Docstoc

The fight of our lives

Document Sample
The fight of our lives Powered By Docstoc
					                                                   SPRING 2007




FEDERAL ELECTION 2007:


The fight of our lives
THE ASU DELEGATES CONFERENCE HELD ON THE 4TH                     Macquarie University who gave an overview of what the
AUGUST WAS A GREAT SUCCESS. THE CONFERENCE                       opinion polls are actually saying.
FOCUSED ON THE RIGHTS AT WORK CAMPAIGN AND THE
ASU FEDERAL ELECTION PLAN, AND IT PAVED THE WAY
                                                                 The conference reinforced the need to mobilise all our
FOR OUR FUTURE CAMPAIGNING.
                                                                 efforts in this final stage of our campaign to overturn
                                                                 WorkChoices.
                                                                                 WorkChoices has created a climate of fear
                                                                                 where many employers feel emboldened
                                                                                 to unilaterally implement change without
                                                                                 consideration of workers and their rights.
                                                                                 The last 19 months has seen a distinct shift
                                                                                 with some employers behaving with
                                                                                 impunity. What makes this more
                                                                                 frightening is that while many of these
                                                                                 employers are not even legally covered by
                                                                                 WorkChoices, they behave just like they
                                                                                 are.
                                                                                  It is a very important time in Australia, in
                                                                                  the Union movement and in the lives of
                                                                                  Australian working men and women. Our
                                                                                  Rights at Work campaign has changed the
                                                                                  political landscape. WorkChoices has
Jason Scott, Bill Croslow, Joe Von Bornemann,
                                                                                  become one of the single most important
Mark Potter (with son Harry), and Clinton Harpur
                                                                                  issue being considered by Australians
                                                                                  today. It is a desperate Government that
This was an important event held on the eve of a Federal         thinks it can claw back votes by suggesting that unions
election and in the context of big business throwing             are public enemy number one. But there is a feeling of
everything they have at stopping WorkChoices from being          change in the air.
taken off them. ASU members would have also seen the
dishonest Government funded television advertisements            If there was ever a time to act, it is now, in the final
starring Barabara Bennett which tried to pretend young           stretch to the Federal election. If we dedicate ourselves
and vulnerable workers cannot be ripped off by                   and our combined resources we have a chance to make
WorkChoices – this has now been exposed. The fact that           history. We have the strength, the unity and the
big business are attacking unions directly show how              commitment to make a change.
effective our Rights at Work campaign has been. These
ads are desparate and dishonest – but we can expect even               ARE YOUR CHILDREN
worse before the election!
Our fabulously diverse union was on show at the
                                                                       ENROLLED TO VOTE?
conference with delegates from all of our industries – the        The Howard Government has changed the laws to make
community sector, water, transport, airlines, IT and              it harder for young people to vote in the up-coming
shipping and travel. There were 160 registrations for the         Federal election. The roll will close the day the election is
Conference from delegates across the State and from the           called. Young people will have a big impact on this year’s
ACT.                                                              election result with all opinion polls showing they have
                                                                  swung strongly against the Howard Government. Young
There were very inspiring and interesting speakers on the         people are the hardest hit by WorkChoices.
day from the familiar faces of ACTU President Sharan              Make sure your children or their friends have a say this
Burrow and UnionsNSW Secretary John Robertson. ASU                year! Call the ASU office on 93104000 and we will send
President Narelle Clay and Secretary Sally McManus also           you Enroll to Vote forms or visit our web site
spoke. We also heard from Dr Shaun Wilson from                    www.asuservices.labor.net.au




