|Issue No 37||29 October 1999|
Spiderman Strikes as Women Sink Second Wave
By Naomi Steer
"An Arachniphobiacs nightmare". This is how Mistress of Ceremonies Suzanne Jameison opened the women's rally held this week outside the Sydney Senate Inquiry into the 'Second Wave' industrial legislation.
As Peter Reith's head was propped up unceremoniously on a nearby wall his alter ego 'Arachnid Man ' prowled amongst the ralliers terrifying and harassing the women workers present.
Speakers urged workers not to get caught in Reith's "web of lies". Debbie Carsens from Asian Women at Work outlined how the proposed laws would in effect legalise the existing exploitation of outworkers. Provisions that will limit union right of entry, drive down award conditions and deny access to federal government award coverage will severely effect those workers who are least able to negotiate fair wages and conditions for themselves.
National Pay Equity (NPEC) spokeswoman Fran Hayes said the federal government seemed intent on making things worse for women. "What women want is pay equity and job security not a worsening of their position through substandard work conditions."
Inside the Inquiry NPEC, WEL and Business and Professional Women(NSW) made a combined submission to the Inquiry. Their submission was endorsed by groups as diverse as the YWCA, Asian Women at Work, the Association on Non English Speaking Background Women of Australia , the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children and the Women's Information and Referral Exchange.
Key concerns set out in the submission included:
· reduction of the award safety net
· increased pressure on women to sign individual contracts
· the failure to ensure predicability, security and regularity of hours for part time workers
· allowing employers to offer different rates of pay to workers doing the same work undermining the long struggle for equal pay for women's groups.
Women's organisations vowed to continue the fight to protect women's working conditions .As Mrs Val Buswell of BPW (NSW) said, "In memory of the BPW women who worked hard and long trying to achieve equal pay for equal work - Jean Arnott, Doris Osborne, Peg Magoffin and many more like them - BPW Australia Division of NSW will fight on to achieve pay equity for all women - women in sweat shops, women on the factory floor and business and professional women."
Republic: Yes, It's Time
Opposition leader Kim Beazley invoked the spirit of '72 when he launched the ALP's Republic campaign.
Interview: What Price a Just Republic?
Magistrate Pat O’Shane is far from happy with the republican model. But she still believes a Yes vote is her best chance for genuine constitutional reform.
Economics: Who the EFIC are you?
If you have not heard of Export Credit Agencies, don't be surprised because it seems they're not too interested in letting the public know what they do.
Unions: Old Habits Die Hard
With the release of its blue print [email protected] the ACTU seems to know where it wants to go. But again it has failed to face up to the underlying structural issues preventing it from getting there.
Legal: Second Wave: Reith's Non-Right to Strike
Peter Reith has called his new laws the Workplace relations Amendment (More Jobs Better Pay) Bill 1999. If legislation is to carry these new, colloquial titles then the ‘More Control, Less Freedom’ Bill would be a better title.
International: Wahid’s New Team
Indonesias new government is blemished by Suharto-era appointees but an advance for reform, says Indonesia’s trade unions.
History: They Fought Them on the Airwaves
Radio broadcasts were an important weapon in the long-running struggle for equal pay.
Satire: Revealed: SOCOG Reserving Gold Medals for Tattersalls
The scandal over the secret allotment of premium tickets for the 2000 Olympics escalated today with the news that members of Sydney’s elite Tattersall’s Club will receive Gold Medals without actually competing.
Review: What The Age Wouldn’t Print
Some time before Monday 18 October, Age editor Michael Gawenda saw red and then got out his blue pencil. An article, heavily critical of Robert Manne, written by Overland editor Ian Syson, was pulled by Gawenda.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005