||Issue No. 168||28 February 2003|
Interview: Agenda 2003
Peace: The Colour Purple
Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
Solidarity: Workers Against War
Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
International: Industrial Warfare
History: Unions and the Vietnam War
Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Poetry: Return To Sender
Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
Unions Target March 14 For Peace
Neanderthals Roll Back Safeguards
Warning As Barrier Council Turns 80
Faint Praise for Labor Education Stand
The Locker Room
More Talk Needed on War
Labor Council of NSW
Howard Shafts Battlers
Howard made those positions clear this week, drawing fire for his “meanness” from industrial and political labour.
The Federal Government rejected an ACTU claim for a $24 a week increase in the mimimum wage. Instead, the Coalition will argue that the figure, sustaining 1.7 million Australians, should be limited to $8.40, after tax.
ACTU secretary Greg Combet pointed out that $8.40 wouldn't even cover a day's bread and milk for the average family.
"In 2002, after the ACTU won an $18 increase, the government and employers said the sky would fall in. Instead, unemployment fell and job growth remained strong," Combet said.
"How can Howard and Tony Abbott tell 1.7 million Australians that $8.40 is all they are worth?"
Federal Labor Workplace Relations spokesman, Robert McClelland, said the Government figure represented an increase of 85 cents a day, after inflation.
"The Government has again sought to restrict the minimum wage increase to those earning less than $27,300 a year," McClelland pointed out, "despite this being rejected by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in each of the past five years.
"A worker earning $28,000 would get no increase at all."
Howard, yesterday refused to move against massive corporate payouts. He said the corporate sector should "heal" itself, rather than be restricted by Government intervention.
The Prime Minister acknowledged public anger at the recent $33 million payout to former Commonwealth Bank executive Chris Cuffe, and the $23 million AMP lavished on departing bosses.
A champion of private enterprise, Howard said it would be "terrible" if Governments interfered to limit the size of payouts to executives.
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