 p3 Federal election update                        p4   FXA agreement negotiations                 p7 Deadly chemicals
               YOUR IT TEAM                                                                                  FROMTHESECRETARY
                  INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY                                                            WE ARE IN THE FINAL STRETCH TO
               COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT 2007 – 2011                                                      ACHIEVE THE GOAL OF DEFEATING
                                                                                                        WORKCHOICES AND SENDING A MESSAGE
     President                                   Committee Member                                       TO EVERY POLITICAL PARTY NOW AND
     JOE VON BORNEMANN                           JAMES CUTLER                                           INTO THE FUTURE – DO NOT MESS WITH
     Fuji Xerox Australia                        AWA Computers
                                                                                                        WORKERS RIGHTS BECAUSE IF YOU DO
     Vice President                              Committee Member
     ANDREW BARSI                                JEFF CHISWELL                                          YOU WILL BE PUNISHED AT THE BALLOT
     Fuji Xerox Australia                        NCR Australia                                          BOX! IT IS A TIME FOR ALL OF US TO
     Branch Secretary                            Committee Member                             FOCUS ON WHAT WE NEED TO DO OVER THE NEXT
     SALLY MCMANUS                               CLINTON HARPUR                                TWO MONTHS.
     Australian Services Union                   Fuji Xerox Australia
     Deputy Secretary                            Committee Member                             There are three things all ASU members who want to see
     NAOMI ARROWSMITH                            ANTONY STEEL                                 the end of WorkChoices need to do:
     Australian Services Union                   IBM Australia
                                                                                              1. PUT YOUR NAME TO A PETITION TO KEVIN RUDD
     Secretary                                   Committee Member
     MARK POTTER                                 MARIO MANZATTI                               CALLING ON HIM TO COMMIT TO RIPPING UP
     NCR Australia                               Canon Australia Pty Ltd                      WORKCHOICES SHOULD HE BE ELECTED.
     Committee Member                            Committee Member
     MATT HUGHES                                 NOEL YOUNG                                   Our only chance of replacing WorkChoices with fair
     Fuji Xerox Australia                        Konica Minolta Australia                     workplace laws is a change of government and a rock solid
                                                                                              commitment from Kevin Rudd to change the laws. We need
                                                                                              to ensure Kevin Rudd understands the depth of feeling
                  FROMTHEPRESIDENT                                                            among working Australians, and should we vote for him we
                                                                                              expect him to honour his commitments. Contact the ASU
                                                                                              Office to get a copy of the petition or download it from our
                  THE RECENT ASU CONFERENCE WAS A GREAT
                  CHANCE FOR DELEGATES OF THE UNION TO
                                                                                              website. The ASU aims to collect 10 000 signatures.
                  MEET, TO JOIN TOGETHER AND TO PLAN                                          2. HOLD AN ELECTION EVENT
                  ACTION IN THE CONTINUING RIGHTS AT
                  WORK CAMPAIGN. THE ATTENDANCE AT THE                                        Get together with fellow ASU members and organise an
                  CONFERENCE REFLECTED THE DIVERSITY OF                                       election event to discuss Rights at Work. Many ASU
                  INDUSTRIES, THE DIVERSITY OF GENDER, AGE                                    members have already committed to do this and involve
                  AND CULTURE AND IT MADE ME FEEL                                             their communities, friends and families. Here are some ideas
    IMMENSELY PROUD TO BE ASU AND TO HAVE THE PRIVILEGE
    OF BEING THE PRESIDENT OF SUCH A GREAT UNION. THE                                         • Organise a lunchtime BBQ to talk about WorkChoices,
    MEMBERS OF THE ASU – YOU – ARE THE ASU. YOU ARE WHAT                                        invite everyone
