|Issue No 63
|21 July 2000
What Olympics Jobs? Asks the AWU
By Matt Thistlewaite
Howls of laughter reverberated around the Sydney office of the Australian Workers Union after reading the news that the Federal government could cancel job seekers dole benefits if they do not chase Olympic Games jobs.
What Olympics jobs? Asked the AWU State Secretary Mr. Russ Collison.
The AWU is a major union covering Olympics workers and is party to the Olympics award, but says many of its members at Olympics venues are not being offered work in September.
"If anyone can tell us where all these jobs are we will be only too pleased to advise our members that currently work at Olympics venues but are uncertain if even they will be offered employment during the Olympics.
"We are the major union at Stadium Australia, the Sydney Superdome and the International Aquatic Centre. Currently these venues employ about 1 200 of our members collectively, but less than a quarter of them have been offered employment during the Olympics.
"At the Sydney Superdome about 900 employees were told by SOCOG they could apply for 60 team leaders and supervisors positions. The rest of the workforce at that venue during the Olympics will be made up of volunteers.
"Although our union endorsed the protocol with SOCOG for volunteers we were guaranteed our existing members at Olympics venues would be employed. Well there is less than two months to go and more than half of our members have not been offered employment.
I had to laugh when I read the comments of a spokesman for the Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony in the Herald this morning. He seems to think job seekers "should be able to find work" in the Olympics jobs boom.
"Obviously no research went into this comment. Never let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to beat up on the unemployed.
Anthony's spokesman failed to inform the Herald that these job seekers probably would not be paid for their Olympic work. Not even a free SOCOG track suit and a good dose of Olympic spirit can make up for that oversight
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005