||Issue No. 328||13 October 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
The Unpromised Land
Tune Up for Radio Rentals
South Australian activists say they have never witnessed the support that buoyed Radio Rentals technicians, during a month-long lockout, that ended with a shock announcement the company would sign a union collective agreement.
One long-term Adelaide activist doubted the workers would have done a dollar, during their month at the point end of John Howard's war on workers, due to the scale of support.
The AMWU and Radio Rentals, announced the high-profile dispute was over in the driest of joint communiqués, this week.
But it couldn't take the shine off a massive victory for the trade union movement.
The ACTU, Unions South Australia and the AMWU joined forces to bring national attention to the Radio Rentals dispute.
The company used AWAs, then a lengthy lockout, to try to destroy collective bargaining in line with the federal government's game-plan.
But its aggression provoked opposition that commentators believe was impacting on its business.
Protests outside the company's Prospect store drew strong support and there were reports of customers cancelling contracts.
The joint press statement, issued this week, can be read as a refutation of key arguments in favour of AWAs.
Specifically, Radio Rentals accepts the collective agreement as a route to increased wages that also delivers on productivity and customer service.
The parties would not add to the following statement:
"Radio Rentals and the AMWU are pleased to advise that the industrial dispute between the parties has been resolved.
"Following extensive and detailed discussions on a range of issues, a collective agreement has been negotiated which lays the foundations for improved relationships, increased wages, improved productive performance and customer service.
"The negotiations were conducted in a professional manner and both sides are pleased with the outcome.
"Both parties look forward to implementing the agreement and working towards building a strong working relationship built on mutual respect."
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