt - as the joker.
The deck reveals titbits of information about the tool shed's inhabitants, including David Flint's preference for a certain value of picture card and the cosmic whereabouts of sometime Communications Minister Richard Alston.
"Some aspire to be a tool, some people acquire the status of tools, but most people have tools thrust upon them," said frequent tool shed scribe, Mandrake the Electrician.
"We will not enter into correspondence with persons disappointed they have not made the deck of tools."
The pack of tools is selling for the modest price of $10 each.
To order email a name, postal address and daytime contact number, to [email protected]
The challenge to independent unions was spelled out by one of the loudest voices in the federal government's IR cheer squad, last week.
"If unions want to survive under Workchoices, they are going to have to do some better deals," Australian Mines and Metals NSW manager, Gerard Boyce, told a NSW IR Society seminar in Sydney..
Boyce said if unions didn't start to do "better deals" employers would use the power Workchoices gave them to "limit their exposure".
Boyce told the IR Club the AMMA was "broadly supportive" of Howard's sweeping changes but still wanted more, including the end of "what's left of the award system" and the ability to opt out of the IR system completely.
CFMEU Mining Division secretary, Tony Maher, said nobody should be under any illusion about what the AMMA meant by better deals.
"We have dealt with these people for years and their attitude has always been - there can be a role for unions, as long as they do what we say," Maher said.
"Their preference is to drive unions out, all together, but compliant unions are acceptable.
"They should be supportive of these laws, after all, they wrote most of them."
Maher said, in coal mining, almost every new pit was established with non-negotiable AWAs as a condition of employment but, in nine out of ten, workers still elected to unionise and fight for collective contracts.
The model of the metalliferous sector, where unionisation was low, he said, was a recipe for "workplace disaster". Currently, it runs on long working hours and faces annual employee turnover of 30-50 percent and serious labour supply problems.
Maher said it was "extraordinary" that, in the face of that situation, the AMMA had won over other employers to its hardline agenda.
"It has incredible access to the federal government and has driven the employer agenda to the right," he said. "It is quite surprising that it has shifted groups like AiG (the Australian Industry Group) to become supporters of WorkChoices.
"Basically, WorkChoices was designed by the AMMA."
The mixture of local authorities and privately-run small businesses, have committed themselves to five core standards developed by the Northern Rivers Unionists Network.
They have all agreed to pay award wages or better; recognise the right to collective bargaining; allow union access and not to use AWAs or cut existing entitlements.
"The campaign's going well. We are talking to a number of other interested employers and we are getting inquiries every day," Network Convenor, Punita Boardman, told Workers Online.
"We decided to take a positive approach because WorkChoices won't work if employers don't use it to attack family living standards.
"We are trying to reward good employers by encouraging friends and supporters to support their businesses."
Boardman said the Northern Rivers Network would also look to expose shonks who used the legislation to attack working conditions.
It has already launched an investigation into claims about the activities of some macadamia growers in the region.
The Northern Rivers top nine is: Dymocks Lismore, Southside Pharmacy, the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre, Bolt and Findlay Solicitors, Red Inc, Southern Cross University Student Representative Council, and the Byron Bay, Clarence Valley and Kyogle Councils.
Latest figures, from the Australian Council of Super Investors, confirm the median pay of CEOs at top 100 companies leapt by 34 percent between 2003 and 2004.
The figures endorse claims made in Workers Online, last year, that those CEO's are now trousering 90 times more than the average fulltime worker.
The Super Investors report, released last week, said the increases were driven by short-term bonus schemes and their size.
News Corp boss, Rupert Murdoch, headed the ACSI list, with $29.7 million for the year, while, for the first time, the annual earnings of the top 10 CEOs crashed through the $100 million barrier.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted ACSI spokesman, Phillip Spathis, as describing the short-term bonus component of those earnings, which are not voted on by shareholders, as "worrying".
Spathis reiterated the core criticism of the practice, levelled by Unions NSW secretary John Robertson, that this element of executive remuneration was not linked to either the performance of the company or the recipient.
ACSI represents Super funds with more than $150 billion under investment.
Its report found found that part-time company directors had hiked their average remuneration to $143,973 a year, while part-time chairmen were knocking off more than $341,000.