    MAKES THE UNION STRONG.                                                                   • Bake a Rights at Work cake and invite all colleagues to a
    I work with young people, and recently the devastating impact                               morning tea and talk about WorkChoices
    of WorkChoices was bought home where I work in Wollongong                                 • Make sure there are posters and information in the
    when the shocking practices of a fast food supplier was                                     workplace
    highlighted by a group of young people speaking out about the                             • Hold an ‘Orange’ mufti day at work
    conditions they had been employed under. These young people,                              • Put up Rights at Work signs in prominent areas at work
    many of them disadvantaged, have to bring in their own cash                               • Hold a street stall in your area, hand out information and
    float to give change, are called to work an hour or two before                               talk to the public
    their start time and have to sit on a bench unpaid until the                              • Go to the local markets with Rights at Work material
    employer decides there are adequate customers for them to start                           • Organise a group to write ‘Letters to the Editor’ and call
    to be paid. And if the customers took off without paying their                              talkback radio
    bill, the young staff had to put in their own money to cover the                          • All wear Rights at Work T-shirts when going out for
    loss! That’s a shameful situation in a country such as ours and its                         coffee or lunch
    been caused by changes in the industrial relations laws, by
    WorkChoices and by people and Governments who put profits                                  3. VOLUNTEER TO HELP DURING THE ELECTION
    of business before fairness and equity for the workers. These
    things are not mutually exclusive and can sit together without                            Big business and the government have more money than we
    jeopardising the rights and dignity of the workers. Young people                          can ever raise at their disposal. However, what they don’t
    are one of the groups who are likely to wear an unfair burden of                          have is people! Hundreds of thousands of union members,
    increasing disadvantage in the workforce caused by                                        retirees and students across the country will be volunteering
    WorkChoices.                                                                              to assist – WE NEED YOU! In this newsletter is a form to fill
    We must stand united because young people like those who                                  in if you can help, called the “33 Day Challenge”.
    worked for that business, our own members and working                                     — Sally McManus, ASU Branch Secretary
    people everywhere need us to keep up this fight.                                            The Branch Executive of the Union resolved to not
    When I looked at the audience at the Conference, when I think                              increase the underlying fees for the second year in a row,
    about all our members who make up our very diverse Union, I                                but to maintain the Your Rights At Work levy for the
    feel confident that the Union is strong and vibrant and therefore                           2007/8 financial year. This is in response to the ACTU
    powerful and influential. I believe the ASU along with the                                  extending its levy to fund another series of tv ads.
    Australian union movement, has the strength and commitment
    to win this current campaign and to maintain the conditions and
    wages hard fought for by those who struggled before us.                                                          HOW TO CONTACT US
                                                                                                                    PHONE SYDNEY 9310 4000
    So I encourage all of you to get involved in the Campaign - join
                                                                                                               OUTSIDE OF SYDNEY 1300 784 278
    together, stand collectively, stay energetic and enthusiastic,                                  SYDNEY 39 - 47 RENWICK STREET REDFERN NSW PO BOX 1865
    inform people, bring other people along with you – because                                                     STRAWBERRY HILLS NSW 2012
    working men and women in Australia need you.                                                          NEWCASTLE PO BOX 2268 DANGAR NSW 2309
                                                                                                            LISMORE PO BOX 1056 LISMORE NSW 2480
    — Narelle Clay ASU President                                                                               ACT PO BOX 1012 DICKSON ACT 2602



