|Issue No 61||07 July 2000|
Ralph Waters - Email Messenger
The Email boss was pouring cold water on this week's Orange rally, accusing the trade union movement of needlessly frightening his workers about the future of their jobs. Our response? You are a tool, Ralph.
Waters' message to the media was that Email and their workers have nothing to fear, that the plant will be open for many years to come.
Only problem, was that he has consistently refused to give the same guarantees to workplace delegates who have spent the past months attempting to get undertakings on the security of their jobs, wages and accrued entitlements.
It seems to us that Ralph is being a bit too cute by half.
First, take the fact that some of the circuitry work on the whitegoods is already being sent offshore to China. This points to the sort of 'commitment to Australia' that decimated jobs in the car industry. The Australian plants become little more than centers for putting together components that have been made overseas.
Second, it seems that Ralph is also on the board of Electrolux, one of the companies that is eyeing off Email - along with Smorgans and BHP. Whether his commitment to the Email workers transcends this Chinese wall is unclear.
But what really lands Ralph in the Shed is his paternalistic attitude to the Orange workers - described by one delegate as "treating us like we are fools". As this week's rally shows, the Orange workers are no fools when it comes to protecting their jobs. In attempting to flush out management's intentions they have at least taken this battle, which will have such an effect on their personal futures, out of the shady boardrooms and into the light.
Ralph accuses the unions of scaremongering - if we can help extract the basic guarantees the workers deserve, it will have been well worth the effort.
Technology: Union Rep for Global Net Body
The godfather of unions and the Internet, Eric Lee, is seeking your support to give labour a voice on the net's governing body, ICANN.
Interview: Downloaded and Done Over
In the wake of the TV Networks' digital TV victory, Internet industry chief Peter Coroneus rues a missed opportunity for Australia.
Legal: The Global Millennium Project
The International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) has developed a draft proposal for a comprehensive revision and modernisation of international labour standards for the new millenium.
Unions: Sandgropers Get Serious on Stress
The Australian Services Union in Western Australia in conjunction with the University of Western Australia, is surveying workers across the state's call centre industry.
Politics: New Work for a New Millennium
View in full the ALP's Draft Industrial Relations Policy to be taken to the National Conference at the end of the month.
Solidarity: Korean Hotel Workers Seek Global Help
Striking Korean hotel workers at the Swiss Grand Hotel and the Seoul Hilton are worried they could be the next targets of escalating riot police violence.
History: Vince's Parable of the Sundial
How a working man survived WWII and ASIO blacklists to save a sundial.
International: Room for Optimism from African Poll
The performance of pro-Deomcracy groups in the Zimbabwean elections has given supporters hope for better days.
Environment: Mexican Wave Goes Green
American politics has taken on a Green hue with the left leaning National Action Party and the Greens in Mexico picking up nearly 40% of the vote in the recent elections.
Satire: Aussies Celebrate Centenary by Leaving Country
Prime Minister John Howard has defended his government's decision not to involve Australia in the centenary federation celebrations.
Review: A Building Sings of Lives Lived in Music
Mysterious shadows flicker in the windows of the Parramatta Town Hall. Strains of trumpet and sarod float outside. It's all part of the urban Theatre Project's latest work, 'The Palais'.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005