In Brief

Issue 

A QUARTER OF NEWSTART RECIPIENTS ARE DISABLED
Changes introduced by the previous Labor government have moved so many people off the disability support pension (DSP) on to Newstart — which pays $341 a fortnight less — that about a quarter of the people on Newstart have some sort of disability.

Former immigration minister and now social services minister, Scott Morrison, has claimed credit for a drop of tens of thousands in the number of people on the DSP.

Approval rates for the scheme have fallen from 64.5% of applicants in 2008-09 to 36.9% last financial year, with the federal government approving 41,832 applications. In 2009, the year with the highest number of applicants, 91,131 were approved.

HOW DANDENONG WORKERS ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS

Members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union at two sites in Victoria’s Dandenong region are fighting for their rights.

Aspen Pharmacare workers have been locked out since July 9, following 18 months of failed negotiations to establish a new workplace agreement.

The company wanted workers to voluntarily convert their roster to an average 38-hour week with 12 rostered days off (RDOs) instead of their current 36-hour week with 24 RDOs. They would receive a higher hourly rate in exchange, but workers don’t want to give up their RDOs.

Nissan Australia suddenly announced that it was closing its parts warehouses across the country in October with the loss of 58 jobs, most of which will be lost with the closure of the Dandenong facility.

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