2                           www.asuservices.labor.net.au   Authorised by Sally McManus, Branch Secretary, Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch
  WHAT’SGOINGONOUTTHERE?

Delegates plan federal election
attack on WorkChoices
                                                        through the final stage of the
                                                        campaign which involves signing the
                                                        petition and taking it into workplaces
                                                        and communities. The petition,
                                                        addressed to Kevin Rudd, is a tool to
                                                        initiate conversation at a grassroots
                                                        level within the community, and to
                                                        send a message to Rudd that if he gets
                                                        in power we expect the Prime Minister
                                                        of the country to actually do what he
                                                        promises.
                                                        “Federal Labor must understand that
                                                        there are hundreds of thousands of
                                                        working people in Australia relying on
                                                        them to do the right thing if they are
                                                        elected this year”, said Robertson.
John Robertson                                          “The union movement is here to help                      Shaun Wilson
                                                        and protect working Australians.
THE RESURGENCE OF THE                                   Contrary to what the government                         Liberals in the last state election gained
UNION MOVEMENT                                          would like us to believe, the union                     a swing of 4%.
AT THE DELEGATES CONFERENCE,
                                                        movement is not union bosses, it is
                                                                                                                To put this in perspective, Rudd doesn’t
JOHN ROBERTSON, SECRETARY OF
                                                        working Australians who want to be
                                                                                                                need to win as many seats as Beazley
UNIONS NSW, DELIVERED A HIGHLY
                                                        treated decently and get paid a fair
                                                                                                                managed to win in the GST election.
INSPIRING AND MOTIVATIONAL
                                                        days wage.”
SPEECH THAT REMINDED US OF THE                                                                                  “This year, Labor has recorded the
                                                        Robertson left us with the crucial
OPPORTUNITY AHEAD OF US TO                                                                                      strongest polling reported in the Post
                                                        message that we have the opportunity
MAKE HISTORY AND CHANGE OUR                                                                                     War Period”, Dr Wilson said.
                                                        to go down in history saying that we
FUTURES.                                                influenced the overturn of the                           Dr Wilson explained that voters are
Robertson gave an overview of the                       government and influenced the agenda                     moving when it comes to
campaign in full swing and emphasised                   of the future. To remain the lucky                      WorkChoices, and the working
the necessity of continuing the                         country, a country defined by the way                    population are having an influence.
campaign we have worked so hard on                      we are treated at work, we must stay                    Women have moved away from the
beyond 2007.                                            focused, committed and united far                       coalition more than men; there has
                                                        beyond 2007.                                            been a surge of support of up to 11%
“To prevent finding ourselves in this                                                                            among young people (18-34); and
position again, we must continue to                                                                             there has also been a 10% swing
grow and build the community                            WHAT THE POLLS                                          among 35-49 year olds. This is the
campaign beyond the 2007 election”,                     ARE SAYING                                              working population.
Robertson said.
                                                        DR SHAUN WILSON FROM                                    According to the AC Neilson Poll,
Robertson’s speech emphasised two                       MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY GAVE US ALL                        Labor has held an unbroken lead for
fundamental aspects that are crucial to                 A REALITY CHECK BY EXPLAINING                           more than the last year.
continuing and delivering a successful                  WHAT THE OPINION POLLS ARE
campaign.                                               ACTUALLY SAYING. HIS COMPARISON                         “In a worst case scenario, assuming
                                                        OF PAST AND PRESENT STATISTICS                          Labor has a few bad months, it is still
Firstly he stated that the community                                                                            likely to be in a strong position to
                                                        INSPIRED MUCH HOPE OF THE
and grassroots actions are crucial to                                                                           improve its primary vote” Dr Wilson
                                                        ACTUAL POSSIBILITY OF WINNING THE
winning this campaign. “We have the                                                                             said. We need to focus our campaign
                                                        UP AND COMING FEDERAL ELECTION.
capacity to mobilise just under 2 million                                                                       on where these polls suggest our
people across the country. We have the                  The main way we can change the                          campaigning will have the most
capacity to make a difference.”                         impact WorkChoices is having on                         impact. These are seats where
                                                        working Australians is through a                        WorkChoices is having the biggest
He also emphasised the need to build a
                                                        change of government. Dr Wilson                         impact. Accordingly, these are lower
strong union movement that has its
                                                        explained that from what the polls are                  income seats with young working
own political agenda and has the
                                                        signalling, this seems like an attainable               families; seats on the edges of big
capacity to influence the political
                                                        possibility.                                            cities.
agenda of the day. Politicians need to
know that the union is a movement to                    A swing of between 3% and 4% will                       The reality is, Kevin Rudd is being seen
be reckoned with.                                       do significant damage to the coalition.                  as a viable alternative Prime Minister.
                                                        This is extremely possible, especially
Keeping these two fundamental                                                                                                            continued page 6
                                                        considering that Peter Debnam and the
principles in mind, Robertson took us

                  www.asuservices.labor.net.au   Authorised by Sally McManus, Branch Secretary, Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch        3
    WHAT’SGOINGONOUTTHERE?
    CAMPAIGNING IN HOWARD’S MARGINAL SEAT OF BENNELONG

    THE IT DIVISION OF THE ASU HAS ADOPTED JOHN HOWARD’S SEAT
    OF BENNELONG IN AN ATTEMPT TO INFLUENCE ELECTORAL CHANGE
    BY INFORMING PEOPLE OF THE EFFECTS OF THE GOVERNMENT’S
    WORKCHOICES LEGISLATION. BENNELONG ENCOMPASSES THE IT
    CORRIDOR OF SYDNEY WHERE THOUSANDS OF IT WORKERS ARE
    EMPLOYED. THE HEAD OFFICES OF SOME OF THE ASU’S LARGEST IT
    EMPLOYERS ARE LOCATED RIGHT IN THE CENTRE OF BENNELONG –
    CANON, OCE AND FUJI XEROX.

