||Issue No. 303||21 April 2006|
Interview: Head On
Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
Industrial: Vital Signs
Economics: Taxing Times
Environment: It Ain’t Necessarily So
History: Melbourne’s Hours
Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
Review: Pollie Fiction
Poetry: The Cabal
The Locker Room
Lying Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them II
What Tax Cuts?
Belly Says It’s Time
A Word Of Warning Stop
Well That Clears That Up Then
The $130 Question: What is He On?
The WorkChoices Minister made the claim to industry newsletter, Workforce, in defence of the country's first “greenfields agreement”.
The radical concept, introduced by Andrews, allows employers on new projects to negotiate terms and conditions with themselves but register them as "agreements".
Employees must accept all conditions and are not allowed to agitate or take industrial action over anything they disagree with, for 12 months, by which time many projects will have finished.
CFMEU legal officer, Tim Kuchera, explained how John Holland went about using Workchoices to impose the first greenfields "agreement" at BHP Billiton's Pilbara port expansion.
"They were written for big construction projects because those employers find AWAs an administrative nightmare," Kuchera said.
"Under a greenfields agreement the employer lays down all the terms and conditions, as with an AWA, but he doesn't have to pretend to get individual agreement.
"John Holland came to us and said they wanted an agreement. Three days before it was due they went behind our backs and registered this deal.
"The first we knew about it was when we read it in the West Australian.
"Not only does this legislation deny construction workers any say in their terms and conditions but it encourages bad faith bargaining."
John Holland has the construction contract for the Port Hedland expansion, while Monadelphous Engineering has the mechanical contract.
Within day of Andrews spruiking the John Holland "agreement", the CFMEU and AMWU had both completed union agreements with Monadelphous.
Under the terms of those settlements, crane drivers will be $90 a week better off than under John Holland's arrangements, while riggers will be paid $130 more.
It is understood that, despite Andrews' endorsement of its original position, John Holland will fall into line with Monadelphous rates.
Because it has a greenfields "agreement", however, Kuchera points out, it can bar union officials from entering the site and call on the Australian Building and Construction Commission to prosecute any union that tries to service members there .
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|
© 1999-2002 Workers Online