The Guardian May 10, 2000


UTLC-Young Christians joint campaign

On May 1, the South Australian  United Trades and Labor Council (UTLC) 
and the Young Christian Workers' Movement (YCW) announced the launch of a 
four-month joint campaign addressing issues for casual workers.

The campaign will involve a series of events including a casual work forum, 
the publication of an information brochure and a report from a survey of 
casual workers. Some of the results of the survey of 300 young workers 
revealed:

* 43.6 per cent of 15-to 21-year-olds did not know the correct rate of pay 
for their work;

* 49.7 per cent did not know the minimum number of hours they can be called 
in for work;

* 35.7 per cent did not now the number and length of breaks they are 
entitled to;

* 26.8 per cent said they are not covered by workers' compensation;

* 52.8 per cent did not belong to a union, with 17.1 per cent unsure of 
whether they were in a union and which union covered their work.

Greg Smitheram, spokesperson for the YCW, said "Our campaign signifies our 
determination to give casual workers a voice, whilst educating them about 
their rights".

"What concerns me is that other casuals are afraid or unsure to ask about 
their rights and whether they are getting a fair deal" said Greg, a 21-
year-old worker with casual employment in the retail sector.

"I'm hoping this campaign will let them know they're not alone  and they 
can do something."

The UTLC is working with the YCM as part of a broader national union 
campaign on "Working Time", which is seeking to revisit community standards 
around hours of work.

"We are using May Day as the International Day for Worker Solidarity to 
highlight the issue of casual work", Ms Michelle Hogan, Assistant Secretary 
of the UTLC said.

"One in four workers are casual and therefore these new forms of work 
require specific information dealing with issues for casual workers."

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