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  Issue No 85 Official Organ of LaborNet 23 February 2001  

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News

Heavy Handed Tactics Leave Speedo Workers Exposed

By David Tritten

Speedo have announced they are ceasing manufacturing at Windsor with the loss of around 65 jobs with manufacturing tol be transferred to outside Australia .

The Union representing the workers at Speedo has condemned Speedo for failing to consult with the workers or their Union prior to announcing the termination of the employees. The National Secretary of the TCFUA, Mr Tony Woolgar, said, "the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and the Workplace Relations Act 1996 required that the Company consult with the workers and their representatives prior to the announcement being made. The idea of this consultation period is to allow time for the workers and their representatives to discuss alternatives with the Company to sacking employees".

As it turned out the Company yesterday set in motion what appears to have been a carefully orchestrated plan to sack its employees. The surprise sackings follow reassurances from management that the workers jobs were safe. At 7.40 am yesterday management separated the employees it intended to sack from the few who will keep their jobs. Workers who were not sacked yesterday were put in the boardroom and a security guard was placed outside the door.

The manufacturing workforce were then rounded up and told by management (who read from a short prepared script) that they were terminated. Management then handed the meeting over to 'consultants' (who were brought in especially for the purpose). The so-called 'consultants' were left to hand out the letters of termination to the sacked workers. As the sacked workers left the factory many had their bags searched by security guards who had apparently been hired for the purpose.

Earlier today Union representatives were told by Speedo management that the Company would not guarantee that the workers who end up making Speedo gear from work contracted out would be paid award wages and conditions.

Mr Woolgar said that: "This issue of contracting out in the textile and clothing industry has given rise to exploitation of women and children in other circumstances and we believe that Australian consumers are concerned that the garments they buy are not being made by exploited labour.

If the Company are concerned to retain some of their manufacturing in Australia why don't they keep it in the factory where they can guarantee that proper wages and conditions will be provided to the workforce".

The Union will be commencing action against the Company in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The Union are seeking to have the sackings reversed until all alternatives to termination of employment are thoroughly explored.


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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 85 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Tony Abbott – Workers' Friend?
The new Workplace Relations minister relives his own union background and explains why he’s really just another worker at heart. Honestly.
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*  Politics: The Politics of Petrol
Australia might be burning, but is it a fire that can be brought under control?
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*  Organising: The Battle of Campsie
SDA delegate Maria Kavaratzis recounts how the Campsie Big W has been transformed into a union shop.
*
*  History: Scabbing Through the Ages
Neale Towart looks back at how popular culture has treated those workers who have not considered themselves part of the collective.
*
*  International: Diary of a Showdown
The Korean Metal Workers Federation recounts a week which culminated in violent attacks on workers outside the Daewoo factory.
*
*  Economics: Debt Dumping Campaign Enters New Phase
The millennial deadline might have passed, but Jubilee 2000 is not giving up the fight for debt cancellation for the world’s fifty-two poorest countries.
*
*  Health: The Real Drug Wars
As Africa attempts to deal with the HIV crisis, access to the medicines that can relieve victims’ suffering is emerging as a major humanitarian issue.
*
*  Satire: Liberals Claim Triumph in Queensland
John Howard has claimed the Liberal Party’s decimation in Western Australia and Queensland as a triumphant vindication of his party’s embracing of the national competition policy.
*
*  Review: Beyond a White Australia
As we ponder the One Nation renaissance, a new book challenges the current debates around xenophobia and the perceived threat of danger from Asia.
*

News
»  Labor To Move on Outsourcing Scams
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»  Opera Workers Join Freeloader Chorus
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»  Independent Eyes for Asbestos Deal
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»  Employment Records Must Be Protected
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»  Workers to Float Down Oxford Street
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»  Competitive Tendering Hits Welfare Sector
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»  Violence Hits Indonesian Dispute
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»  Locked Out, ‘Cause The Boss Won’t Talk
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»  New Laws To Protect Carers
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»  Acoustic Shock Cases Tip of the Iceberg
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»  Teachers Fed Gives Free Membership to Students
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»  Miners Union Calls for ‘Community Dividend’
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»  Hanson's Nursing Plan Bad for Health
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»  Refugee Plight Focus of NESB Network
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»  Unions Pause On New Safety Laws
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»  Heavy Handed Tactics Leave Speedo Workers Exposed
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»  Activists Notebook
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»  Vale: Charlie Fitzgibbon (1922-2001)
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  No Shrinking Violet
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»  Service Fees a Cop Out
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»  Not Quite Right on Discrimination
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»  Explaining it to Pauline
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»  The Canada Bay Debacle
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