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  Issue No 47 Official Organ of LaborNet 24 March 2000  




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Hotel Workers Jam AIRC

By David Whitley and Bernie Deans - ACTU organising Centre

More than 300 Melbourne hotel workers this week gave the ACTU Living Wage Case a human face, when 300 chefs and room attendants quietly filed into the court to listen to proceedings.


Workers Outside the ARIC

The hotel employees came from a number of the finest hotels across Melbourne including the Le Meridien, Hyatt, Hilton, Carlton Crest and Victoria. The workers met in a church hall close to the Industrial Relations Commission where the Living Wage Case is being held.

Chefs, room attendants and ACTU Secretary Greg Combet addressed the cheering workers, as they demanded five star wages for a five star job.

The meeting at the hall represented a new face of Australian unionism, with men and women from all backgrounds and of all ages meeting together to rally around the modest demand of a $24 pay rise.

Bongo Drums, Whistles and Tram Bells

Bongo drums and whistles welcomed each new speaker, the carnival attitude reflecting the excitement of everyone in the hall.

The hotel employees then marched to the Commission along exclusive Collins Street, with toots of support from passing cars. Trams rang their bells in recognition of the hotel workers cause.

Once they reached the commission the 300 made their way up to the 39th floor and quietly filed into the hearing - taking up all the available seating and having to cram into the large court room.

People were spilling out of the door as an ACTU representative put their case to the Commission.

Exec pay storms ahead

On the same day that the Financial Review reported executive pay was going up 6.5 per cent, and interim profits have soared by 14 per cent; hotel workers, working a 40-hour week, are asking for a modest 60 cents an hour pay rise.

The hotel workers are Australian people who want enough money to cover the cost of the GST and increasing interest rates.

With a rapidly growing gap between the rich and the poor in this country, these hotel workers demonstrated that they understand that when profits rise, so should the wages of all the employees in a company, not just the executives.


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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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