The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
July 2006   

Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
When the mobs took over the streets of Dili it was the people of East Timor that bore the brunt. Elisabeth Lino de Araujo from Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA was there to witness what happened.

Unions: Staying Mum
Penrith mums, Linda Everingham and Jo Jacobson, are at the heart of a grassroots campaign to boot Jackie Kelly, out of federal parliament. Jim Marr caught up with one half of the sister act.

Economics: Precious Metals
There's a lot of spin around AWAs in the mining industry, but Tony Maher argues all that glitters is not gold.

Industrial: The Cold 100
The Iemma Government has come up with 100 reasons why WorkChoices is a dud, with 100 examples of ripped off workers

History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
This month's Blacktown Rally was not the first time workers had stood up for their rights in the region, writes Andrew Moore.

Legal: Free Agents
Is an independent contractor a small businessperson or a worker? The answer depends upon whether the contractor is genuinely �independent� or not, writes Even Jones.

Politics: Under The Influence
Bob Gould thinks Sonny Bill Williams is a hunk; he reveals all in a left wing view of The Bulletin�s 100 most influential Australians, questioning the relevance of some, and adding a few of his own.

International: How Swede It Was
Geoff Dow pays tribute to the passing of Rudolf Meidner, one of the architects of the Swedish model of capitalism.

Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
These punk rockers are out to KO WorkChoices. Nathan Brown joins the fray.


The Soapbox
Work Choice: US Military Style
John Howard has learnt a few lessons on workers rights from his Texan buddy, writes Rowan Cahill.

Westie Wing
As Pru Goward slams into the glass ceiling of the NSW Liberal Party, Ian West considers how women are faring under the Howard-Costello Government.

The Locker Room
A World Away
Phil Doyle is pleased that a display of subtle beauty and athletic grace has been overtaken by some good old-fashioned mindless violence


The Power of Ones
Lorissa Sevens is no shrinking violet; she had mown down attackers for her nation playing defence for the Matildas. But even this sort of toughness means nothing in the face of WorkChoices.


 Jihad Johnny Targets Perth

 Rio Sets Up Own Goal

 Telstra Fails to Snag Protest

 AWAs Bucket Queenslanders

 Kev Gives Aussies the Finger

 Movie Blue: Win-Win for Critics

 Wage Cut Scam Legal

 Hardie Boss Takes 60 Percent Rise

 The Stack Goes On

 Boss Opens Door For Thieves

 Hendy Banks on Mass Amnesia

 Eisteddfod Win: Your Rock At Work

 Airline Crashes Into Paypackets

 Canucks Can BHP

 Activist's What's On!

 Oz Hails Sun King
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees



The Cold 100

The Iemma Government has come up with 100 reasons why WorkChoices is a dud, with 100 examples of ripped off workers

Shame File - 100 Days of Work Choices

Australian Workplace Agreements

1. Employees in a finance company were presented with an AWA that required that they pay for sick leave insurance.

2. An employee in Yass was presented with an AWA which did not allow for any accrual of sick leave. As he was threatened with the sack, he 'chose' to sign it.

3. Joelle was an employee at a South Coast caravan park who had moved interstate to take up the job. She was sacked when she raised concerns about her AWA.

4. Karen, from Nambucca Heads, had a job offer withdrawn when she raised simple questions about the AWA she was offered. She was told 'You're not the right sort of person'.

5. A young woman on the far South Coast was successful at a job interview for a position at a motel. She was presented with an AWA which proposed a $15.00 flat rate with no penalty rates or overtime.

6. The proprietor of an engineering firm told his staff that new workplace laws gave him 'much more control' and if they were not prepared to meet production targets, they should quit. The base pay rate was cut and a flat rate imposed for night shifts.

7. A permanent employee at a club was offered an AWA with an annual salary of $38,000 for a 40 hour week. Under the agreement there was no provision for overtime payments, penalty rates, sick leave or public holidays.

8. A machine operator working in the metal industry in Newcastle had been given an AWA and told to sign it on the day. He feared dismissal.

9. Workers contracted to deliver garbage collection services in Wyong Shire and Gosford City could lose up to $340 a week through lost overtime and penalty rates if the councils put their jobs out to tender and the workers are forced onto AWAs.

10. A student was offered AWA which supposedly offered better conditions than the Shop Employees (State) Award. The AWA contained no penalties and a flat rate that was less than the award.