The same day, Professor Barbara Pocock revealed that a survey sponsored by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the LHMU and state union bodies, showed work no longer guaranteed Australians against poverty.
The first stage of the survey, into the lives of workers earning less than $14 an hour, studied the situations of cleaners and childcare workers.
Doctor John Buchanan, form the University of Sydney, warned that economic growth did not necessarily mean the low-paid would be better off.
He said that the 1990 had seen the strongest US growth figures in a decade but, over that period, workers who could support a family of four on a 40-hour income dropped from 28 to 24 percent.
Critics of the federal government have accused John Howard have taking Australia down the American economic path.
SA Unions secretary Janet Giles understands it is illegal to sack an apprentice, saying it will mount a legal challenge to test whether the federal government's harsh new industrial laws override apprentice contracts.
"Apprentice contracts explicitly prevent the termination of apprentices. If an employer cannot fulfil the apprenticeship, they must negotiate with the appropriate government department to either suspend the apprenticeship or transfer it to another employer," says Giles.
"In the instance of 19 and 20 year old Yorke Peninsula based third year apprentice electricians Robert Elkson and Greg Garrard, they, along with three other workers were sacked without notice on Monday March 27, the day the new work laws took effect."
"We believe the company involved deliberately used the new laws in order to sack these apprentices and further believe this is illegal under the South Australia Training and Skills Act."
Ms Giles says if the challenge finds that apprentices can be sacked then it's a blow to Australia's skills base and the careers of thousands of young people.
"It is unthinkable that at a time of severe national skills shortages, when the federal government is importing workers from overseas, that our apprenticeship system could be undermined in this way."
SA Unions' has launched their "I've been sacked" hotline on 8279 2222, and are encouraging any worker who has been sacked to get in touch.
The worker survived but officials from the CFMEU say it is suspected that his spinal cord is severed and may never walk again.
The company concerned, All State Recycling and Demolition, came to the attention of unions after a worker had his head severed by a concrete saw.
"Our delegate wanted to inspect the scene but was denied because we hadn't given 24 hours written notice. That means we couldn't inspect this accident site in its original condition," says Martin O'Malley from the CFMEU. "The CFMEU's number one job is to protect workers from death and injury."
"Yet the $34 million Australian Building and Construction Commission designed to stymie unions at every turn, the new IR laws make it harder and harder for us to maintain safety standards," says O'Malley.
"CFMEU members are rallying outside the accident site today to draw public attention to the increased dangers facing workers as a result of the new federal laws."
"We want tough action taken against the two companies involved - Cox Constructions and All State Recycling and Demolition - who have a shocking track record in relation to industrial accidents."
"Last year, an accident at a Cox Constructions worksite resulted in a man being minced to death from the feet up in an escalator. "These deaths and injuries take too long to investigate. While offences with the potential to cause death, such as drink driving attract immediate financial penalties and even jail terms, someone responsible for the death of a worker faces no repercussions for years, if at all" Mr O'Malley says.
"The sad reality is that companies cut corners on worker safety because they can get away with it - and the new laws assist them by restricting unions from being safety watchdogs." Mr O'Malley says.
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.
Politics in the Pub
2.00 pm Saturday April 8th, 2006
Hotel Gearin 273 Great Western Highway, Katoomba
ex Senator and Save Medicare Alliance
Dr. Con Costa
Doctors Reform Group
Call on the Federal Government to use the record budget surplus to
restore Medicare to world-class standards.
While the big end of town clamber for yet another tax cut, federal
government under-funding continues to threaten our healthcare system,
in particular Medicare.
With almost daily revelations about poor staffing levels at hospitals,
declining bulk billing rates and escalating costs of medicine,
thousands of hard-working Australians face ever-increasing health
costs in the family budget.
