Groom's Christmas present — 174 workers sacked
By Dave Wright
HOBART — According to Liberal Premier Ray Groom 174 construction workers will be sacked before Christmas because not enough have taken voluntary redundancy.
The minister for construction, Ian Braid, said: "We are not being hard and callous... We may have made the decision they have to be dispensed with, but it is a very generous package they are being offered". It might be asked, then why have so few taken up the offer?
Hundreds of other construction workers, and hundreds more public servants will be sacked in the new year. These sackings are part of the latest wave of attacks against workers. The Groom government's industrial relations legislation will further erode many workers' rights.
The Groom governemnt recently admitted that it contracted the Melbourne law firm Freehill Hollingdale and Page for advice on the legislation. This was the same firm that advised the Victorian Kennett government on its industrial legislation.
Groom's industrial legislation has passed through the lower house, and will be debated in the upper house on November 24. Trade unions have deferred the decision on a 24-hour strike on November 30 until that day.
Jim Bacon, secretary of the Trades and Labor Council, said that the strike could still go ahead depending on what happened in the upper house.