11. Annette Harris worked at the Spotlight store in Coffs Harbour for two years. She was offered a new contract which paid an extra 2c an hour, but lost up to $90 a week in penalty rates, as well as rostered days off, meal allowances, leave loading, rest breaks and minimum breaks between shifts.

12. The proprietor of a respite facility in Broken Hill threatened thirty employees with the sack if they did not sign AWAs that would have reduced pay be about $200 a week.

13. A 16 year old casual waitress was informed by employer that all staff would be moved to AWAs and they would no longer be able to access penalty rates or loadings.

14. Jim Mitropolis, Greg Lim and Alex May have been employed as casual lifeguards by the Coogee Randwick RSL for almost a decade. The three lifeguards were recently told they would have to reapply for their jobs and, if successful, they would be employed on AWAs.

15. A woman was offered employment contract that did not cover the range of entitlements contained in the Clerical & Administrative Employees (State) Award. In her new contract annual leave was not cumulative and the employer could terminate if she became incapacitated by illness or injury.

16. Rahat applied for a job as a packer at a warehouse. Her prospective employer gave her an AWA and asked her to sign it immediately. He also gave her another form to sign, waiving the seven day period for considering the AWA.

Industrial Disputation

17. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Australian Workers Union were forced to call off low level industrial action against Qantas. Under the new Work Choices legislation they had to reapply to have their three-month work-to-rule campaign reinstated, which could take months.

18. Twenty-five workers were docked four hours pay after they stopped work for 15 minutes to raise money for the family of a man killed in an industrial accident in March.

19. Qantas says it was forced to dock pay from 99 of its employees under the Work Choices legislation when they held a stop work meeting to discuss safety concerns. They were each docked four hours pay - about $90 - even though management conceded later the workers had a legitimate complaint.

Occupational Health and Safety

20. The Commonwealth's Office of Employment Advocacy's senior legal manager provided advice to a coal company on 19 April that leave to attend occupational health and safety training organised by a trade union was prohibited.

Reduced Wages and Conditions

21. Child care workers at 37 centres across New South Wales offered contracts cutting between $138 and $313 from their weekly pay packets.

22. A chef employed full-time by a Sydney restaurant was changed to casual employment on 27 March without notice.

23. An adult casual shop assistant who had been employed for six weeks in a beauty salon in Erina prior to 26 March was advised that weekend and public holiday penalty rates would be reduced. Any staff who did not accept this would be 'let go'. Staff members were not offered an AWA.

24. Three workers at a cabinet installation company in Altona were sacked on the day Work Choices came into effect, and then offered casual positions at a lower rate of pay.

25. A hotel housekeeper was sacked and then offered casual work the week the Work Choices legislation began.

26. An employer in Alexandria ripped a copy of the award down in front of his workers and told them 'I don't have to pay this s*** anymore'.

27. A Sydney woman was told the award does not apply anymore and she would no longer receive penalty rates on weekends.

28. An employee at a caf� had been advised by her employer that he could now decrease her wages and sack her without pay.

29. An employee at a Sydney doctor's surgery who had worked there for 21 years was told the day after the commencement of Work Choices that she was to be made a casual and would now have to work at two locations.

30. Twenty-nine workers at a Cowra abattoir were sacked and told they may reapply for one of only 20 positions available. The workers would be paid out their entitlements and invited to apply for one of the new contracts, which involved pay cuts of up to $180 a week and loss of performance bonuses.

31. A worker at the Brighton Le Sands RSL Club had his working hours reduced from full-time to part-time while he was on leave. He advised that five other employees had been sacked, five had been forced to resign and two others made redundant.

32. An apprentice working at a caf� in Wollongong was told that penalty rates would no longer be paid. Staff were not offered an AWA.

33. A man employed by Mitre 10 for two years as a full-time employee was telephoned by his employer to advise that his employment was being altered to casual without any notice.

34. A beautician and other employees in a beauty salon were told that public holiday or Sunday penalties were no longer applicable due to the changes in the legislation.

35. A head chef was injured outside work and had a medical certificate for the period 29 March- 5 April. His employer rang him on 5 April advising that he could only offer him casual work. He was given no notice.

36. Seventy Optus workers received letters from the company directing them to a seminar to teach them how to set themselves up as contractors. As contractors, they would be up to $300 a week worse off and would have to pay $12,000 for their own van as well as workers' compensation, superannuation and other overheads.

