||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
Howard Stands By His Men
The proposed law, introduced to parliament last week, opens up the possibility of workers being pushed onto sham "contracts" where they would have to pay for their own holidays, sick leave, super and insurance.
It offers no protections to contractors who wish to negotiate collectively with the big end of town.
According to the ACTU, the central problem in the Independent Contractors Bill, is that it fails to define the difference between genuine contractors and employees.
ACTU president, Sharan Burrow, described that as a "fundamental flaw".
"It will see employers contracting out their workforces and put the onus on individual workers to go through lengthy and expensive court processes to protect their entitlements," she said.
The Independent Contractors Bill delivers a wishlist to the ICA, a right wing front organisation pretending to represent independent contractors.
Workers Online lifted the lid on the ICA, last week, revealing it was supported by 0.01 percent of its potential membership, at best.
While ICA executive director, Ken Phillips, refuses to divulge membership numbers, he told Senate Estimates he had the support of a "couple of hundred" people.
According to the ICA's own propoganda, there are more than 1.9 million independent contractors in Australia.
Unions have panned the contractors legislation as part of a sustained assault on living standards and workplace rights, spearheaded by WorkChoices.
Phillips told the Senate his ICA fully supported Canberra's contractors law.
Phillips and ICA founder, Bob Day, have strong links with the anti-worker, HR Nicholls Society, founded by Peter Costello.
Day combines his advocacy for independent contractors with his job as head of the Housing Industry Association, an industry body whose members employ thousands of contractors.
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