Contract With Australia
If WorkChoices is the legislative expression of the Howard Government’s ideological hatred of unions, the Independent Contractors Act is the product of an altogether more dangerous form of ideological zealotry.
Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Reverend Jim Wallis is leading a crusade to take the moral debate into the public arena.
Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Government has begun a series of workshops to sell its WorkChoice vsision. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.
Jim Comerford’s eyewitness account of the 15-month Lockout of 10,000 New South Wales miners in1929-1930 records the inside story of Australia’s most bloody and bitter industrial conflict
Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Professor Ron McCallum argues the WorkChoices laws are built on a fundamental fiction.
Politics: Labor Pains
Labor has dealt itself out of the crucial workplace relations debate by failing to articulate a credible policy alternative to Howard’s new WorkChoices legislation, argues Mark Heearn and Grant Michelson
Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Evan Jones pays tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith, a big man who never stopped arguing that economics should serve the public good, not create public squalor.
Corporate: House of Horrors
Anthony Keenan takes a tour of Sydney’s notorious, Asbestos House, courtesy of Gideon Haig.
History: Clash Of Cultures
Neale Towart with a new take on Mayday through the words of a punk icon
International: Childs Play
An ILO report into Child Labour shows some progress is being made to curb this gobal scurge .
Culture: Folk You Mate!
Phil Doyle dodges Morris Dancers to find signs of Working Life at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over the Easter Weekend.
Review: Last Holeproof Hero
Finally, a superhero who has worked out how to wear his underpants. Nathan Brown ogles V for Vendetta
Andrews Axes Safety
Plant Fission for Cost Savings
Spotless Bosses Blame Howard
Aussie Bushman Pronounced Dead
Who's Smirking Now?
Yellow Bosses See Red
Amber Light on Howard's Way
Secret Police Spook Mum
Wally Pollies Set for Cracker
Qantas to Parachute In Pilots
Unmask the Puppeteers, Union Demands
Cleaners Mop Up
Cane Toads Hop Into Johnny
King of Onkaparinga Cries Poor
Activist's What's On!
Labor's environment spokesman Antony Albanese argues that Chrernobyl is one reason why the ALP should stand firm on nuclear.
The Locker Room
A Sort Of Homecoming
Phil Doyle plays to the whistle.
Restaurant a Rip Off
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West reports from Macquarie Street on some strange collective acction.
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Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Spotless Bosses Blame Howard
A multinational cleaning company is hiding behind WorkChoices to justify a $20-a-week paycut for almost 300 low-paid workers.
Spotless Services has become the first company to invoke Australian Business Limited's advice to blame the Prime Minister for conditions being whittled away, with a letter to the LHMU (Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union) saying its hands were clean on the paycut.
The letter said the company - which almost tripled its last financial year from $23 million to $56 million - had no choice but to cut rates to stay competitive.
"Spotless' competitors (including future competitors who are new entrants to the defence contracting industry) will have significantly increased flexibility and decreased costs due to the new options under the new Work Choices system," the letter states.
The LHMU is in enterprise agreement negotiations with Spotless for cleaners at army bases in Melbourne and Puckapunyal.
The company offered a four per cent increase each year over three years on the condition work hours be extended and casual and part-time loading be decreased.
LHMU Victorian Secretary Brian Daley said the current base rate of $468.45 was already below the Defence Award rate of $484.40.
"Spotless is the first cab off the rank and their action could lead to widespread undercutting in the industry," Daley said.
The company is also embroiled in a dispute at The Alfred Hospital with the HSU (Health Services Union).
The HSU claims Spotless is planning to cut jobs and pay conditions of 320 workers.
Spotless employs more than 27,000 people worldwide and services 20,000 clients throughout Australia and New Zealand, according to the company website.
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