Interview: Baby Bust
Safety: Dust To Dust
Bad Boss: Shaming in Print
National Focus: Work's Cripplin' Us
International: Bulk Bullies
History: The Battle for Kelly's Bush
Economics: Aid, Trade And Oil
Review: The Art Of Work
Poetry: Sew His Lips Together
Saving The Planet
Work's Cripplin' Us
The ACTU launched a national health and safety campaign this week targeting 'work strain' among people with high pressure jobs.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow says new research finds work strain is estimated to contribute to as many as 4000 new injuries every week -- or an injury every 2.5 minutes in Australian workplaces.
"What is most alarming is that the research shows that work strain is affecting large numbers of people in industries traditionally not associated with big health and safety risks," she says.
"Call centre workers, nurses, teachers, office and retail workers are increasingly the victims of work strain injury as well as people in more traditional high risk jobs in manufacturing, constructing, transport and distribution."
"The research shows that the key factors in work strain are excessive workloads, long hours, job insecurity, and a lack of control over one's work in combination with physical aspects such as lifting and carrying loads, poor posture, and exertion."
Spin doctors of the world unite
Ah, the life of a union media officer: alone and unappreciated, sweating away in the garret making everyone else look good, making silk purses out of ... (mmm, might have to rework that last message!). Anyway your time has come! The ACTU will be hosting a union media and communications workshop on April 22-23 for these poor neglected souls.
There will be plenty of interesting speakers from inside and outside the movement talking about how to deal with the mass media, union media in industrial disputes, messaging, organising, unions and the web and union publications.
There'll even be a dinner on the Thursday night when participants will be expected to practice what they've learnt and spin bullshit to each other.
For more information contact Debi Bruce at the ACTU - [email protected]
Around the states
In Victoria teachers took to the streets en masse this week to vent their anger at the Bracks Government's offer of a 2.25% salary increase. Over 9,000 AEU members attended a stopwork meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday before marching on Treasurer John Brumby's office in protest.
The Victorian Independent Education Union has decided to call out their 16,000 Catholic teachers to take action on the same day. This is the first time in Victoria's history that Catholic and public school teachers have taken stopwork action on the same issue on the same day.
The Victorian Trades and Labor Council wants to remind those interested to book your tickets for the Labour Day Dinner Dance to be held at the Moonee Valley Racing Club on Friday 12th March.
In Tasmania this morning a successful launch of the OHS campaign saw a prominent medical expert Dr Peter Sharman backing union claims that psycho-social factors (for the medical language-challenged that means stuff like work overload, fewer staff, job insecurity) contribute to pain and strain injuries.
On the party front, woman unionists are planning to let the good times roll at a brunch in parliament grounds to celebrate International Woman's Day on Monday.
In Queensland this week the Queensland Council of Unions ran its second "Know you Rights" week in Toowoomba encouraging workers to be aware of their rights in the workplace.
As well as union officials visiting Toowoomba workplaces, the campaign also saw the running of courses, seminars and information sessions for union delegates. These included advanced delegates/activists training course; workplace health and safety course; WorkCover seminar run by the QCU's Workers' Compensation Advisory Service; and pay equity information sessions to brief dental assistants and child care workers on the LHMU's applications under the Equal Remuneration Principle.
QCU General Secretary Grace Grace launched the campaign at Toowoomba Trades Hall on Monday 1 March saying that the QCU's "Know your Rights" campaigns were part of the union movement's commitment to regional Queensland and were aimed at ensuring workers in the area were aware of their rights and entitlements.
The first "Know your Rights" campaign was run in Gladstone in June 2003. The QCU is currently looking at holding another campaign in regional Queensland in the second half of 2004.
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