Secretary of the ACTU, Greg Combet; sacked mine worker, Lorissa Stevens, and NSW Teachers Federation President, Maree O'Halloran at the Teachers Federation Annual Conference today.
Lorissa is a 21 year old mine worker who was allegedly told that her boss would "destroy" her and ensure she never worked in a Hunter Valley mine again unless she signed an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA).
Lorissa is a resilient and tough-minded young woman who is a former representative soccer player - one of the Matildas - the Australian women's soccer team. In her address today she explained how she had been sacked when she refused to sign one of the Howard government's hated new workplace contracts which strip conditions away from workers. It included a clause which required her to give 12 hours' notice if she was going to be away sick, or lose a day's pay PLUS be fined $200!
Lorissa, who with the support of her own union, is planning to sue, claimed that the employer representative " said stuff to the effect that she would personally go out of her way to destroy me and make sure I never entered onto another Hunter Valley mine site again if I did not sign the AWA."
"Driving a 240 tonne dump truck, if it gets out of control whilst you are feeling fatigued or one bit sick it can do a lot of damage and I didn't want to be responsible for killing people or me getting injured myself."
ACTU secretary Greg Combet said in a statement: "This is an example of the real world pressure that people are put under to sign AWA individual contracts and give up pay and award conditions under the Government's new IR laws."
You can see more at the ABC website.