News briefs


Casual hospitality workers win right to permanency

SYDNEY — On June 8, the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union announced it had reached agreement with the Australian Hotels Association for casual employees in pubs, accommodation hotels and casinos in Queensland, NSW and Victoria to convert to permanent work status after a qualifying period.

Under the agreement, hospitality workers who have worked on a regular or systematic basis for several periods of employment, or continuously for at least 12 months, will qualify for the right to choose to become permanent employees.

According to evidence before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, the hospitality industry has the greatest incidence of casual employment of all industries in Australia, other than seasonal industries such as fruit picking.

Palestine forum

BRISBANE — On June 10, 60 people attended a public meeting about life for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

Kathryn Kelly, who recently returned from Palestine as a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement, described the everyday repression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation forces.

Avigail Abarbanel, a Canberra psychotherapist who renounced her Israeli citizenship in protest against Israel's repression of the Palestinian people, spoke about the Zionist myths that are used to justify this repression.

The meeting was sponsored by Just Peace, Palestinian Jewish Unity and the Greens.

Workers protest for defence of entitlements

BENDIGO — On June 12, 100 textile workers employed by Australian Defence Apparel stopped work and held a march in the town centre to protest against the company reneging protection of workers' entitlements.

Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia organiser Brett Anderson said: "As early as January this year we were led to believe that we had negotiated a good outcome through the bargaining process. It was only after the workers had voted to approve the agreement that the company decided to pull the rug out from under their feet and inform them that they wouldn't take out a bank guarantee to protect their entitlements."

$10,000 raised for locked-out TCFUA members

GEELONG — On June 13, 500 people held a fundraiser at the Geelong Trades Hall for 120 woolcombing workers who have been locked out for six weeks. Jointly sponsored by the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) and the construction industry unions, the event raised $10,000.

Regular street stalls in Geelong organised by the TCFUA in conjunction with the Socialist Alliance have been raising around $1000 per week.

Another fundraiser for the locked out workers — to be held in Melbourne — will be held in a few weeks' time. For more information, contact Jenny at the TCFUA's Victorian branch office on (03) 9347 3377.

From Green Left Weekly, June 18, 2003.

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