ADELAIDE — The SA United Trades and Labor Council has condemned plans by Premier John Bannon to sell the government's controlling share in the SA Gas Company in order to raise around $310 million to help cover an expected budget deficit and other debts. Fearing job losses, gas industry unions are planning a protest rally for August. The Australian Democrats have called for a public float of the company rather than a straight sell-off to an existing company.
PERTH — Members of the postal workers' union (APTU) here are concerned about a wages deal they are expected to vote on by mid-August. The deal offers an 8% pay rise in three instalments over a year in return for important sacrifices of jobs and conditions. A letter circulated by three NSW organisers calls for rejection of the trade-offs, and says the union should be told to return to negotiations and get a better deal. Workers at Perth Mail Exchange recently met in a nearby park after they were denied permission to meet on Australia Post premises — even in the car park. Former APTU state executive member Paul Duffield told the meeting the deal was like an iceberg: only part of it was visible.
SYDNEY — In what could become an important test of the NSW government's new, anti-union Industrial Relations Act, Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital have informed the health and research union (HREA) that union officials will no longer be permitted to attend meetings on hospital premises during working hours or to conduct union business on hospital premises.