Workers protest first day of new IR regime
SA workers gathered outside Senator Nick Minchin’s office in Adelaide on Monday – the first day the Howard Government’s new industrial relations laws came into force. Minchin distinguished himself recently in an address to the savagely anti-union HR Nicholls Society by revealing that a new round of pro-boss IR legislation is in the pipeline. The protest heard from Naracoorte meatworker Jamie Stokie who, along with workmates, has been locked out of his workplace at Teys Bros. Abattoirs for refusing to sign a totally unacceptable Australian Workplace Agreement. The company has responded to the solidarity among its employees by importing 30 guest workers with type 457 visas – a category of travel document usually issued to businessmen. Jamie warned the gathering that his experience is a foretaste of things to come in the workplace of the near future.