|Issue No 76||03 November 2000|
Push For 'Casuals' Parental Leave
The ACTU says it will run test cases seeking parental leave rights for long term casuals and reasonable working hours guidelines for all Federal award workers.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said the test cases focused on two of the major issues facing Australian workers - the casualisation of the workforce and the increasingly long and unpredictable nature of working hours.
"These cases are about restoring some balance," said Ms Burrow.
The first case will seek to extend maternity and paternity leave rights to all casual workers with 12 months continuous service with the same employer.
"One in three Australian women workers is employed as a casual. Yet under Federal laws these women are denied access to the basic entitlement of maternity leave no matter how long or how regular their employment has been. No worker should have to lose her job to have a child. Maternity leave should be a right for all women."
In the second case the ACTU will seek to establish new award guidelines that ensure hours of work are not unreasonable. Under the application unions will seek to have factors such as an employees safety, family responsibilities, workload and the total amount of hours worked over an extended period considered in determining reasonable hours of work.
"Despite achieving the 8 hour day over a century ago, almost a third of all Australian workers now work more than 50 hours a week. No employee should be forced to work unreasonable hours. It not only puts undue pressure on the social, community and family lives of workers - it can also be dangerous," said Ms Burrow.
Applications for the test cases will be lodged with the Australian Industrial Relations Commission early next month.
Interview: Withering On The Vine
Cooking shows and 'Bugs fucking to Mozart' may become the staple diet on our ABC as news and current affairs face a war of attrition. Quentin Dempster gives Workers Online an insider's view of our endangered national broadcaster .
US Election: Sugar Candy Politics
Like in everything else, Americans like their politics sugar coated. A Nation in denial, they are happier maintaining the fantasy that the world is a fine and dandy place says Michael Gadiel.
US Election: George W. Bushwhacked by Texas Truth Squad
The Texas Truth Squad are a group of Texan union members travelling the US on a crusade to expose the Republican presidential nominee as a corporate rogue who in his time as Governer proved himself as an enemy of the worker.
History: Federation and the Labour Movement
National celebrations will mark the Centenary of Federation next year. The labour movement's opposition to Federation at the referenda held around the Australian colonies in 1899 will attract less commemoration, although the republicans of 1999 might have benefited from reflection on the causes of working class discontent one hundred years earlier says Stuart Macintyre.
International: Unions Mac Their Day
McDonald's - the biggest employer of young people around the world - is increasingly becoming the target of union recognition campaigns, backed by human rights groups concerned about the fast food chains practices in countries such as Indonesia, China, Russia, Canada and Germany.
Satire: Wiranto’s charity album inspires genocidal maniacs everywhere
Indonesia’s favourite former strongman, General Wiranto, has recently decided to record an album of love songs. Entitled To You My Indonesia, Wiranto’s album has already sold 8,000 copies and is raising money for refugees.
Review: What About the Workers?
A big, gruff bloke in a blue singlet, on strike or just not working, and generally being difficult. That's the trade unionist for you. Barry Cohen's new book What About the Workers? shows this image may have a bit of truth about it, but he would be telling a few good yarns while he was standing about.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005