Those that try to ensure high quality healthcare by joining private
funds face a rat race of spiralling costs that bear no resemblance to
SYDNEY PALM SUNDAY RALLY & MARCH FOR PEACE
No War - No Nukes
Justice and Compassion
Sunday April 9, 1pm, Prince Alfred Park Parramatta
Cnr Victoria Rd & Church St
Palm Sunday Christian Liturgy + Multi-Faith prayers for peace + March
to Parramatta Town Square
Rev Harry Herbert, Uniting Church
John Robertson, Secretary, Unions NSW
Ms Nosrat Hosseini, Iran Democratic Movement
Susan Ryan, New Matilda Human Rights Campaign
Speaker from Arab Council Australia
Music: Urban Guerrillas
MCs: Lex Marinos, Genevieve Lemon
sponsored by Ecumenical Council of NSW and Sydney Peace & Justice
Contact: Rev Dr Ann Wansbrough 8267 4280; Bruce Childs 0412 803 457;
Hannah Middleton 0418 668 098
With the country on the edge, what can one person do?
A new Australian play crashes through at the Old Fitzroy in April with a story of
intrigue and crisis in personal and public life. Political Fiction, by Geoffrey
Sykes, is a parable of Australia now, in which hope and despair are pitted
against each other... with surprising results.
A disgruntled member of the government, a young singer and a free thinking staffer in
Foreign Affairs. Their journey, through sex, power, intrigue, betrayal and - finally - clear
vision, is a graphic exploration of what faces us all in our fallible attempts to relate to the
Political Fiction plays and replays with the myths that control our public world ˆ when the
country is on the brink, what can one person do?
Playwright, documentary-maker and academic, Geoffrey Sykes has put words in the mouths
of some of Australia's finest actors and has written for some of our most provocative
exhibitions and theatre events including those at the National Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW,
MCA and the Powerhouse Museum.
Directed by Robina Beard (NAISDA, Ausdance, Belvoir, Adelaide Festival) and starring
Sarah Doyle, Alan Popely, Karen Cobban and Marc Kay, Political Fiction moves at pace
from Australia to South America and back as conspiracy brings people together, then blows
POLITICAL FICTION by Geoffrey Sykes
April 18 to May 6
THE OLD FITZROY THEATRE
Cnr Cathedral and Dowling Streets, Woolloomooloo
Tues-Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm
Tickets $27 ($19 concession)
Book (02) 9294 4296 or online at www.oldfitzroy.com.au
Beer Laksa and Show deal (from 7pm) $33
Cheap Tuesdays and Previews (April 18 and 19)
Presented by Southview Projects
APHEDA MELBOURNE MOVIE FUNDRAISER
Thu 20th April, 6.30 PM
Make it a date to remember!
Join Melbourne members and supporters at the Cinema Nova for a night of
film and fundraising. Raising much needed dollars for Union Aid
Abroad-APEHDA's overseas projects, tickets are just $20/$15 to see the
Academy Award nominated film Tsotsi in it's first week of release (see
below for movie blurb). Thursday 20th April 6.30 PM at the Cinema Nova,
380 Lygon Street Carlton. Contact Steve Mullins for bookings (payment
MUST be made before the night)
Mobile: 0413021412 [email protected]
Tsotsi - (m) nominated for Academy Best Foreign Language Film Set amidst
the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto - where survival is the
primary objective - Tsotsi traces six days in the life of a ruthless
young gang leader who ends up caring for a baby accidentally kidnapped
during a car-jacking. Tsotsi is a gritty and moving portrait of an angry
young man living in a state of extreme urban deprivation. His world
pumps with the raw energy of Kwaito Music - the modern beat of the
ghetto that reflects his troubled state of mind. The film is a
psychological thriller in which the protagonist is compelled to confront
his own brutal nature and face the consequences of his actions. It puts
a human face on both the victims and the perpetrators of violent crime
and is ultimately a story of hope and a triumph of love over rage.
Winner, 2005 Toronto Film Festival, People's Choice Award.
MELBOURNE DECLARES PEACE ON THE WORLD
National Peace Conference Invitation
Thursday, May 25, 7pm
Public Meeting, Storey Hall, RMIT, Swanston St, City
Saturday, May 27 Registration from 9am
Maritime Union of Australia, 46 Ireland St, West Melbourne
The conference seeks to foster better international connections and
develop a clearer coherent national strategy for peace. It will coincide
with tours by significant international players in the peace movement
Hassan J'umar: President of the Iraqi Oil Workers Union, Cindy Sheehan,
from Goldstar Families for Peace, USA. Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats
Against Occupation. Dr Salam Islmail, From Doctors for Iraq, Muslim
Association of Britian and Stop the War Coalition.