    Unlike most seats with a large overseas born demographic,
    Bennelong is not a Labor seat. ASU members from the IT industry
    are utilising the diverse workforce to inform people about the
    range of issues stemming from Workchoices.
    IT workers with backgrounds from places such as Korea, Sri
    Lanka, China and Japan comprise a large proportion of the
    workforce and will volunteer by translating and distributing a
    pamphlet that has information on the Government’s 457 visa
    program.
    The pamphlet informs workers about the use of the visa
    program by employers to abuse foreign workers and
    undercut pay conditions. Exploitation of foreign workers
    undermines their right to be treated fairly and also
    undermines the IT industry and the rights of us all.
    If you can volunteer to assist other ASU members in our
    Bennelong campaign – please fax back the form on
    the back of this newsletter.



    FXA NEGOTIATIONS NEARING CRUNCH TIME

    FUJI XEROX OFFERS ASU MEMBERS $2000 GUARANTEED                                   provide conditions that are now “not allowable” under
    BASE PAY INCREASE ($2 500 MAXIMUM) AND UP TO                                     Workchoices by signing a Memorandum of
    $500 BONUS FOR THEIR COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT.                                       Understanding (MOU).

    Negotiations between the ASU and Fuji Xerox over a                               A key important issue for ASU members is the fact that
    new collective agreement have been making progress.                              petrol prices have surged and the Transport CPI is
                                                                                     currently at 7.7%. Initially FXA would not move on this
    Initially, a rollover of previous terms and conditions of                        issue, but now understand the depth of feeling amongst
    employment was proposed by ASU members; however it                               ASU members and have agreed to increase the allowance
    has gradually emerged that FXA had more in mind.                                 excess kilometres to the Transport CPI. Further
    Management initially attempted to change the bonus                               negotiations regarding this is continuing.
    and allowances in a way that was unacceptable to ASU
    members.                                                                         Finally, and separate to the EBA negotiations, in refusing
                                                                                     to sign a MOU management at Fuji Xerox are preventing
    Workchoices allows an employer to cancel agreements at                           workers from accessing union benefits such as training
    any time 90 days after they expire. ASU members were                             and attending union meetings. This undermines workers
    very concerned that FXA management may try and use                               freedom of choice to be part of and enjoy the rights and
    these provisions to force employees into making a hasty                          protections of unionism. FXA has offered to sign a letter,
    decision.                                                                        but members believe if a letter is good enough, why not
                                                                                     sign an MOU.
    The main issues of contention have emerged from
    collective agreement negotiations, including a fair and                          All FXA members will be meeting as soon as your
    reasonable pay increase and an appropriate and up to                             delegates believe we have an offer good enough for
    date vehicle allowance. Completely separate to the EBA                           members to consider. Keep an eye out for union notices
    negotiations, the company is refusing to continue to                             in the near future.



4                  www.asuservices.labor.net.au   Authorised by Sally McManus, Branch Secretary, Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch
WHAT’SGOINGONOUTTHERE?
A CASE WON, AND CHUCK IN A COMPANY CAR WITH THAT

ASU MEMBER HAI HUONG WORKS FOR THE COMPANY                                          Fortunately Huong’s contract (or letter) of employment
AMALGAMATED WIRELESS AUSTRALIA (AWA), AND HAS                                    specified his work location. He sought advice from the
SUCCESSFULLY CHALLENGED UNFAIR CHANGES TO HIS                                    ASU Office which was that his company is bound by this
POSITION AND UPHELD HIS RIGHTS AS A WALKING                                      contract which specified he would have the same wage,
TECHNICIAN.                                                                      location and position.
  Attempts were made to alter Huong’s conditions of                                 As a result of action by the ASU he has been relocated
employment, changing his position from a walking                                 to the city’s fringe and has received a company car of the
technician in the city to technician in Homebush. This                           value of $14 000. His circumstances are better than they
was an inconvenient and expensive change imposed on                              originally were.
Huong without any negotiation. It meant that Huong                                  Unilateral change without consideration of workers and
had to catch public transport and then walk a further                            their rights seems to be an increasing trend among
4km to his workplace. Changes to his start times because                         employers in a Workchoices environment. Employers are
of extra travel meant he also had to organise and pay for                        increasingly behaving in their own self interests
before school childcare. This was a decision made in the                         irrespective of the personal and family circumstances of
best interests of the employer, and it was made without                          their staff. It is important to remember that you have
consultation.                                                                    rights and conditions that can and should be maintained.




