|Issue No 50||14 April 2000|
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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East Timor: Rebuilding From the Nightmare
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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.
International: Towards Liberation
Zimbabwe trade unions are at the centre of the democratic struggle going on within the African Nation
Republic: The Referendum We Had To Have
Paul Norton finds some hope in last year's resounding defeat of the republic proposition.
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.
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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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005