$50 for one or two delegates,
$20 (waged observer) $10 (unwaged observer)
Conference Dinner Saturday $20 waged, $15 unwaged
Contact the conference roganising committee on:
Phone: 0418 316 310
Email: [email protected]
Mail GPO Box 1473, Melbourne VIC 3001
APHEDA MELBOURNE MOVIE FUNDRAISER
Thu 20th April, 6.30 PM
Make it a date to remember!
Join Melbourne members and supporters at the Cinema Nova for a night of film
and fundraising. Raising much needed dollars for Union Aid Abroad-APEHDA's
overseas projects, tickets are just $20/$15 to see the Academy Award
nominated film Tsotsi in it's first week of release (see below for movie
blurb). Thursday 20th April 6.30 PM at the Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon Street
Contact Steve Mullins for bookings (payment MUST be made before the night)
Mobile: 0413021412 [email protected]
Tsotsi - (m) nominated for Academy Best Foreign Language Film
Set amidst the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto - where survival is
the primary objective - Tsotsi traces six days in the life of a ruthless
young gang leader who ends up caring for a baby accidentally kidnapped
during a car-jacking. Tsotsi is a gritty and moving portrait of an angry
young man living in a state of extreme urban deprivation. His world pumps
with the raw energy of Kwaito Music - the modern beat of the ghetto that
reflects his troubled state of mind.
The film is a psychological thriller in which the protagonist is compelled
to confront his own brutal nature and face the consequences of his actions.
It puts a human face on both the victims and the perpetrators of violent
crime and is ultimately a story of hope and a triumph of love over rage.
Winner, 2005 Toronto Film Festival, People's Choice Award
Katoomba ALP would like to invite you to:
A CIVIC FORUM ON GOVERNMENT POLICY ABOUT CENTRELINK, FAMILY SUPPORT, PARENTING PAYMENTS AND DISABILITY PENSIONS
With Tanya Plibersek, MP (Federal Member for Sydney and Shadow Minister for Work and Family, Childcare and Youth and Women)
and Dr John Falzon (National Director of Social Policy, St Vincent de Paul Society).
SATURDAY, 22 APRIL 2006, 2-4 PM
Katoomba Civic Centre, Katoomba Street
Children are most welcome (we will provide some activities, but can't provide any supervision).
Enquiries - call 4782 4517
STRUGGLES, SCABS + SCHOONERS is BACK
29th April 2006 from 1:30pm.
This year it is all about the history - and ongoing battles - of working class women. Join us for stories, memories, hope, singing and beer.
Tickets are $30, which includes dinner.
If you wanna get on board the bus (walkers are welcome & free), please let us know ASAP - you'll have a confirmed seat if you get us the money before the day - please make cheques payable to the PROUD TO BE UNION COMMITTEE INC (send to Struggles, Scabs & Schooners - c/- FSU, PO Box A2442 Sydney South 1235).
May Day Toast
Monday, 1st May at 6pm at Souths Leagues Club
Tickets cost $30 each and are available from Jaime Midson on 02 9264 5024
As part of May Day week AMWU NSW is screening THE TAKE to raise funds for the ZANON FACTORY WORKERS so they can finish their documentary "Heart of the Factroy".
You can be part of international trade union solidarity by coming to our screening on:
Wednesday 3rd May 6 pm AMWU Granville 133 Parramatta Rd Granville
Friday 5th May 6pm Tom Mann Theatre 136 Chalmers St Surry Hills
Entry by donation $10
APHEDA will have DVDs, inlcuding THE TAKE for sale.
Plus East Timorese woven art.
Food and drink will be on sale.
May Day March and Rally
Sunday 7th May at 11am at Hyde Park North
More info from Warren Smith on 02 9264 5024
DOCUMENTARY ON CFMEU SOLIDARITY WITH COLOMBIAN COCA COLA WORKERS BANNED FROM COMMUNITY TV CHANNEL 31.
