Labour bites

Royal Commission a white elephant

When Dyson Heydon delivered his report, as Royal Commissioner of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, he claimed that his findings represented “the tip of the iceberg”. In the months since the commission reported, a string of the charges he recommended have been thrown out or withdrawn. In fact, six months later, there has only been one conviction, resulting in a suspended sentence. The only big fish to be caught since the establishment of Heydon’s star chamber has been the commission’s own star witness, Kathy Jackson.
For another contrast, here are a few of the cases of alleged wage fraud, misappropriation of worker entitlements and so on that have emerged since Heydon’s Commission was launched: 7-Eleven, Queensland Nickel, Pizza Hut, Myers and Spotless, and lots of small employers in the agricultural sector. That’s on top of the general run of sharp practice, environmental vandalism, market rigging, and dubious practices of all kinds. (Source: Crikey)

Almost no chance of prosecution

In the UK just three employers have been prosecuted for paying workers below the minimum wage despite HM Revenue and Customs finding 700 who have broken the law in the past two and a half years.
Since February 2014, the government has ‘named and shamed’ 700 employers who have underpaid more than 13,000 workers by over

No food at Harvard

Harvard University dining hall workers are preparing to go on strike.
The workers, represented by the Unite Here Local 26, say they’ll strike if a new contract isn’t reached soon.
Union negotiator Michael Kramer says the 750 workers demand “the ability to earn at least $35,000 a year and a health insurance program that does not shift costs onto those who can least afford it”.
The university countered that the workers receive “some of the most generous hourly wages and benefits” for food service workers in the region and that it is proposing “modest” health care changes already accepted by thousands of other unionised university workers.
The two sides have been negotiating since the summer. The workers’ contract expired last month. (Source: AP)
John Quessy