Rumour has it that the prime minister’s office has directed Boeing
Australia
to not give an inch to its striking workers at Williamstown. How does the average employee have the right to a collective
agreement (as the government ads state) when they are in a power
struggle not only with a multinational corporation but with their government too?
This right to be represented collectively is worth nothing if
employees are suspended without pay for protesting with a paperwork ban
(the striking came weeks later).

The first Qantas baggage handler to provide testimony in Bali
for Schapelle Corby
(and to receive lucrative cash
payments for subsequent TV interviews) was not even working at the time
of Corby’s departure from Brisbane Airport. In
fact, he was on annual leave, and thus could not have provided any
meaningful or relevant information to aid Corby’s defence.
And while Qantas employees can get
highly discounted travel – return to Bali for under $300 – he was flown at the expense of Corby’s
defence team. Perhaps they should be more careful to examine each
potential witness’s merits and motivation in the future.

Peter Fray

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