Sydney's only politically left, alternative TV broadcaster has been suspended from air by the so-called Community TV station Channel 31. This is an outrage in current times when mainstream media and television chloroforms the consciousness and fails to activate, motivate and educate audiences around the issues that affect them directly.
ARTV (Actively Radical TV) is a community based volunteer group which produces progressive, alternative and social movement programs for broadcast. The programs are designed to give voice to those in the community whose points of view are marginalised or ignored by other media, to raise awareness, to educate, to provoke thought, ideas and debate.
ARTV was broadcasting on the previous channel 31 for over ten years until the broadcasting license was withdrawn from the previous licensees by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA). After a period of eighteen months of no Community TV broadcast, the new channel 31 under a consortium management, TV Sydney (TVS) who were allocated the Community TV licence finally began broadcasting on February 26 this year.
Since late last year, ARTV had been submitting programming to TVS in order to garner a time slot for ARTV programs to be aired immediately the station was up and running. From February 26, TVS Sydney initially broadcast four ARTV programs on four consecutive Sunday evenings at 10.30pm preceding Politics In The Pub.
However, last week TVS management indefinitely suspended the broadcast of Actively Radical TV unless the producers can comply with a number of legally unverified and impossible demands, such as having a QC witness and sign for every program.
The ban and demands come as a result of a segment which ARTV planned to run on Coca Cola's actions in Columbia against workers and trade unionists. The documentary was produced by ARTV in conjunction with the Columbian Solidarity Network, a Sydney based campaign group which seeks to highlight the plight of Columbian workers subjected to the unfair and unjust conditions of corporations such as Coca Cola. TVS refused to air the complete program including the Coca Cola segment and a Community Focus program featuring the band Andorra and their film clip and discussion about Baxter detention centre. The grounds on which TVS did not allow the program to air was fear of defamation action by the fizzy-drink conglomerate.
ARTV agreed to replace the offending piece and has sought legal advice. Under section 9 of the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW) CERTAIN CORPORATIONS DO NOT
HAVE CAUSE OF ACTION FOR DEFAMATION. More legal advice from Alex Tees an expert in corporate reputation who also stated: THE PROTECTION AGAINST CORPORATE
DEFAMATION HAS BEEN ENFORCED BY AN AMENDMENT SINCE
2003 HERE IN NSW. However TVS has used the incident to question the verity of ARTV's productions and research in general, and has removed all programming from air.
ARTV, which produces material on workers' rights, refugee issues, public education, Indigenous rights issues, politically-aware artists, environmental campaigns and many others within the social justice movement that have no other outlet for their voice in Sydney, is a vital and unique resource that requires support to be reinstated and expanded.
The situation raises the many questions of censorship, freedom of speech, civil liberties and cross media ownership as well as the purpose of Community TV. The TVS management hold a Community TV licence not a commercial licence and whilst they do seek sponsorship to maintain the running of the station, commercial interests should not over-ride the needs, desires and interests of the many community organisations and campaigns who have rely on Community TV to have their matters raised on air.
ARTV plan to continue producing their programs and submitting them to TVS. Some of the upcoming issues to be explored will include worker‚s rights and the role of the trade union movement since the implementation of the Howard Government‚s Industrial Relations legislation last week. Already since the laws have been passed, meatworkers in the Cowra abatoirs have been sacked under the unfair dismissal provisions and these are the kinds of topical issues that ARTV covers.
Workers, unionists Indigenous people, environmentalists, activists for Refugee rights and anti-war, artists with challenging ideas, people from a cultural background whose compatriots are in struggle for equity, justice and peace should all be very alarmed about the silencing of ARTV which is the only mouth-piece for broadcasting campaigns and actions through television in Sydney.
ARTV's music fundraiser evening at Marrickville Community Centre, 142 Addison Rd Marrickville (from 7pm on April 29) is a good opportunity for you to not only show your support for this vital voice, but to also enjoy a good night's entertainment as well. There'll be plenty of bands and other performers and an opportunity to view the banned material.
