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  Issue No 50 Official Organ of LaborNet 14 April 2000  

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News

Telstra Discrimination: 'Round one' to the Workers

By Dermott Browne

A senior Telstra manager has been forced to retract a direction that workers who had signed individual contracts be given preferential treatment in the redundancy process, but still faces legal action .

In a major victory for unionised workers, Telstra Managing Director Rob Cartwright has told the court that the company will not discriminate against award employees in its redundancy process.

He filed the statements in evidence as the Community and Public Sector Union sought an injunction to stop the Telstra redundancies process and penalize Cartwright for the threat he made to members..

But CPSU national secretary Wendy Caird has put Telstra on notice that while Cartwright's retraction is welcomed, his management strategy is now under scrutiny.

"Any further action to single out union members will be vigorously opposed by the

Telstra unions and an application for an interim order would be reissued.'

In light of Cartwright's statement to the Court today, the CPSU says it will not proceed with the injunction application. But it will continue to press for a penalty to be imposed for what it called a 'blatant threat to discriminate against its union employees'.

"It is essential that a penalty be imposed against Telstra. If one of Australia's largest companies is able to make threats of this kind and get away with it then it will be open season on all union members," Caird says.

The CPSU will ask the Court to set a date for the trial as soon as possible under 298K of the Workplace Relations Act - which carries a maximum penalty of $10,000.

"We want to send a clear message to management that they cannot single out and threaten union members," Caird says. "Employers get away with because no-one is prepared to take them on.


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*   Issue 50 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: The Gospel According To ...
Green Bans legend Jack Mundey looks back on his days in the BLF and the lessons that can be drawn from that experience today,
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*  Unions: Spinning at the Casino
In the lead-up to this weekend's historic strike, active LHMU members at Sydney’s Star City Casino have been making their own news.
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*  East Timor: Rebuilding From the Nightmare
NSW Attorney General Jeff Shaw travelled to Dili to get a first-hand perspective on the reconstruction work required.
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*  History: Internal Democracy and the BLF
How the rank and file team that took over the BLF in the early sixties attempted to devolve power to the grassroots.
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*  International: Towards Liberation
Zimbabwe trade unions are at the centre of the democratic struggle going on within the African Nation
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*  Republic: The Referendum We Had To Have
Paul Norton finds some hope in last year's resounding defeat of the republic proposition.
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*  Work/Time/Life: @work in the e-century
Marian Baird takes stock of how far we’ve come, or not come, in terms of our working life.
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*  Review: Rocking the Foundations
Pat Fiske's wonderful documentary on the BLF should be compulsory viewing for anyone in the union movement talking about shifting to an Organising Model.
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News
»  Sock Nazis Spark Casino Strike
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»  Grave Fears Over Carr's Funeral Agenda
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»  Packer, Pratt to Profit at Unions' Expense
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»  Telstra Discrimination: 'Round one' to the Workers
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»  Timor Fundraiser a Blast
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»  Water workers flood CBD head office
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»  Libs Plead for Help on IR
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»  Employment National Workers Win CES Conditions
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»  Teachers Deal Still Undone
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»  Pressure Builds for Compo Pull-Out
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»  Pacific Unions Increase Regional Ties
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»  Ellis to Give May Day Toast
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»  Special Comp: Just Who Are Our Friends?
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Columns
»  Guest Report
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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