There's a common streak running through the Liberal Party's prosecution of its witch-hunt of the building industry unions and the federal ALP leader's push to reduce the influence of trade unions within the Party. That's the view that unions are on the nose.
Interview: The Star Chamber
CFMEU national seretary John Sutton surveys the limited progress of the Cole Royal Commission.
Politics: The Odd Couple
After spending years yelling at each other, a couple of young factional players started talking to each other in the name of refugees.
A rogue priest and Philip Ruddock have combined to leave master artist, Rados Stevanovic, living in a suburban park, as Jim Marr reports.
Media: Audiences Before Politics
The real challenge facing the new managing director of the ABC is how to make audiences central to what the national broadcaster does, argues Tony Moore.
International: The Off-Side Rule
It may be kick off time at the World Cup but unions in South Korea and around Asia are using the worldï¿½s biggest sporting event to focus attention on workersï¿½ rights, as Andrew Casey discovers.
Economics: The Fake Persuaders
Companies are creating false citizens to try to change the way we think, writes George Monbiot.
History: Terror Tactics
As the Howard Government prepares terror legislation to ban organisations, Neale Towart remembers a similar attempt at censorship in the name of security.
Poetry: Food, Modified Food
That old school yard joke "what do you get if you cross a ... with a ...?" is becoming startlingly true. The latest development is a featherless chicken.
Review: Spiderman Spins Out the US
Red Pepper's Rick Giombetti scales the big screen and puts Spiderman in his place, flying in the face of right wingers who would claim the Marvel Comic legend as their own.
Satire: England's World Cup Disaster: Star Hooligan Breaks Foot
The English World Cup 2002 campaign is in tatters after star hooligan Gerard Wilson of Chelsea broke his foot.
Cole Suffers Credibility Crisis
Councils Armed To Drown Sweatshops
Miners Win Record Payouts
Bracks Crew Not Family Friendly
Time to Charge Directors
Waterfront Truth One Step Closer
Speedy Flow-On for NSW Workers
Star Sin-Binning Prompts Inquiry Call
New Chief Puts ABC Back In The Picture
Getting it Wrong on Training
Gravy Train Gets Richer For Max and Mates
Reward For Delegate Who Stood Up
Casino Workers Hit Mat Leave Jackpot
Drug Haul Sparks Security Warning
East Timorï¿½s MPs Take Australia On
ACTU Officials Denied Visas Into Fiji
Commemorate 100 Years of Votes for Women
NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues that genuine reform of the ALP would go beyond the 60-40 rule, to increase the voice of unions within the Party.
The Locker Room
Forget the dour contests of the Premier League and Serie A, itï¿½s the World Cup which transforms football into the beautiful game. Noel Hester analyses the form.
Week in Review
He Who Pays The Piper
Money comes in all colours but, in politics, the hue is usually blue, as Jim Marr discovers ï¿½
Australia's wealthiest were on display this week as BRW released its annual Rich 200 list.
Simon and the Creanites
About Last Night
The CFMEU's Phil Davey, on an APHEDA -Union Aid Abroad delegation to Palestine, recounts his experience trying to get back to his hotel after dark.
In Defence of Latham
Swans A Pathetic Con-Job
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Councils Armed To Drown Sweatshops
Five Sydney councils hold the key to rooting out clothing industry sweatshops that employ predominatly immigrant, female labour for as little as $2 an hour.
The Councils ï¿½ covering the key centres of Sydney sweatshop production ï¿½ have been given new powers to flush out sweatshops under State Government changes to WorkCover regulations.
TCFUA secretary Barry Tubner is arranging a meeting with the councils. "We want to talk to all councils but primarily the responsibility will rest with Marrickville, Blacktown, Auburn, Liverpool and Fairfield," he says.
Under the changes, anyone making commercial gain from clothing, textile or footwear production must register as a factory. They are then obliged to grant access to "authorised officers" from WorkCover, DIR or the TCFUA who can check records and safety compliance.
Since such provisions were removed by "administrative oversight" three years ago, 300 factories disappeared, largely into residential homes.
If these operation continue commercial production, without registering as factories, they will now be liable to $2200 fines.
That's where the councils come in. Their officers will be required to process applications for factory registration, deciding whether or not they should be scattered through residential suburbs.
"Our position is that factories should be in industrial areas," Tubner said. "We have no problems with homeworkers working from domestic dwellings but, from a safety perspective, domestic dwellings were never set up to be factories.
"If a factory burns down after hours there is an economic loss. If a house burns down there is very likely to be loss of life."
Tubner says sweatshops in residential areas are easily identified. Typically, they are barred and locked in the manner of gang fortresses to discourage investigation.
Legislative changes mean legitimate operators will, in practise, have to run genuine factories to comply with requirements.
"It will cost an awful lot of money to bring a home up to required standard, just from a health and safety perspective," Tubner explained.
"Whether councils want genuine factories scattered amongst residential homes is something they will have to decide."
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