||Issue No. 324||15 September 2006|
Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
Unions: Industrial Wasteland
International: Two Bob's Worth
Economics: National Interest
Environment: The Real Dinosaur
History: Only In Spain?
Review: Clerk Off
OWS: Better Never Than Late
The Kevin Andrews-controlled office confirmed, last week, it had seized the Western Australian builder's records.
But the action came more than a year after Western Australian unions, spearheaded by the CFMEU, blew the whistle on Hanssen's treatment of dozens of workers imported under four-year guest labour visas.
And it came three months after the builder agreed to upgrade pay rates and to provide holiday, redundancy and sick leave entitlements.
Hanssen builds apartments for the top-end of Perth's residential market.
He runs an aggressively non-union operation that undercuts going industry rates by hundreds of dollars a week.
He used labour hire to keep construction workers at arms length from his company then moved to an independent contracting arrangement, lashed by unions as a "sham".
Hanssen bolstered those strategies by hiring in labour from the Philippines, and other Asian countries, under the federal government's controversial Section 457 program.
The belated OWS investigation follows accusations that the WorkChoices-created body is a propaganda unit for federal government.
OWS "investigations" of workers who appeared in the ACTU's anti-WorkChoices campaign were leaked to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
In every instance, the Office "found" against workers, although, in at least three cases, it didn't even speak to the people involved.
It green-lighted the Cowra Abattoir's action in sacking staff on binding contracts and then re-hiring them at substantially reduced rates.
The employer who won Office endorsement in that case is now being investigated by the corporate watchdog after administrators alleged millions of dollars had been moved to associated companies before the abattoir fell over.
The OWS still refuses to answer specific questions about its roles and responsibilities put by Workers Online, in writing, nearly two months ago.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|