37. An employee at a hairdressing salon was told by her employer that the new laws mean he now has to pay only 60% of public holidays and annual leave entitlements.

38. Two full-time workers employed at a juice bar in Campbelltown were sacked and two others were told they would no longer receive penalty rates for weekend work.

39. Sixty workers at a linen factory were told by their employer to brace for significant cuts to overtime rates, holiday pay and sick leave, as the employer can now do this under the new legislation.

40. Forty senior teachers at Newington College in Sydney were told they must reapply for their jobs and agree to work up to four weeks more per year.

41. An apprentice hairdresser had been told by her employer that the new laws mean that she can sack apprentices with no notice and that they do not have to have rest breaks or receive payslips.

42. A casual employee working 30 hours per week had worked for a corporation for 2 and a half years as a storeman and packer when he asked to be reclassified as a part-time employee. His employer has declined to reclassify him and has reduced his hours to 25 per week.

43. A casual console operator in Maitland, along with 10 other employees, was told he would have a pay cut from their previous casual rate of $18.70 an hour to $13.00.

44. Phuong lives in the inner city and cleans offices. She had a dispute with her employer who then tried to relocate her to an outer suburban factory. She asked the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to order her employer to allow her to work at her previous location but was told the Commission did not have the power to do so. She asked the Commission to settle the dispute but under the new laws it cannot make any orders.

45. A woman with sixteen year's service had her employment status changed from full-time to casual. Her employer stated that her customer service standards were not up to standard but she was given no warning.

Unfair Dismissal

46. A meatworker employed at a Lithgow abattoir, was only working a few days when he suffered an injury at work. His employer terminated his employment on 27 March, the day Work Choices commenced, while he was still on compensation.

47. A librarian of 14 years was sacked by fax within hours of the Work Choices legislation coming into effect.

48. A sales representative who was injured and absent from work was dismissed from work by email on 27 March - the day the Work Choices legislation came into effect.

49. An employee at a Gosford auto repair business was dismissed without notice for not being willing to follow directions. He had received no previous warnings.

50. A truck driver received a letter terminating his employment on the basis that he was no longer medically fit to carry out his job. No warning given.

51. A woman who worked as a cook and function organiser in a small sporting club for ten years was terminated the day the Work Choices legislation came into effect.

52. Danil was a casual machine operator working in Revesby for two years. He requested two days off and was sacked by the employer.

53. A Sydney locksmith was sacked and told by his employer that they no longer needed to provide any notice or any reason.

54. A Port Macquarie spray painter who had worked for his employer for ten years was sacked without notice or reason.

55. Jane's employer of 15 years sacked her while she was on sick leave, just days after the Work Choices laws came into effect.

56. A maritime worker who was involved in disciplinary proceedings with his employer was sacked on the day the Work Choices legislation came into effect.

57. A turf worker and truck driver of four years lost his job after a five minute disagreement with his manager.

58. Emily Connor, a 23 year old single mother, was sacked from a childcare centre because of a 'personality clash' with her employer. She was given ten minutes' notice to leave her job.

59. Nine union-member employees were sacked on the second day of the new industrial relations regime by letter which told them their services were no longer required and their employment was terminated immediately.

60. An employee at a club who had worked there part-time for between two and three years was dismissed without reason.

61. Rhonda Walke, a Sydney medical receptionist, was asked to agree to new terms of employment but was dismissed while she was still seeking a meeting with her employer to discuss the matter.

62. Sixty-four catering staff at a club in Tweed Heads NSW were made redundant last month to 'balance the books'. The General Manager says they will now use contract caterers.

63. An employee in the security industry was dismissed without reason. He contacted the Federal Department of Employment and Workplace Relations to ascertain whether he could lodge an unfair dismissal claim but was told 'I don't know' by the staff.

64. A casual driver had a disagreement with his employer who then terminated his employment. The employer claims that under the new legislation he can withhold six week's pay.

65. Three workers were fired by a personnel company. Two of the workers received news of their termination over the phone while a third received the news via a mobile phone text message.

66. A 57-year-old fitter was dismissed by his employer with no reason after returning from two week's sick leave. His employer had stated 'he could not wait for the new laws to come in'.

67. Lyn Barnes, who had worked at an RSL Club for over 25 years was called into the boardroom at 3pm on 31 March and told there was no more work for her and asked for her resignation.