BUSINESS EQUIPMENT PAY RATES ON THE TOP OF THE HIT LIST TO BE
DESTROYED BY THE AUSTRALIAN FAIR PAY COMMISSION

IN A SHOCK ANNOUNCEMENT, THE AUSTRALIAN FAIR PAY COMMISSION HAS RELEASED THE LIST OF THE FIRST
AWARD PAY RATES TO BE DESTROYED – AND THE BUSINESS EQUIPMENT (TECHNICAL SERVICES) AWARD IS ON IT!
THIS IS THE AWARD THAT MOST ASU IT WORKERS RELY ON TO UNDERPIN THEIR RIGHTS.
The Australian Fair Pay
Commission is one of the key
agencies established by the
Howard Government’s
WorkChoices legislation.
Whilst most members will be
aware that one of its key
functions is to deal with
minimum wage increases,
many will not be aware of its
other major function – the
requirement to “simplify”
pay and classification
structures.
Simply put the simplification
or rationalisation of pay and
classifications structures will
involve stripping the current
classification levels and their
incremental scales back to a
single rate of pay. Of course,
as with most things under
WorkChoices, there are no
rules that govern this process and we will have no clear idea of exactly what’s involved until the process begins.
However you can be sure of one thing – it won’t be good for workers. The intention of the process is straightforward –
reduce each classification level to one rate of pay so that in effect the Award rates become nothing more than the
statement of the minimum that an employer must pay an employee.
We can expect the incremental steps on the Award to be removed which reward staff for their experience and for the
skills they develop on the job. This will take away hard won gains ASU members have fought for decades for. The
removal of these incremental steps will mean a “free for all” in bargaining in which individual workers will have to
bargain about how much they are paid above the minimum.

THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO STOP THIS PROCESS – VOTE THE
HOWARD GOVERNMENT OUT!

               www.asuservices.labor.net.au   Authorised by Sally McManus, Branch Secretary, Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch   5
     ASUMEMBERSDEMANDTHATAWASGO
    Federal Election 2007 – The fight of our lives                                           (from page 3)


    WORKCHOICES                                                     and reminded us that the fundamentals                             strong and depend on the minimum
                                                                    for security are gone. There is no longer                         wage”, Burrow said.
                                                                    any redress, and the independent                                  Burrow also reminded us of the
                                                                    umpire has been transformed into a                                Howard’s determination to abolish the
                                                                    toothless tiger.                                                  trade union movement. Regardless of
                                                                    “You can be sacked tomorrow and you                               the fact that international law enshrines
                                                                    can have your security taken away from                            the right to join a union and bargain
                                                                    you for no good reason”, she said.                                collectively, Howard is doing everything
                                                                    John Howard often talks about being in                            in his power to make union activity
                                                                    our most prosperous times, yet                                    criminal activity.
                                                                    regardless of this, Australia can only                            Burrow concluded with a motivational
                                                                    afford to give less than a 2% wage                                reminder to keep up the hard work in the
                                                                    increase to the minimum wage. In a                                Your Rights at Work Campaign, “Our
                                                                    shocking decision in July this year, The                          campaign about what type of Australia we
                                                                    Australian Fair Pay Commission                                    want is driving the Liberal party mad”.
                                                                    announced its decision to “increase”                              In the lead up to the election, Burrow
                                                                    the minimum wage by $10 per week                                  reminded us that the most powerful
    Sharan Burrow                                                   for employees covered by the Federal                              motivators are things that we can all
                                                                    system.                                                           achieve. We need to keep up our
    SHARAN BURROW IN HER FEARLESS                                   This increase compares to the 6.7%                                visibility by wearing badges and t-shirts.
    MANNER, REMINDED US OF WHY IT                                   increase for politicians and the double                           We must have conversations with
    IS NECESSARY TO CHANGE THE                                      digits for CEOs.                                                  others, keeping the issues fresh in their
    GOVERNMENT AT THE NEXT                                          “The Fair Pay Commission                                          minds, and most of all we must believe
    ELECTION BY VOTING JOHN                                         announcement is a real wage cut for                               in our ability to stand united and
    HOWARD OUT.                                                     some of our most vulnerable, yet most                             overturn the government.
    In her speech, Burrow focused on the                            valuable people. These are the people                             We will vote this government out and
    inequities stemming from WorkChoices                            who keep the fabric of our community                              we will not be defeated.




