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  Issue No 47 Official Organ of LaborNet 24 March 2000  




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Questions Over National Push for 36 Hours Week

The Grollo deal with Victorian building unions is unlikely to spread into NSW and other states in the short term, as key enterprise agreements do not expire for another two years.

Workers Online understands that reaction in NSW to the Victorian push has been reserved in an industry which is currently enjoying boom conditions.

"While there is interest about the issue on the shop floor, they understand that the deals were struck less than six months ago," one source says.

"Thousands of EBAs signed last October and the 36 hour week was not on the table -we now have to wait three years until our agreements are up for renegotiation; we'll evaluate the merits of the Victorian model then."

Reith's Bargaining Hypocrisy

Meanwhile, CFMEU National Construction Secretary John Sutton says the 36-hour week campaign is an important initiative to get some civilisation back into working hours.

"It will not raise the costs of building projects significantly and provides an opportunity to get more jobs back into the industry," Sutton says.

And h says that Reith's criticism of Grocon Constructions' agreement with the union on the issue only betrays his hypocrisy.

"Construction workers are having to do massive amounts of overtime to get buildings up at the speed expected by property developers today. That obviously impacts negatively on their families and the community," Sutton says.

"The 36-hour week, coupled with a cap on overtime, will represent a significant improvement in working conditions.

"Most importantly it will create the opportunity for more employment in the industry," said Mr Sutton.

Quantity surveyors Rider Hunt estimate that the 36-hour week will only add 2 to 3 per cent to total building costs.


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*   Issue 47 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Telstra Troubleshooter
Andrew Hillard first blew the whistle on Mal Colston�s expenses rorts; now he�s taking on Telstra over its tactics to drive down wages and conditions.
*  Unions: A Christmas (Recruitment) Story
Staff at the Illawarra Mutual Building Society organised their own Christmas present - and, with the help of a little e-mail, delivered 80 new members to the ASU's Clerical and Administrative Branch.
*  International: A Move to the Left?
John Passant look�s at �Red Ken� Livingstone�s tilt at Mayor of London and what it means for the Radical Left.
*  Legal: Going Broke: What Workers Should Do
A no nonsense guide to protecting your entitlements when the boss goes bust.
*  Politics: "I Can't Believe It's Not Peter Reith":
The NSW Labor Government is waging a dirty campaign against the NSW Teachers Federation in order to gain the upper hand in the long running award dispute.
*  History: One Big Nation
In the 1920�s rural Australia was arguing for its share of the national wealth through The Bush Workers Propaganda Group.
*  Satire: Toddler Death Fallout: BMW Releases New Oven
The Victorian Government has turned up the heat on the gambling and car industries following a spate of children being locked inside cars.
*  Review: The Stranger from Hobart
In his controversial new book, Peter Botsman lifts the lid on the unsung hero of federation, Andrew Inglis Clark

»  Insurance Deal Guarantees Entitlements
»  Casual Work Inquiry Moves Closer
»  Questions Over National Push for 36 Hours Week
»  WA Govt Pulls Plug on Unionists
»  A Fair Day�s Surf
»  Hotel Workers Jam AIRC
»  PM's Security Guards Walk off the Job
»  SOCOG Dances: Budget Not There
»  Women Win Right To Wear Trousers
»  Another Rustbucket On Our Coast
»  Catholic School Teachers Endorse Strike Action
»  We Can't Share the Spirit If We Can�t Afford the Rent
»  Unionist Honoured Posthumously
»  Radio Free East Timor

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Carr's Parisian Lunchmate
»  Send Us a Letter

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