In the meantime, write a complaint to the television station's board at:
Locked Bag 1797 Penrith South NSW 1797 or
Phone and speak directly to Henri Di Gorta (Programs Manager) on 9852 5000 or fax him on 9852 5050
Forward a copy of your correspondence to ARTV at [email protected]
ARTV. Check out the website at: www.activelyradicaltv.com
Noreen Navin (nswtf)
I receive and enjoy your newsletter. I thought you may find this interesting. I particularly like the cartoon in the middle!
We see every day workers being disadvantaged, to say the least, what has the Unions got planned to fight this undemocratic law . As we also see what the French workers do when subjected to similar laws. When are we going to be called to arms, if at all.
Congratulations to Workers Online. This on line tabloid has been at the forefront of the most exciting thing to have happened for a long while-the rebuilding of an inclusive and empowered labour movement.
It is true we will all take some big hits from the slime mould running the joint at the moment, and it is true that they seem to have all aces-the power to ram anything they like through Parliament. But the good news is that people have well and truly woken up, and we are seeing a grass roots campaign building up the like of which has never been seen in this country-in my lifetime at least. The process of rebuilding and reinvigorating debate and activism at the grass roots would have been a lot harder without Wol. Once again, congratulations and keep up the good work!
OK yes its hard but lets get harder those who gave us our current conditions fought without fear.
We must too print out the best storys each week from here and other Labor pages, distribute them in every workplace.
and lets stop waiting for others to act, get active daily to put Labor in power and Howards IR laws in the bin, every day has to be election day.
gday the the task group who read our page, how are you going spying on the churchs who are with us?
g day i am a BLFunion delo an all the members on my siteare so sick of siting on there hands,with all theres new laws,We also have the abcc to put up with LETS START A AUSTRALIA WIDE STRIK NOW to let jack boot johny no who we are.
Mark Stubbs NT, Workers on Line 301 Wrote;
The ALP and all true working class people have to wake up and view reality and get the Bastards Honest at the next election by voting them out and placing them back in opposition where they rightfully belong.
Is there any place for liars in a functioning democracy?
I'm hoping you can help me. I reckon the 70's were the 'golden age' in my working life. there were jobs for anyone who wanted to work, prices were elatively low, credit cards hadn't been invented so we saved for what we wanted; which we could do with a good disposable income. this meant of course we only paid $1000.00 for a $1000.00 item, instead of $3000.00 or more.
What I'd like to know is, would you know the stats for the difference between highest and lowest wage rates in the 70s compared to now, or where I could find out?
Behind the sackings, spin and hand-wringing from the federal government was WorkChoices in all its naked glory - embodied in the treatment of the abattoir workers.
Think about it, workers sacked so they could be rehired on lower rates of pay, losing their rights to challenge the fairness of the dismissal on the grounds that the sackings were for 'operational reasons'.
While the combined pressure of unions, media and a very twitchy government convinced the company to back down, the weight of legal opinion is that the sackings would have held up in court; that the only thing the employer did wrong was to pull the trigger too quickly.
What will now go down in industrial lore as the 'Cowra Clause' goes to the very heart of WorkChoices by placing an operational override on the provision of workplace rights.
Think about that logic - an employer must treat workers fairly unless there is a business case to act to the contrary. That business case need not even be dominant reason, just a factor in the decision-making process.
The question that any employer could rightly put is: when is business not a factor in a decision?
This question has been around since the inceptions of trade unions - accepting that workers rights are a business cost that the employer will not willingly pay. By their very nature, workers rights, are a restriction of free market forces.
That's why workers banded together to place pressure for rights to be respected first at the workplace, and then universally through legislation.
They were so successful in mobilising democratically that these rights became part of the social contract - until free market fundamentalists began applying theories that quantified these rights and then made a business case for their elimination.
Which brings us back to WorkChoices and the operational over-ride, the end point of the logic of looking at labour costs as just another budget line item, rather than the social parameters that businesses choose to operate under.
Within the short-term, market paradigm, the Cowra Clause is not a loophole to be fixed, but the very reason for WorkChoices.
The challenge for working people is to lift the debate out of this sterile, academic world and show the human costs of treating people like numbers.
For this reason alone the Cowra workers were great ambassadors; that they got their jobs back is a bonus that can only be attributed to the fact they were the first to feel the sting in the WorkChoice tail.