          See why more members come to us for a Home Loan
         ASU members receive a “member-only” discount with                                          So whether you need a new loan, or you’re looking to
         Members Equity Bank – which means you could save                                           switch, give us a call – a mobile lender will visit you at home
         thousands over the life of your loan.                                                      or at work, to discuss your loan and start your application.
         A full featured home loan just for members!
            3 No application fee                                                                    CALL 1300 309 374
                                                                                                    or apply online at membersequitybank.com.au
            3 No ongoing monthly fees
            3 No fees to split, fix or top up your loan
            3 Borrow up to 95%
            3 Free redraw


                Fees and charges apply. Terms and conditions are available on request. Applications are subject to credit approval. Members Equity Bank Pty Ltd ABN 56 070 887 679
                                                                                 AFS Licence: 229500. 67031/0707




6     67031_ASU Publicationwww.asuservices.labor.net.au
                           Advert.ind1 1                   Authorised by Sally McManus, Branch Secretary, Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch 3:33:00 PM
                                                                                                                                                     27/07/2007
  OHS


Beware of deadly chemicals
IN THE PAST 19 MONTHS SINCE WORKCHOICES WAS INTRODUCED WE HAVE OBSERVED A DISTINCT SHIFT WHERE
EMPLOYERS FEEL EMBOLDENED. WORKCHOICES IS CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH EMPLOYERS AND HR
MANAGERS ARE BEHAVING LIKE THEY HAVE ALL THE POWER. THE REMOVAL OF UNFAIR DISMISSAL LAWS IN
WORKPLACES WITH LESS THAN 100 EMPLOYEES AND THE ABILITY TO SACK BECAUSE OF ‘OPERATIONAL REASONS’
HAS INCREASED EMPLOYER POWER. THIS IS PRODUCING MANY WORKING ENVIRONMENT BASED ON FEAR WHERE
WORKERS ARE TOO SCARED TO QUESTION MANAGEMENT OVER ISSUES.
This is particularly dangerous when it comes to OH&S                              CARCINOGENIC CHEMICALS
issues. Workers should feel comfortable raising OH&S
                                                                                  Chemically based inks or dyes should not be used in
issues with management without fear of getting the sack.
                                                                                  electronic printers as they emit toxic fumes and are
This should be a right for all workers. Unfortunately
                                                                                  extremely dangerous to the health of workers.
because of the vulnerable position workers’ now operate
under, OH&S issues are not being discussed and this                               According to the Technical Officer of Toyo Inks, engineers
endangers the health and safety of workers.                                       should use a chemical called ‘shellite’ to assess whether or
                                                                                  not the ink used is safe to put through printers.
Here are a few examples of serious OH&S issues in the IT
business that have gone unnoticed and immediately need                            Working with carcinogenic ink is unacceptable and
rectification:                                                                     employers should be taking immediate steps to ensure
                                                                                  their workers are not exposed.




