Published: 22 August 2016
Author: Stringer Clark
Megaphone gives voice to workplace disputes
It’s difficult standing up for your rights in the workplace, despite the laws and regulations that exist to protect employment rights and conditions.
Management can be intimating and access to legal channels difficult and potentially expensive. Which is why union support and public pressure can be critical, particular in wage and conditions disputes.
Victorian trade unions have established an online campaign site called Megaphone that helps employees launch their own campaigns in their places of work. Connecting to Megaphone will put you in touch with help and support from your local union branch and connect you with others who can lend their voices to your campaign.
In less than 6 months, over 80,000 people have taken action using the site.
Sacked CUB workers are using the site to galvanise support having been terminated without notice by management and then offered a take-it-or-leave it non-union deal with a 65% cut in their entitlements. They have so far raised 11,023 signatures of support.
Telstra and the CPSU
Also being profiled on the site is the dispute between Telstra employees and their union the CPSU against Telstra management over the sending offshore of more than 400 customer service jobs.
NUW and working visas
Nor do campaigns have to be large.
In a campaign created by the National Union of Workers with assistance from the site, a couple of young holiday makers in Australia on holiday working visas pressured a labour hire contractor who charged them $800 each before starting on a farm in Queensland as casual labourers and wouldn’t return their money when they didn’t give them a start.
You can check out Megaphone at www.megaphone.org.au.