||Issue No. 356||21 December 2006|
Interview: The Terminator
Industrial: Vive La Resistance
Unions: Breaking News
History: Seven Deadly Sins
Economics: Back to the Future
Politics: Organising and Organisations
International: Web Retrospective
Review: Shock Therapy
Hospital Staff Prescribe Radical Surgery
New Thinking to Transport Sydney
Check Mate - Track Your Personal Info
Lift For Unfair Dismissal Campaign
Vanstone Opens New Meat Market
All the Best
Labor Council of NSW
WorkChoices on a Trolley
The surprise Christmas present was delivered, in person, by a Starlink boss who told disgruntled locals he was flying north to discuss their grievances.
The LHMU has stepped into the breach to back 10 trolley collectors who want to be paid for working extra hours.
"These people aren't union members but they are low-paid workers being harshly exploited," LHMU industrial officer, Geoff Hull, said.
"They have no income and their families face a pretty miserable Christmas."
The dispute blew up after Starlink, a nationwide trolley collection contractor, order its Darwin franchise to increase hours but refused to pay extra money.
Local collectors say they now work as late as midnight for an effective rate of $9 an hour.
They have no beef with their immediate employer who took over the service after a previous contractor shot through without paying his bills.
"The employer has confirmed the replacement workers are migrants but we don't know if they are on 457 visas or not," Hull said.
"It is a ridiculous situation, flying foreigner in to undercut workers already being paid below the minimum wage. If they are on skilled labour visas it is even more ridiculous."
The LHMU is offering advice and hopes to set up a web presence where locals can offer the trolley collectors moral and financial support.
Hulls said Starlink had refused to negotiate and the collectors were taking their grievances direct to big retailers in the centre who had "some affinity" with the local community.
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