||Issue No. 334||24 November 2006|
It’s Who The Economy Works For, Stupid
Interview: Common Ground
Industrial: A Low Act
Unions: The Number of the Least
Politics: The Smoking Gun
Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
Environment: Low Voltage
History: The Art of Social Justice
Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
Culture: A Forgotten Poet
STOP PRESS: Workers Docked for Meeting Pollies
Labor IR spoksemsan Steven Smioth release dthis statement late Friday:
"John Howard's unfair and extreme industrial relations legislation was on full display today at the Feltex carpet making business in Melbourne.
Godfrey Hirst recently purchased Feltex Carpets and offered the 300 workers AWAs that cut conditions and entitlements, despite the fact that their current collective agreement is not due to expire until August 2007.
At 8:45 this morning, I met with about 40 Feltex employees after they advised management that they would take an early tea break to meet with me, their local Federal Member and a local State Member about their situation.
I have been advised that after the workers returned to work about 1 or 2 minutes late, their employer told them they will have 4 hours pay docked for participating in unlawful industrial action.
John Howard's extreme industrial relations laws dictate that if employees take industrial action their employer must dock them a minimum of 4 hours pay.
These workers have little bargaining power. But when they used their tea break to put their plight to the Shadow Minister, their local Federal Member and local State Member - they were immediately punished by John Howard's extreme laws.
Feltex is a live and living example of John Howard's wage cutting AWAs.
It is a live example of his meaningless guarantees about having existing conditions and entitlements protected if a business is sold.
And now it is a live example about how these laws punish Australian workers for discussing their workplace circumstances with their elected representatives during a tea break."
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