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Issue No. 168 28 February 2003  

Abbott�s Rules
Tony Abbott is at it again, with a wicked plan to cut research funding to universities that do not put their workers onto individual contracts.


Interview: Agenda 2003
ACTU secretary Greg Combet looks at the year ahead and how a union movement can keep the focus on the workplace at a time of global crisis.

Peace: The Colour Purple
Local communities across Australia are taking stands against war by displaying purple banners. Jim Marr visits one.

Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
As Workers Online took its annual break, the world kept turning � at an increasingly alarming velocity.

Solidarity: Workers Against War
Joann Wypijewski reports on how union locals in the USA are fighting the hounds of war at home.

Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
With all the talk of terror, the Howard Government�s Achilles heel is its tolerance of Flags of Convenience shipping , writes Rowan Cahill

International: Industrial Warfare
Scottish freight train drivers have already acted to disrupt the war effort in the UK with crews of four freight trains carrying war supplies to ports walking off the job, writes Andrew Casey

History: Unions and the Vietnam War
The Vietnam experience steered some unions towards social activism for the first time. Unions are today key players in the anti-war movement, writes Tony Duras.

Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Mark Hebblewhites looks at two summer movies that tap into different sounds of American culture - white boy rap and motown blues.

Poetry: Return To Sender
Resident bard Divd Peetz discovers that Elvis has become the latest shock recruit to the peace cause.

Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
CIA Director George Tenet announced today that the agency has begun recruiting future enemies for the year 2014.


 Report Derails Freight Plans

 Journo Embarrasses Cole

 CASA a Safety Threat

 Howard Shafts Battlers

 Sparks Fly at Sydney Uni

 Unions Target March 14 For Peace

 Tongans Play Shame Game

 Palestinians Question ICFTU

 Neanderthals Roll Back Safeguards

 Keep Vultures out of Culture

 Bloody Noses for Sticky Beaks

 Warning As Barrier Council Turns 80

 Faint Praise for Labor Education Stand

 Staff Bogged Down

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Getting On with The Job
Premier Bob Carr chose Trades Hall as the venue to launch Labor's IR policy for the upcoming state election.

Justice in Bogota
Sydney lawyer Ian Latham knows how to pick them. He�s gone straight from the Cole Royal Commission to justice Colombian-style.

The Locker Room
Heart Of Darkness
There is a school of thought that there is, in fact, only one World Cup - and it doesn�t involve cricket, writes Phil Doyle.

Danger Mouse
John Howard's politics have trapped him into supporting an unpopular war. He is in political trouble, Leonie Bronstein argues.

 Johnny Goes Marching Off
 Misled Artist
 Penalty Shoot-Out
 More Talk Needed on War
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Howard Shafts Battlers

John Howard won�t move to rein in million dollar executive payouts but will act to restrict wage increases for the lowest paid to $8.40 a week.

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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