Interview: Life After Keating
Industrial: That Friday Feeling
Bad Boss: Begging to Work
Organising: Project Pilbara
Unions: Off the Rails
International: Brazil Turns Left
Environment: Brown Wash
History Special: Learning from the Past
Corporate: Will the Bullying Backfire?
Technology: Danger Lurks For The Passive
History: In Labour’s Image
Politics: Without Power Or Glory
History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Culture: Blood Stains the Wattle
Satire: Iraq Pre-empts Pre-emptive Strike
Poetry: The Executive Pay Cut
Review: Time Out
Month In Review
The Locker Room
Why The User Should Pay
Deadly ‘Slave Labour’ Racket Exposed
Zoo Workers Buck Indecent Proposal
Cabinet Takes Stick To Abbott's Carrot
Cyber Action Behind Hilton Win
City Workers To Help Country Cousins
Government Grounds Ansett Levy
TAB Workers Winners as Cup Strike Averted
Aussie Post Gets Mail On Sick Leave
Council Backs Community Radio Venture
Workers Out! Conference Opens In Sydney
Aussie Union Rep Power, Yes Please: TUC
More Bali Feed Back
Clean Election Laws Now!
And Now, Some Fan Mail!
Labor Council of NSW
Tokyo Youth Call
Rengo Tokyo, who are the equivalent of the Labor Council of NSW, are conducting a campaign where young organisers are going in to workplaces and distributing material featuring a union hotline number. The hotline goes through to a call centre in the union head office of Rengo Tokyo, which is staffed by experienced union officials.
The hotline has received an overwhelming amount of calls from people who are not in the union and have major workplace issues. The union assists these individuals and in return they organise their workplace.
While the campaign is still in its early days, it is already shaping up to be a roaring success. It is enabling numerous unions to organise workplaces where they previously had no coverage.
A Labor Council Delegation comprising of Mary Yaager, OHS & Workers Compensation Coordinator for Labor Council, Maurie O'Sullivan, Secretary of PSA, Barry Johnson, Secretary of Teachers Federation, and Robert Hayden, Assistant Secretary of RTBU, recently went to Japan. The delegation was surprised to find Japan is experiencing similar union density and workplace issues as other industrialised nations.
The union density in Japan is around 20 percent and therefore only 12 million out of 60 million workers are members of a union. Japan's other issues include balancing work and family, massive increases in part timework, the collapse of major corporations and massive retrenchments as a result.
The unions were also concerned about the deregulation of banks, which was a major issue during our visit. The Japanese government was about to announce major reforms in this sector, which are hoped to address the unions concerns.
One of the major problems facing young workers is the aging population. It is estimated that by the year 2025 the average worker will have to pay 40% of their wages for health and aged care alone.
The Japanese unions were very impressed with the approach of the NSW unions in their organising and campaign approach. The Rengo Tokyo Women's Committee were encouraged by the fact that we had so many women leaders, not only in the union movement but also in parliament. They were also very impressed that the Labor Council has a female President, Sam Moait.
The Secretary of Rengo Tokyo has recently appointed a woman as Vice President (this is a first) and is hopeful they can increase the number of women in influential union positions and also in parliament.
On a lighter note the delegation, being good trade unionists, purchased Japanese headbands with the slogan "Fight to Win". And later, while the four of us were having our photographs taken, our interpreter advised Maurie O'Sullivan that his headband featured a different headband which read "Kami Kazi" (the suicide slogan).
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