457 visas a threat to us all
AUSTRALIA’S 457 VISA PROGRAM IS GLOSSED IN A                                      THE 457 VISA SCHEME PAIRED
POSITIVE HYPE THAT CLAIMS IT ADDRESSES THE                                        WITH THE HOWARD
SHORTAGE OF SKILLED WORKERS, WHEN ALL IT’S REALLY                                 GOVERNMENT’S
DOING IS PUTTING IN PLACE MEASUREMENTS THAT                                       WORKCHOICE’S LAWS HAS
ENABLE THE ABUSE OF OVERSEAS BORN WORKERS AND
UNDERCUT AUSTRALIAN WAGES.
                                                                                  INCREASED CONCERNS THAT
                                                                                  THE VISA WILL BE USED IN A
The 457 visa scheme, which issues temporary work visas
that allow foreign born workers into Australia for up to
                                                                                  WAY TO DENY AUSTRALIANS
four years, has been the source of much controversy.                              WORKING OPPORTUNITIES.
The controversy stems from concerns over claims that
companies are using the visas to abuse foreign workers as                         enforce their legal rights, a company can sack them. Once
well as undercut Australian wages.                                                they are terminated, their visa is no longer valid and they
                                                                                  have to leave the country. How on earth can workers
The 457 visa scheme paired with the Howard
                                                                                  enforce their rights is they are deported or forced to leave?
Government’s Workchoice’s laws has increased Labor’s
                                                                                  Workers on these visa’s are in an extremely vulnerable
concerns that the visa will be used in a way to deny
                                                                                  position which can be easily exploited by unscrupulous
Australians working opportunities.
                                                                                  employers. Even if they have rights – enforcing them is
Unions and the ALP believe the scheme is a tool for                               almost impossible.
companies to increase their profit margins by exploiting
                                                                                  There are also many grey areas and loopholes in the
foreign workers through low wagesand sub-
                                                                                  scheme. Employers can bring in workers to the country
standardworking conditions. The visa scheme enables the
                                                                                  without having to pay for their return trip. If employment
employers to take on board cheap foreign workers and
                                                                                  for some reason terminates before the validity of the visa
they are not required to advertise vacancies before they
                                                                                  the worker must leave Australia without delay, which is a
sponsor foreign workers. There have already been many
                                                                                  great financial burden for the workers. This was recently
cases of workers being underpaid by companies.
                                                                                  an issue for a north QLD business involved in the mining
The IT industry has been using these visa’s because                               support sector. Because the business is going through a
company’s claim they cannot find Australian based                                  restructure they are no longer accredited to continue
workers. However, once these visa’s are used and we open                          employing their current 457 workers. Consequently, the
up to the global labour market – we are giving up on ever                         workers are left with 28 days before their visa runs out.
developing local skills and a strong industry for future
                                                                                  The 457 visa program is just one aspect of our current
generations of Australian workers.
                                                                                  draconian Industrial Relations reforms. The Howard
These visa also threaten to lower Australian wages and                            Government’s Industrial Relations laws are so extreme that
conditions. The big problem is this – if a worker on a 457                        even Margaret Thatcher in her prime would not attempt to
visa complains about their working conditions or tries to                         execute them.

                www.asuservices.labor.net.au   Authorised by Sally McManus, Branch Secretary, Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch   7
                              ASU FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN
 Do you believe Workchoices needs to be ripped up?
Do you want to do everything you can to contribute to
  getting rid of the Howard Government this year?
                  IF YOU ANSWERED A LOUD YES, THEN VOLUNTEER TO BECOME
                   A PART OF THE ASU 2007 FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN TEAM.


              YES, I WANT TO SIGN UP FOR THE 33 DAY CHALLENGE            YES, I WANT TO SIGN UP FOR THE 8 DAY CHALLENGE


              I WANT TO VOLUNTEER SOME OF MY TIME BUT CAN’T COMMIT TO 33 DAYS OR EVERY WEEKEND


         I WOULD LIKE TO WORK:        IN A MARGINAL SEAT             IN THE ASU REDFERN OFFICE


         DO YOU HAVE A CAR:           YES            NO


         I AM ALSO ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE BY:            ASSISTING ON ELECTION DAY       DISPLAYING A YOUR RIGHTS AT WORK SIGN IN MY YARD


                                                     BECOMING INVOLVED IN MY LOCAL YOUR RIGHTS @ WORK GROUP


NAME:



PHONE:                                      EMAIL:



                  PLEASE FAX BACK TO THE ASU ON 02 9698 8936

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags: fight, lives
Stats:
views:25
posted:3/26/2010
language:English
pages:8
Description: The fight of our lives