||Issue No. 320||18 August 2006|
Fixing the WorkChoices Mess
Interview: A Life And Death Matter
Unions: Fighting Back
Industrial: What Cowra Means
Environment: Scrambling for Energy Security
Politics: Page Turner
Economics: The State of Labour
International: Workers Blood For Oil
History: Liberty in Spain
Review: Go Roys, Make A Noise
The Locker Room
Radio Rentals Launches Hit
Radio Rentals sacked three union activists on the spot, last week, and tried to impose sub-standard AWAs on anyone left standing.
Stunned AMWU officials say the company has lied, torn up negotiated conditions, and employed a dodgy corporate restructure to further its income-slashing agenda.
Assistant national secretary, Glenn Thompson, said Radio Rentals had:
- refused to conclude a new collective contract, offering only an effective pay cut
- categorically denied its intention to impose individual contracts
- successfully applied, under Howard's new laws, to have the existing contract terminated
- introduced "sub-standard AWAs"
- sacked the elected delegate, with 30 years service, and two other activists, and,
- tried to change the legal identity of the employer from Radio Rentals to Walkers Stores, effectively eliminating rights to enforce service-based entitlements
Thompson said the three technicians, declared "redundant", had 30, 26 and 17 years service with Radio Rentals, respectively.
"They handed them cheques and walked them out the door. As a result of the collective contract being terminated, our delegate lost $86,000 in redundancy pay as well as his job."
Thompson described the pattern AWA, offered to 24 staff, as a "nasty piece of work" that effectively eliminated a range of core award protections.
"The AWA is a bare-bones agreement and anything not included is at the discretion of the company and can be abolished through company policy," he said.
He confirmed the employer, for AWA purposes, had been changed to Walker Stores Proprietary Limited.
AMWU members at Radio Rentals have not had any wage increase for three years.
When Workers Online published, workers were meeting to determine their response.
Meanwhile, disgusted South Australians rallied outside Radio Rentals, last Friday, in an effort to protect Radio Rentals staff from the ravages of John Howard's new workplace regime.
"We've got to draw public attention to what this company is doing," SA Unions secretary, Janet Giles, told Workers Online.
"Radio Rentals is an iconic business in this state. It's where most Adelaide people got their first television.
"They were a respected employer of good standing. It is very disturbing to see them using John Howard's laws to stop people collectively bargaining."
Workers Online understands Radio Rentals AWAs are the handiwork of Adelaide law firm, EMA.
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