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  Issue No 99 Official Organ of LaborNet 15 June 2001  




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Dudded Dudes Lead Union Fight Back

Unions are poised for a major organising push among young workers in emerging industries following the spectacular campaign in defence of sacked One.Tel workers.

As workers from the failed telco formally thanked the trade union movement for their support, the Labor Council resolved to use the One.Tel collapse as the launch pad for a coordinated campaign.

The campaign, to include posters and radio advertisements will highlight the fact that without the trade unions, the One.Tel workers would have got nothing.

The marketing push will compliment ongoing work to map the needs of call center workers in key regional centers such as the Gold Coast and Wollongong. Surveys of workers in these two key centers were launched by unions this week.

The CPSU's Stephen Jones says the One.Tel collapse had represented a Sea Change in community attitudes towards the union movement - which regarded it as "fundamentally decent".

Redundancy, But Still No Cash

Meanwhile, the 1400 One.Tel workers face a long wait to receive their entitlements, secured after the CPSU nailed down an award recognizing their rights to redundancy payouts in the Australian Industrial relations Commission.

The AIRC recognised the principle set just a week earlier by the Finance Sector Union representing HIH employees, that an employer could not contract its staff out of redundancy protection.

More details have emerged of how the One.Tel workers, without any explanation, were expected to sign legally binding contracts when they started their jobs. It wasn't until they turned to the union - as the company stood at the brink of collapse - that they released how bad the deal they had signed was.

Jones says while big advances have now been made, workers will still have to wait until the administrator disposes of the company's assets before they will learn how much they will receive.

But in brighter news, the union says it is being inundated with calls form other employers seeking contact with the One.Tel workers.

Not Useless After All!

Two representatives of the One.Tel workers last night thanked the trade union movement for its support during the dispute.

Hung Le told the NSW Labor Council's weekly meeting that before the collapse he didn't know much about trade unions. But now he's seen first hand what they can do, he's called on unions to have a more public face.

Colleague Patrice Marchbank said the last few weeks had "brought to light the fact that unions were not as useless as young people thought. ... For four beers a fortnight you can give yourself protection at work," she said.

The Council congratulated the workers and the CPSU for their successful campaign.


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*   Issue 99 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: In Defence of the Umpire
Australian Industry Group chief Bob Herbert on why the Industrial Relations Commission is worth fighting for.
*  Unions: Diary of a Dude
One.Tel worker Warren Manners thought he had a dream job and no need for a union. That was until the money ran out.
*  Legal: Dot.Com Casualties
The high profile collapse of One.Tel had significant implications for its employees. But what about its contractors?
*  Industrial: The Shopfloor, United
Chris Christodoulou argues that without an active union membership, workplace democracy is just a pipe dream.
*  International: A Saharawi Woman's Plea
Sydney unionist Stephanie Brennan travelled to Africa to witness first-hand the struggle for independence in West Sahara.
*  History: Once Were Tuckpointers
Trawling through the files, Paul Howes stumbles upon some unions that represented workers long departed.
*  Politics: Out Of The Comfort Zone
In his new book, Brett Evans argues that while Labor is honing its reform agenda, it is still struggling to reform itself.
*  Satire: World Domination
The US has threatened not to pay the UN the money it doesn’t pay anyway.
*  Review: Wiped Out
Bread and Roses is a new movie about the struggle of invisible office cleaners to gain dignity and respect at work. Pity you won’t see it here.

»  Dudded Dudes Lead Union Fight Back
»  Redundancy Rules Promote Outsourcing
»  Workers Compo Bill Hovers
»  Della’s Pay for View Awards
»  Trades Hall Get Green Light
»  Public Works Under the Gun
»  Inner City School Closures
»  TAB Computers Push Bigger Bets
»  Shannon Plots Corporate Raid
»  Stop CSR Militants Wrecking Economy
»  NRMA Learns From the Big Boys
»  Diggers’ Records to be Outsourced?
»  Unions Back Religious Freedoms in Vietnam
»  Blair's Britain - An Insider Speaks
»  Workers Online 100th Issue Bash
»  Activists' Notebook

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  The May Day Wash-Out Explained
»  What's Wrong With Compo?

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