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  Issue No 48 Official Organ of LaborNet 31 March 2000  




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Pressure Builds on Stellar Contract

The Carr Government has been asked to intervene to ensure that a new Stellar call centre at Hornsby is not operating in breach of it's own Contracting Policy.

The centre has been established on a five-year outsource contract by the State Transit Authority to provide timetable information to the public.

Former Stellar human resources manager Andrew Hillard told Workers Online last week that staff were being forced onto non-union individual contracts on a 'take it or leave it basis'.

CPSU national secretary Wendy Caird has written to NSW Industrial relations Minister Jeff Shaw asking him to ensure the contracts are in line with NSW industrial relations laws that prohibit individual contracts being imposed on workers.

"The NSW Government has taken a very good public stand on industrial relations policy, particularly its refusal to replicate peter Reith's AWAs in NSW," Caird says.

"But its unfortunate that this public policy has not been followed through in its contractual arrangements with Call centre providers like Stellar.

"The NSW Government has to intervene to maintain credibility," she says.

Stellar Hits Foreign Troubles

Meanwhile, the company that Telstra joined forces with to create its controversial Stellar chain of centres call is at the centre of a scandal in Britain over bullying of workers.

British MPs are calling for tighter regulation of the call centre industry following a series of media stories on the operations of Stellar's parent company Excell Global Services.

Among the allegations against Excell is that an employee who has an epileptic fit at work and was taken to hospital had his pay docked and lost bonuses worth more than $400 for failing to keep a perfect attendance record.

And since the report was aired, Excell has required staff to undergo 'facial mapping' to prove they were not the anonymous employee who gave a critical TV interview where only the bottom of the face was shown.

Stellar is a joint venture involving Telstra and the phoenix-based Excell Global Services.


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*   Issue 48 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: The New President
At the end of her first week in the job, new ACTU President Sharan Burrow trades emails with Workers Online.
*  Health: Making Sense of Medicare
Nurses lift the lid on the Medicare myths as they shape up for a major national campaign.
*  Unions: Bush Bashing
The Finance Sector Union is taking to the road to pressure the government to impose community service obligations on banks.
*  Politics: The French Connection
While Victorian building unions are seeking a 36 hour week, Eurpoean nations like France are taking a more communcal approach to working time.
*  Economics: Mutual Obligation
New statistics show that an increasing number of people are volunteering to contribute to the community.
*  History: Living Library - Part II
More on the rich labour history that is housed within the walls of Sydney's Mitchell Library.
*  International: Russian Revolution
Russian trade unions are calling for the revision of a draft Labour Code, against the backdrop of Presidential elections.
*  Review: Casino Royale
Laurie Aaron's new book is sparking a lively debate about how a progressive agenda can be adapted to the challenges of globalisation.
*  Satire: Chop ‘em Up and Stick ‘em in Acid”
The West Australian Government is poised to pass Pakistani-style sentencing laws.

»  Workers Demand Internet Access to Organise
»  ILO Condemns Australian Labor Laws
»  Flying Doctor Grounds Aussie Jobs
»  Bank-Bulance Hits the Road
»  April Deadline on Olympics Pay Claim
»  Pressure Builds on Stellar Contract
»  Shares Plummets But Rio Bosses Get Millions
»  Nurses to Launch Medicare Campaign
»  Action Boosts Wages for Disabled Workers
»  SA Workers Close Building Industry
»  Political Economy for Activists
»  Workers to Set the Tunes for Dili Streets
»  OBITUARY - George Petersen (1921-2000)

»  The Soapbox
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  An Open Letter to Ansett
»  Moved by Wal's Life Story
»  The Problem With Mandatory Sentencing

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