||Issue No. 317||28 July 2006|
Independent of Facts
Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
Unions: Staying Mum
Economics: Precious Metals
Industrial: The Cold 100
History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
Legal: Free Agents
Politics: Under The Influence
International: How Swede It Was
Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
Ridout: WorkChoices “Revolutionary”
Telstra Boss Gets Crossed Line
Prof: Fair Pay Should Be Lower
The Locker Room
Help is at Hand
Labor Council of NSW
Howard Chews Up Lollipop Men
The AWU claims Blacktown-based Complete Traffic Services is using AWAs to slash wages in regional NSW, by $32 a week, increase working hours and junk security of employment.
State secretary, Russ Collison, says the rogue operator is breaking health and safety regulations by handing out traffic contractors tickets to employees who haven't done mandatory inductions.
He says when his union began back pay claims for several Grafton-based members, the company typed up letters indicating individuals wanted to resign from the union and told them if they didn't sign their jobs were on the line.
"This company had unregistered AWAs. They were unregistered because they undercut the award and didn't meet the old no-disadvantage test," Collison said.
"When WorkChoices came in they registered their AWAs.
"We began back pay action for several members who were approached by Gerard O'Neill from Complete Traffic Services with letters authorising their resignation from the union.
"He told them to sign or risk their employment with the company."
Worse still, Collison says, the rogue operator has been rewarded with a 12-month state government contract.
Collision says Complete Traffic Services AWAs undercut the award rate by 38 cents an hour, increase weekly hours from 38-40; reduce overtime rates; impose a three-year wage freeze; and turn regular employees into casuals.
"This is John Howard's gift to regional Australia," Collison said. "Try telling these people that they can just walk away and get another job."
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