68. Three workers at an engineering factory were sacked after one was accused of smirking and the other for defending him. The other was dismissed while on leave on workers' compensation.

69. A man was told he would be sacked if he took time off to attend the birth of his child.

70. A 63 year old man returned to work after an injury. His employer advised him that his employment was terminated as he had been injured.

71. An electrician on the South Coast of NSW lost his job two days after the introduction of Work Choices for 'operational reasons'.

72. The staff at Project AirCon in Sydney were issued with a memo outlining the new terms and conditions of their employment. A skilled, full-time employee who was alarmed about the new conditions challenged the employer about the new rules. The next day he was sacked.

73. A worker employed as a cook at a nursing home for one year was dismissed on the spot for "abandonment of duty". She arranged to swap a day with another employee in order to be away on the ANZAC Day public holiday.

74. An employee had unsuccessfully asked to go on annual leave three times. Eventually he was granted annual leave. The day after returning he was sacked on the spot.

75. A building industry worker in Queanbeyan was phoned at 6.30am by his employer and told not to come to work anymore as no-one likes working with him.

76. A Nursing Unit Manager under a private hospital award was sacked on the spot without any warning.

77. A clerical employee was dismissed via email for requesting her pay which was six weeks in arrears.

78. A clerical employee was dismissed after nearly 13 years of service and advised it was due to a down turn in business.

79. A nursery employee was dismissed after 11 years of employment, with no reason given. Employment had been changed from full time to casual with no penalties for overtime, weekend or public holiday work.

80. A Gosford employee was sacked after asking about entitlements and conditions.

81. A woman employed by a town council for over four years was sacked without warning. She was told her position no longer existed because of an organisational restructure.

82. A manager at a club in Penrith was dismissed after six years service with no reason given.

83. Karen Palmer, a machine operator who returned to work after suffering a shoulder injury at work, was sacked after 14 years of full-time employment.

84. A worker at a national printing company was sacked for contacting his union over roster changes that would have cut his pay by $160 a week.

85. A woman was legally sacked for chewing Nicorettes at work to help her give up smoking.

86. A manager of a childcare centre was sacked after a falling out with a board member. As the company had fewer than 100 employees she had no recourse to unfair dismissal provisions.

87. Yasmin, a single parent, was sacked from a book shop after being accused of stealing $300 from the till. The money was found two weeks later in a safe where it has been placed by another employee. She has no recourse as the business employed less than 100 people.

88. A man with thirteen years' service was made redundant without redundancy pay after refusing to sign an alternative employment contract which took him from a full-time employee to a three day casual employee.

Young People

89. A Southern Cross University student was working in a medium sized business which dismissed all permanent employees on the day the new legislation came into effect. They were offered AWAs with lower levels of pay and worse conditions.

90. A young worker lost her job in a caf� after refusing to sign an AWA which included a hefty pay cut.

91. A 21 year old woman working at a photographic laboratory was fired at the end of her shift and told the company was overstaffed - even though it had hired someone new only the week before.

92. Two final year apprentices were sacked without warning on the day that the Work Choices legislation took effect.

93. Amber Oswald, a 16 year old worker at the Pulp Juice company at the Warriewood Shopping Centre was sacked from her job at a juice bar and rehired on an AWA which cut her hourly pay rate from $9.52 to $8.57 and removed penalty rates.

94. A young worker at an ice creamery in Terrigal was told she would have to sign an individual agreement. The current staff were made redundant and then re-interviewed. It was made clear that if they did not sign an individual agreement they would be out of a job.

95. A university student working for a brewery was accused of wrongdoing and sacked on the spot

96. An incorporated landscaper employer is paying his 17 year old employee $6.75 per hour after tax. - well below the minimum wage.

97. One young worker who was desperate to get a job was asked to do an unpaid trial at a restaurant. He was asked to come back repeatedly for five months but he didn't get paid for this work.

98. An employee who is an apprentice baker/pastrycook in Newcastle was approached by his employer to sign an 'enterprise agreement package'. The 'package' contained no provision for penalty rates and the young worker was expected to work nine hour days.

99. A junior employee who had been employed full-time in a bread shop in West Ryde was dismissed for taking two days off as sick leave despite having a medical certificate

100. A hairdressing apprentice in Penrith was offered a contract which included an unpaid trial work as a condition of employment and no overtime or penalty rates


email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2006

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online