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  Issue No 50 Official Organ of LaborNet 14 April 2000  




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Water workers flood CBD head office

By Noel Hester

Angry union members from Sydney Water, Australian Water Technologies and the Sydney Catchment Authority occupied the foyer and ground floor of the Corporation's CBD Headquarters on Wednesday.

About 2000 workers marched from Town Hall to Sydney Water's Head Office to let management know the depth of feelings over their stalled enterprise agreement.

They had just voted on a 24-hour stoppage to try and break the impasse in talks that management have spun out since October 1998 when the last agreement expired.

John Tierney, Assistant Secretary of the Australian Services Union, said employees have had enough of talking and have vowed to continue industrial action if there is no breakthrough in the next two weeks..

'These employees haven't had a pay increase for over 12 months. Sydney Water management have offered a 7% pay rise in a two year agreement. With the year since the expiry of the last agreement effectively it is a 7% increase over three years. This is half what other workers in the public sector have received,' he said.

Workloads and productivity have also drastically increased with large redundancies at the Corporation. Late last year Sydney Water offered voluntary redundancy to its entire workforce. It was taken up by over 400 employees.

'The overwhelming feeling at the meeting was the Sydney Water and Australian Water Technologies offer was far short of what was needed and what every employee deserved,' John Tierney said.

'Members have set a 12% wage increase in a two year agreement as the bottom line.'

'Sydney Water's employees have been incredibly patient. Finally they have decided industrial action is the only alternative left to them by management to break the impasse.'


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*   Issue 50 contents

In this issue
*  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,
*  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.
*  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.
*  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.

»  Sock Nazis Spark Casino Strike
»  Grave Fears Over Carr's Funeral Agenda
»  Packer, Pratt to Profit at Unions' Expense
»  Telstra Discrimination: 'Round one' to the Workers
»  Timor Fundraiser a Blast
»  Water workers flood CBD head office
»  Libs Plead for Help on IR
»  Employment National Workers Win CES Conditions
»  Teachers Deal Still Undone
»  Pressure Builds for Compo Pull-Out
»  Pacific Unions Increase Regional Ties
»  Ellis to Give May Day Toast
»  Special Comp: Just Who Are Our Friends?

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