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Issue No. 145 19 July 2002  

Two Wings Flapping
The one element missing from the current debate about the relationship between the labour movement and the ALP is any discussion about what's in it for the unions.


Interview: In The Tent
The Australian Services Union's Martin Foley on the dilemma facing trade unions affiliated to the Labor Party.

Bad Boss: The Desk Nazi
Everyone�s mail is on the money this week. Yep, Australia Post, courtesy of the born-to-rule attitude so beloved by the Workplace Relations Minister has been nominated for the Tony Award.

Media: Hold the Presses
The withdrawal of mainstream news outlets from the reporting of industrial relations is playing right into the bosses' hands, writes Andrew Casey

Workplace: Putting Bullies In Their Place
Ever wonder where the schoolyard bullies from your formative years ended up? Chances are they are still making someone�s life hell in an Australian workplace today. Even worse, one of them might be your direct supervisor.

Industrial: Women and Work
The last fortnight may well prove a turning point for working Australian women and their families, argues ACTU President Sharan Burrow

International: Whine and Dine
The political and industrial wings of British labour are at each other's throats, reports Andrew Casey.

History: Black Adder
Old King Cole had good tutors. Roger Milliss captured the style of conservative government witch-hunts in Serpent�s Tooth, his cathartic apology to his father, Bruce.

Review: Bad Movie
While the search for Australia's worst boss is well underway, Joel Schumacher's Bad Company seems to point the finger squarely at the US Government - albeit accidentally.

Poetry: I Remember
Dermott Ryder knocks our Resident Bard off his podium this week with a little ditty about a bloke called Honest John


 Builder Blows Whistle on Kangaroo Court

 Alarm Over Unis in Detention

 Unions Spark New Super Push

 Abbott Trips on Entitlements - Again

 Picnic Day for Union Members Only

 Memo: John Travolta - Come Fly With Us!

 Cole Comfort to Bodgey Builders

 Unions Eye SA Casuals Victory

 Burrow: Paid Mat Leave Just First Step

 Mayne Warning � But Will They Listen?

 Drought Relief Should Extend To Rural Workers

 Coca Cola Action Bubbles Globally


The Soapbox
The Royal Circus
CFMEU organiser Terry Kesby gives a first hand account of his experience before the Cole Royal Commission.

The Locker Room
Bravely Running Away
Phil Doyle is bewildered by the Australian Cricket team�s reluctance to join John Howard�s War On Terror.

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess
As the world market lurches under the weight of its own amorality, regulators and business lobbies are locking horns over the need for more rules.

Week in Review
A Share of the Action
Sharemarket jitters produce mea culpas from the magnate set but, as Jim Marr discovers, loyal followers in the Howard administration aren�t likely to join the chorus any time soon.

 Make My Week!
 Real Reform
 Hooray for Frank!
 Reform or Die
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Abbott Trips on Entitlements - Again

Tony Abbott�s election-driven concern for worker entitlements has been shown up by his own Department of Workplace Relations.

While Abbott was asking big business how it thought entitlements could best be protected, his department was arguing in court that 17 former employees of a collapsed company should not be paid redundancy over unsecured creditors.

The case arose after the employees were refused redundancy entitlements under the Howard Government's GEERS scheme.

As a result, the company administrator sought a judgment from the NSW Supreme Court that he could pay employees their redundancy entitlements as priority creditors.

Abbott's department contested the application, in Green v The Commonwealth, arguing the former workers were not entitled to the redundancy payments.

On July 3, the Judge rejected the Howard Government's arguments and said employees should receive three weeks' redundancy for each year of service as priority creditors.

This week the Government was discussing the issue with business. Abbott said he wanted to protect entitlements and honour promises made in the build-up to the last election with the "least collateral damage to business".

In the Coogi Goo

Abbott's ducking and weaving comes as news filters through that nearly 100 workers will lose their jobs because of the failure of the Coogi garment empire. Two million dollars in entitlements for another 250 workers, still employed by the group, are in jeopardy.

Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union secretary Michelle O'Neill said she doubted the Government had any intention to deliver on its entitlement promise.

"They haven't done anything since they were re-elected," O'Neill said. "It was clear the business community was opposed to giving workers priority over the banks. What has changed?"

Meanwhile, Abbott's department will dump 67 employees in regional Australia, responsible for developing and monitoring indigenous employment opportunities.

Abbott announced that DEWRSB would close 12 regional offices, including Lismore, Kempsey, Moree, Dubbo, Broken Hill, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong in NSW.


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