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Contact AMIEU South Australia



First Floor
46 Greenhill Road


(08) 8279 2200
Fax:   (08) 8279 2201

Toll Free:   1800 882 645
(for country members)

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Secretary's Latest Report - AUTUMN 2008


Its time to go......John Howard!


And take your rotten mates with you.


The 12 year assault on unions and working conditions is over and we couldn't be happier to see the result of an election that dumped the Prime Minister from his own seat.


Now is a period of rebuilding.  Rebuilding the battered union membership, rebuilding the battered working conditions, rebuilding the battered safety standards and rebuilding the battered wages of workers.


And as we close the book on a hostile Federal Government, we open a new one with the State Government who now wants to kick the legs out from under injured workers.


Proposed changes to SA's Workcover laws are draconian and unjust and the entire union movement in South Australia will campaign to prevent our politicians from making life even more miserable for workers who are already in a miserable system.


What a time we have coming up.  Many of the sites working to AWA's will see those agreements expire this year and we will be organising our members to negotiate union collective agreements to replace them.


Some plant management in SA are likely to struggle to come to terms with the fact that they now have to consult workers and their union and negotiate agreements in a fair and structured fashion.


Some management have only ever known the bully boy dictatorship that was AWA's and will have difficulty adapting to a more moderate type of working environment, however the union will be there to help and guide them through these times of transition.


At the same time we also have a number of collective enterprise agreements expire this year and the union has already written to the companies concerned to commence negotiations.


Many of the AWA sites will try to resist dealing with the union and try other things such as ITEA's (transitional AWA;s that can run until 31/12/2009)


Simple answer - DON'T SIGN ANYTHING!

One of the stupidest things that happened after the election was the performance of the local Federal Member in the states South East.


Apparently nobody had told him that the Liberals had lost the election and he put out press releases bemoaning that the 'Union heavies were back in town'.


He was pouring out the boring, tired old 'union boss' mantra (that lost them the election) after meat union officials happened to be doing their normal rounds of the South East.


This was a week or so after the election and the media picked it up.  They rang me and asked what I thought of the Honourable Member ranting "they're back in town, the union heavies are back", as though we are a bunch of gunslingers.


My answer was simple;


'We haven't been anywhere to come back from you moron!"


Despite the Howard Governments best efforts, the union was not wiped out and we continued to visit every meatworks regularly throughout the entire period of their lousy Government.


Howard missed one basic fact of life and that is that workers actually want to be in a Union.


                                                                                      .....    Graham Smith


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