||Issue No. 308||26 May 2006|
If the Answer is Nuclear ….
Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Politics: Labor Pains
Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Corporate: House of Horrors
History: Clash Of Cultures
International: Childs Play
Culture: Folk You Mate!
Review: Last Holeproof Hero
The Locker Room
Riders on the Strom
No Gerry Can
Insight Fires Up
More Front Than Meyer
The Owner Drivers Association has plied MPs with drinking mugs and propaganda in a bid to overturn drivers' exemptions from the Independent Contractors Act.
At least some Coalition MPs, including Wilson Tuckey, are lobbying on behalf of a group dedicated to deregulation of the transport industry.
Melbourne's Sun Herald alleges its six-figure campaign is under-written by courier companies who would benefit from drivers being stripped of collective protections.
Now Workers Online can reveal that the Owner Drivers Association is a front for the employer-instigated Independent Contractors Australia.
A co-founder of the ICA was Bob Day who doubles as the owner of one of Australia's biggest home building companies and heads the aggressive employer body, Housing Industry Australia.
Day and co-founder Ken Phillips are extreme right agitators, affiliated with HR Nicholls Society.
The only other person named on the ICA website is its new chairman, Angela MacRae. She is an economist who worked in the Prime Minister's Office before being appointed to the Federal Government's Taskforce on Reducing Red Tape for Business.
The lone human identified on the Owner Drivers Association website is "Media Contact" Don D'Cruz.
Until recently, he was a "research fellow" with the notorious IPA.
For lobbying purposes, the Owner Drivers Association claims to have 500 paid up members but its website reveals it was only formed last month - when the federal government announced owner drivers would be exempted from the Independent Contractors Act.
It's mission statement reads: "For too long, owner-drivers in Australia have had our real issues ignored. It's about time a single association was created to look after our interests."
Its mugs, delivered to federal politicians of all persuasions, carry the legend: "I choose to be an owner driver, proudly my own boss delivering your goods."
But its website concedes it is a "division of the Independent Contractors of Australia (Click here for access to the ICA website and all information on ICA).
"Membership of the ODA confers automatic membership of ICA and access to subscriber member information on www.contractworld.com.au," it says
D'Cruz refuses to release the names of any members, citing "privacy" reasons.
But CFMEU official, Dave Noonan, says outfits like the ICA owe it to democracy to come clean about membership and finances.
"It is clear that these are the people who give this government its instructions," Noonan said. "They want another massive transfer of costs from corporations to Australian citizens.
"We are entitled to know who these people are but nobody knows who funds them or who supports them.
"They should be required to publish membership lists and finances as trade are, by law."
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