The plight of 467 workers facing the sack from Sydneys Hilton Hotel is becoming an international embarrassment, ACTU President Sharan Burrow said today.
Ms Burrow was to speak with workers at the hotel today when they meet to consider the latest offer from talks between management and the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous workers Union.
The international unions governing body today wrote to Federal Workplace Minister Tony Abbott asking him to ensure the Hilton workers receive fair severance pay and a right of return to work when the hotel reopens.
The workers, many with more than 10 years service, are angry that their maximum redundancy benefit will be only eight weeks pay under Federal industrial laws. Casual workers receive no redundancy pay at all.
The five-star hotel last month told workers they would be sacked in November when the hotel shuts down for a $400 million facelift.
Todays letter to Mr Abbott was written by Guy Ryder, the General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), which represents 157 million workers worldwide.
The action came as an ICFTU report on Australia to the World Trade Organisation today condemned the Howard Government for undermining basic industrial rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
The Executive Summary of the ICFTU report says: “There is blatant anti-union discrimination, supported and encouraged by the government.”
The Federal Government is opposing the ACTUs Redundancy Test Case which could double the entitlements of employees like the Hilton workers.