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Issue No. 319 11 August 2006  

Good Versus Evil
So it's come to this - working women's groups that alert clients to union activities will be denied federal government funding and, effectively, forced to close.


Interview: A Life And Death Matter
Macquarie Street and Canberra are squaring off over safety in the workplace, NSW Minister for Industrial relations, John Della Bosca, explains what's at stake.

Unions: Fighting Back
When John Howard's building industry enforcer started threatening people's homes, one couple hit the road. Jim Marr met them in Sydney.

Industrial: What Cowra Means
The ruling on the Cowra abattoir case highlights the implications of the new IR rules, according to John Howe and Jill Murray

Environment: Scrambling for Energy Security
Howard Government hypocrisy is showcased in its climate change manoeuvring, Stuart Rosewarne writes:

Politics: Page Turner
A new book leaves no doubt about whether the faction came before the ego, Nathan Brown writes.

Economics: The State of Labour
The capacity of the state to shape the political economy and thus improve the social lives of the people must be reasserted, argues Geoff Dow.

International: Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

History: Liberty in Spain
Worker Self-Management is good management. The proof in Spain was in Catalania, Andalusia and continues in the Basque Country, as Neale Towart explains.

Review: Go Roys, Make A Noise
Phil Doyle thought he'd find nostalgia, but instead Vulgar Press' new book, Maroon & Blue is a penetrating insight into the suburban mind under stress.


 Sprung: Light on Day

 Mal Content to Challenge King

 More Standover Tactics in WA

 Qantas Holidays Delayed 150 Years

 Hockey Wields Stick

 We Have Ways of Cutting Your Pay

 Jihad Johnny Targets Women

 Council Workers Talk The Walk

 Trujillo Slices Millions Off Bottom Line

 Vehicle Jobs on Skids

 Teachers Suspend Selves

 Bishop Damns WorkChoices

 Workers Rights On The Road

 ACTU Backs Business, Germans

 Activist's What's On!


The Locker Room
Ruled Out
Phil Doyle plays by the rules

Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter One - Tommy and "The Boy"

Westie Wing
Ian West wonders what might happen if the NSW Coalition actually did win power next March at the State elections.

 Pimps and Prostitutes
 The Cruellest Cut
 Poll On
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We Have Ways of Cutting Your Pay

Kevin Andrews is backing a subsidiary of German airline Lufthansa in its battle to strip pay and conditions from Melbourne call centre staff.

Andrews has gone into bat for call centre operators with 'independent' legal advice written by the company's own lawyers.

Global Tele Sales (GTS), owned by the German giant, has introduced individual contracts that slash base pay rates by up to 10%, or nearly $50 per week.

The contracts feature performance based pay rises which disadvantage workers financially for use of sick or carer's leave, as previously reported by Workers Online (Issue 314 )

The Australian Services Union and the ACTU have been active in representing the call centre workers who fear for their jobs if the speak out, according to the union.

With less than 100 employees, staff have no redress to unfair dismissals.

The campaign is drawing global support with union website LabourStart leading an international online campaign targeting Lufthansa directly.

Workplace Relations Minister Andrews weighed into the debate at a press conference brandishing legal advice he claimed discredited the union campaign.

The advice, later tabled in Parliament, turned out to be a letter written by GTS lawyers Blake Dawson Waldron.

Andrews' intervention followed an investigation by Victorian Workplace Rights Advocate Tony Lawrence which exposed the cuts to pay and conditions of GTS staff who signed up to the individual contracts.

The workplace watchdog voiced "serious concerns about the legality, fairness and appropriateness of parts of the AWA and the circumstances surrounding... the offering of the AWA by GTS."

Lawrence listed a litany of cuts to penalty, shift and holiday rates as well as the reduction in the base pay rate.


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