Talking union

Issue 

  • Members of the Public Sector Union employed by Telecom (AOTC) have begun a campaign against plans to slash 4400 jobs in the next year. Members of other affected unions are expected to meet within a week. Some unionists claim to have seen a secret document dividing up the areas targeted for job cuts according to federal electorates. Areas regarded by the federal government as electorally sensitive are apparently to be left alone.

MELBOURNE — Private bus company workers held a 24-hour stop-work on June 11. The workers attended a meeting to hear a Transport Workers Union report on its eight-month negotiations over a $75 wage claim and other issues. The union says there may be further action.

  • Industrial action by electricians appears to have forced a compromise on plans for a single-union "greenfield" deal at the planned $420 million Toyota car plant in Sunshine. While plant employees will be covered exclusively by the vehicle builders' union (VBEF), electricians will probably be employed as contractors or by a separate company especially created by Toyota so they can be covered by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).

PERTH — The Seamen's Union (SUA) continues its struggle against North Broken Hill-Peko's Robe River Iron Associates. The seamen's vigil protesting against the sacking of tug operators from Cape Lambert takes place every Thursday lunchtime, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., outside at the offices of Robe and Mitsui Ltd, (12 St Georges Tce and 221 St Georges Tce, Perth). Supporters are welcome.

SYDNEY — The NSW government is threatening to bar government contracts, particularly in the construction industry, for companies employing only union members. Industrial relations minister John Fahey's statement follows the failure of the minority Liberal government's recently introduced anti-union laws to make any serious impact on unionism in the state. The Hamer Liberal government in Victoria attempted without success to use government contracts in a similar way about a decade ago.

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