||Issue No. 330||27 October 2006|
Fair Weather Friends
Interview: Cowboys and Indians
Industrial: Seven Deadly Sins
Unions: The IT Factor
Politics: Bargain Basement
Environment: An Inconvenient Hoax
Corporate: Two Sides
International: Unfair Dismissals
History: A Stitch in Time
Review: The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Unhappy Campers in Court
The quartet - crane operators and metal fabricators - are fighting back from a double blow inflicted by John Howard's IR regime.
They were sacked last week after refusing to sign AWAs that would have cut their wages by $3 an hour, or more than $100 a week, according to the CFMEU.
Today, they appeared in the Federal Magistrate's Court, arguing they had been unlawfully dismissed by a Villawood-based company.
The four men arrived from Singapore a month ago on controversial 457 'skilled migration' visas. They paid $10,000 each to secure jobs, and agreed to the deduction of another $100 a week to live in crowded bunk accommodation at a factory.
CFMEU NSW secretary, Andrew Ferguson, said the demand for further wage cuts had pushed the men to seek union assistance.
"This is a clear case of an unscrupulous employer using the Howard Government's guest worker scheme and radical workplace laws in tandem to exploit foreign labour rather than employing Australian workers on appropriate pay rates and conditions," Ferguson said.
Sacked worker Rajan Kandasamy said the workers had been lied to over the conditions they would enjoy in Australia.
"I gave up a job in Singapore to come here," he said. "They told me it would be a good job, with good money and that we would live in very good accommodation and have food provided," said Kandasamy.
"I feel I was tricked, because after I paid thousands of dollars to come here for this work I was told I must sign the new agreement, but I knew there was something wrong with it."
The four workers want their jobs back on their original conditions.
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