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Issue No. 144 12 July 2002  
E D I T O R I A L

The Lotto Economy
The failure of George W Bush's much-hyped pitch for corporate responsibility underlines the current crisis facing unregulated global capitalism: the system is corrupting all before it.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Capital in Crisis
ACTU president Sharan Burrow outlines the global union response to the corporate carnage gripping an increasingly shaky system.

Industrial: No Sweat
Neale Towart surveys the international debate around sweatshops and what can be done to regulate them

Bad Boss: Super Spam
Several late scratchings have seen Workplace Relations Department secretary Peter Boxall win this week´┐Żs heat of the Workers´┐Ż Online Bad Boss handicap.

History: Living Treasures
Labour History is 40 this year. Greg Patmore looks back at what it took to get a regular journal of the labour movement in Australia up and away.

International: Axis of Evil
George W Bush´┐Żs scarecrow trio of Iran, Iraq and North Korea is not an original invention, argues Stephen Holt

Solidarity: Pride of Place
NSW Labor Council and CFMEU flags sit alongside the mounted jersey of former Kiwi Rugby League hooker Syd Eru in a modest home at Manurewa, south Auckland.

Technology: The Art of Cyber-Unionism
More Unionism? Transformed Unionism? Peter Waterman looks at a new handbook for unions and the internet

Poetry: The Masochism Tango
Tony Abbott's comment we should accept a bad boss like a bad husband or bad father has made us all realise that instead of fighting bad bosses, we should love them. Anyone for a tango?

Satire: Foxtel-Optus Merger 'Anti-Repetitive'
The ACCC has ruled today that the proposed content sharing arrangement between Foxtel and Optus Vision would constitute anti-repetitive conduct

Review: Bob Carr's Thoughtlines
Stephen Holt reviews one man's journey from collectivism to the centre

N E W S

 Sweat Shops ´┐Ż Coming To A Street Near You

 Glassworkers Walk for the Umpire

 Family Friendly For A Buck

 Abbott in Slow GEER

 Royal Commission Bugs Workers

 Drivers Frozen Out by Corporate Spin

 Coca-Cola Brews Storm In A Tea Cup

 Bush Prepares for War on the Wharves

 Safety Summit A Hit With Unions

 Beattie Faces Bargaining Face-Off

 Casual Work Exploits ´┐Ż Catholic Church Agency

 More Effort Required On Disabled Workers

 Protecting Security Officers From Disease

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Why Modernisation Matters
Labor frontbencher Mark Latham argues that the ALP's reform agenda must go way beyond the 60-40 debate.

The Locker Room
Playing To The Whistle
Phil Doyle takes a look at the man in the middle, and he doesn´┐Żt like what he sees.

Bosswatch
Inquiry Into Executive Pay
The ACTU Executive this week called for a public debate on spiralling executive pay packets, seeking feedback from workers, community representatives and unions.

Postcard
Up In Smoke
Wobbly Radio's Nick Luccinelli reports from England where drug law reform is on the political agenda.

Week in Review
Bulldust and Boofheads
Jim Marr casts his eye over a week in which bullshit and bad bosses fought for headlines´┐Ż

L E T T E R S
 On Aspiration
 GST Agenda
 Amanda's Mediocrity
 Capital Ideas
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Family Friendly For A Buck


For less than $1 a week Australian employers could provide all the additional funding required to establish a fair national paid maternity scheme.

Under an ACTU-designed scheme 87% of working mothers would be eligible for 14 weeks´┐Ż leave on full pay, with others receiving at least average weekly earnings.

Currently only 24% of private sector employees have access to paid maternity leave, which spans an average of just six weeks in state agreements and two weeks in federal agreements.

According to an ACTU submission presented to sex discrimination commissioner Pru Goward this week, payments up to the minimum wage would be funded by the Commonwealth, with the difference between this sum and actual average weekly earnings met by a $1 employer levy.

The scheme would bring Australia into line with international paid maternity leave standards and would cost the federal government about $100m less over four years than the current baby bonus scheme.

The ACTU says its model recognises the importance of giving mothers a chance to recover from childbirth, gives time for parent/child bonding to occur, and gives breast-feeding the best chance of success - without forcing mothers to endure economic hardship as a result.

Aside from addressing the discrimination many women suffer when they "seek to combine their re-productive and productive roles", the ACTU says there are significant economic benefits to its scheme.

According to ACTU president Sharan Burrow, the paid maternity leave scheme would deliver "significant economic benefits to employers who need to retain skilled employees while providing some much needed balance between work and family for many women, and their children and partners.

"Paid maternity leave is long overdue in Australia as we are one of the last countries in the developed world that still tolerates discrimination against women for having families," she says.


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