||Issue No. 309||02 June 2006|
When the Truth Hurts
Interview: Rock Solid
Industrial: Eight Simple Rules for Employing My Teenage Daughter
Politics: The Johnnie Code
Energy: Fission Fantasies
History: All The Way With Clarrie O'Shea
International: Closer to Home
Economics: Taking the Fizz
Unions: Stronger Together
Review: Montezuma's Revenge
Poetry: Fair Go Gone
The Locker Room
Revealed: Beaconsfield Led AWA Charge
In an interview with Workers Online, AWU national secretary, Bill Shorten, revealed the co-operation that transfixed a nation, last month, was a relatively new phenomenon.
Beaconsfield Gold, operated by Allstate Explorations, had sung off the Minerals Council song sheet, pushing AWAs and endeavouring to remain union-free.
It wasn't until last year that a negotiating team, including rescued miner Brant Webb, nailed the first collective contract in the operation's history.
Beaconsfield entered productive life in 1998 using take-it-or-leave-it AWAs as a condition of employment.
John Howard only invented the individual non-union contracts in 1996 and it was mining companies that first embraced them as a means of de-unionising their sites.
At times, Shorten said, the management-union relationship at Beaconsfield had been "aggressively antagonistic".
"By about 2001, there were all sort of promises being made and men started to join the union," he said.
"It took about three years of our Tasmanian branch, led by Ian Wakefield, turning up in the snow and bad weather and speaking to the blokes.
"Even then, we had to fight in the Industrial Relations Commission to try and get the company to talk to us."
Shorten said it hadn't been until last month's rescue operation was underway that some members of the management team began to change their tunes.
More than 30 underground miners wore Your Rights At Work insignia to last week's reception at federal parliament.
Webb took to the stage wearing an AWU delegate's pin.
Before the reception, miners signed the Beaconsfield declaration, thanking the public for its support and urging the Prime Minister to lift his ban on union occupational health and safety training.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|