Talking union

Issue 

  • Airport transport workers have accepted a 6% wage rise following strike action last week by aircraft refuellers and tanker drivers. The strike was the third major action in 18 months over award restructuring in the industry.

PERTH — The Musicians Union has won WA government support for amendment of the Industrial Relations Act to give the union access to the state Industrial Relations Commission. The union hopes access to the commission will assist its attempts to enforce minimum working conditions. At present most musicians have no guaranteed rates of pay, no worker's compensation and no superannuation.

  • The Hamersley Iron dispute appears set to enter a new phase. The CRA subsidiary has obtained a court injunction hindering union officials and stewards in their efforts to discuss the closed shop issue with their members. The company sought the injunction to prevent industrial action when a mechanical fitter who refused to join the metalworkers' union (MEWU) returned to work. Hamersley has also issued writs claiming $48 million damages against the unions. These would financially ruin the unions if successful. The company says it has won and closed shops are a thing of the past in all its Pilbara operations. The sacking of a mineworker who walked off the job in protest at the injunction lends credence to this claim.

  • A group of 30 rank and file members of the State School Teachers Union met on July 4 to discuss current issues regarding the future direction of the SSTU and the state of the union movement. Speakers included Mick Houlbrook and Peter Stokes (union organisers), Colleen Hayward (state executive member) and Bill Ethel (president CMEU).

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