The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 328 13 October 2006  

Straw Men
Somewhere between Bangalore and Surrey Hills a story about off shoring of Australian jobs got confused this week; unleashing a round of hand-wringing that speaks volumes about the political and commercial potency of this issue.


Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
The ACCC is the latest state agency to turn its guns on the construction union. National official, Dave Noonan, discusses the implications.

Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
With new laws looming for “independent contractors”, Foxtel subbies have had the carpet pulled from under their feet, writes Nathan Brown.

Unions: Industrial Wasteland
A group of inner-Sydney veterans appear to be working to strip their families of retirement incomes. Jim Marr records their desperation.

International: Two Bob's Worth
German and British workers are participating in business decisions while WorkChoices locks Australians out of the conversation, writes Anthony Forsyth.

Economics: National Interest
John Howard claimed that interest rates would always be lower under a Coalition government than under Labor, Neale Towart crunchess the numbers.

Environment: The Real Dinosaur
Economic ignorance remains at the top and the critics are oblivious says Sol Power

History: Only In Spain?
The experiences of self management during the Civil War have been the one positive factor to come from that tragic event, and the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation thrives today.

Review: Clerk Off
Nathan Brown draws solace from some fellow social misfits.


 Activists Notebook

 Money Walks Over Jobs

 Classifieds the New IR Attack Dog

 States Keep Stakes in IR Blueprint

 Meatworkers Boned by WorkChoices

 Tune Up for Radio Rentals

 Democracy Overboard in Bass Strait

 Unionist Targeted for Deportation

 Taxpayers Taken to the Cleaners

 Staff Sunk By Float

 AWB Sets New Low

 Heinemann Pushes the Envelope

 Giant Catastrophe for Crew

 Workers Lose Right to Choose Lawyers

 Skill Vouchers A Dud, AMWU


Westie Wing
MLC Ian West ventures beyond Macquarie St and into the desert of the eco rats.

The Soapbox
Testing Times
Former RLPA secretary and Newcastle Knights prop, Tony Butterfield, fires up over dawn raids.

Dare to Win
The union movement has lost an inspirational leader of working men and women, writes Jeana Vithoulkas

Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter Two - Tommy’s Tale.

 Honest John, Would You Like Lies With That
 The Unpromised Land
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees



Democracy Overboard in Bass Strait

Oil company contractors are using WorkChoices to ride roughshod over secret ballot votes.

The true nature of the legislation was drummed into Bass Strait platform workers when the AIRC ordered them back to work, although the stoppage they voted for by 31-4 in a secret ballot, was barely one fifth of the way through.

"It was just starting to bite," AMWU organiser, Greg Warren, explained. "Now they've been forced back to work and we are all back to square one.

"There is no incentive for employers to bargain in good faith under this process."

Under the WorkChoices bureacracy, it took 39 Quality Maintenance Service employees on Bass St rigs, six weeks to complete their WorkChoices industrial action ballot.

They voted, overwhelmingly for a series of bans, to be followed by a 100-day stoppage, if the company did not address their issues.

However, barely 20 days into the stoppage, the company won an order to suspend their bargaining period for a month form AIRC SDP Acton.

The decision renders any industrial action illegal and punishable by hefty fines and damages. It also forces the offshore fitters and service operators to begin the whole process again.

Key sticking points included classifications and union access.

Warren said members thought they had an agreement on classifications after an agreed, arbitrated process involving industry training body, MISTAS, and employer organisation, AIG.

"QMS has reneged on the deal. There was stuff in there we didn't like but our guys accepted it as a way forward," Warren said.

"These laws are stacked in favour of the employer. The SDP has a new Act she has to apply and it is a deliberately anti-worker Act.

"Companies can lock people out for ever and a day but, even after we jump through all their hoops, they overturn secret ballot decisions if they look like being effective."


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 328 contents

email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2006

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online