|Issue No 63
|21 July 2000
Third World Conditions For Rural Workers
By Mary Yaager
Female seasonal rural workers are being forced to squat behind rows of lettuces, eat their lunches off discarded chemical drums and share communal showers because there are no amenities.
And other rural workers are being forced to pay for their accommodation, workers pay up to $50 dollars a week for pitching a tent on the property they are working on .In addition they also have to pay for drinking water, ice and sun protection.
Australian Workers Union president Mick Madden has raised the examples on the eve of a major campaign to clean up the industry.
"The accommodation and amenities provided to these rural workers are appalling, not even providing the basics such as a toilet and anyone visiting some of these workplaces would find it hard to believe that they were in the Australia," Madden says
"You can imagine workers in the city offices having to eat of chemical drums or having to squat behind a photocopier - I don't think so".
"Not all employers in the bush are guilty of not providing adequate amenities and I have come across a number of decent employers, however there are a number who leave a lot to be desired and the union is stepping up a campaign to improve the standards across the board."
Part of the AWU campaign on this issue is to lobby Country Labor to ensure the Carr Government introduce a Code Of Practice to cover the standards of accommodation and amenities for Rural Industries.
Interview: Paul Keating's Big Picture
The former Prime Minister is still painting on a broad canvass. He talks to Workers Online about the new economy, fair trade and political chi.
Unions: War in the West
Only six months after signing individual staff contracts, the gloss has worn off for some of BHP's Pilbara iron ore workers.
Environment: Farmers Fudge DNA Dangers
Farmers have missed the chance to have a meaningful debate into the use of genetically modified crops.
International: 'Dot Union' Proposal on the Table
ICANN, the global governing body of Internet domains, has released the following expression of interest in proposing a top-level domain for trade unions
Economics: Edge of the Abyss
Political economist Frank Stilwell argues that a constellation of events gives good reason to be worried about the Australian economy.
History: Taming the Tigers
Prominent labour historian, Dr Ming Chan, is visiting Australia to report on how workers are faring in the new Hong Kong.
Review: Music is Crap
It's already the second half of the first year in the new millenium. Who would have ever predicted a crisis in the popular music industry when we are at such an advanced stage ?
Satire: Last Kosovars Found Behind Couch
State Emergency Services personnel were called to a house in Brighton this morning, where the last five remaining Kosovar refugees have been found wedged behind a couch.
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