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Issue No. 170 14 March 2003  

Coke or Pepsi?
And so the battle of the NSW political brands enters its final week – and at times it seems more like the Coke and Pepsi Taste Challenge; only this time the brown syrupy liquid is power.


Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Through a distortion in the time-space continuum, we have found a recording showing how people a few years into the future will deal with health care.

Interview: League of Nations
ICFTU general secretary Guy Ryder on the war, core labour standards and why Australia is an international pariah.

Industrial: 20/20 Hindsight
A retrospective analysis of the Accord is needed to help develop future strategies. Is it worth trying again? And if so, what would need to be different?

Organising: On The Buses
A new rank and file leadership team is standing up for the harried bus driver in the run-up to the NSW State Election

Unions: National Focus
A gaze around the country reveals some inspiring and innovative organising initiatives, a fruitful connection with young workers in South Australia and some typically robust industrial campaigns reports Noel Hester.

History: The Banner Room
On the eve of it’s refurbishment, Jim Marr ventures into one of Trades Hall’s best kept secrets; the room that houses relics of labour’s halcyon days.

International: The Slaughter Continues
Chilling new statistics from Colombia's main trade union confederation CUT: nine trade unionists assassinated in the first two months of this year.

Legal: A Legal Case For War?
Aaron Magner looks at the legal implications of the crusade of the Coalition of the Willing

Culture: Singing For The People
When there’s a struggle for social justice, when a war is brewing or rights are being eroded, the first ones to pen, paper and protest are often the folkwriters.

Review: The Hours
On the eve of International Women’s Day Tara de Boehmler follows the tale of three women who would rather choose death than a life devoid of personal choice.

Poetry: I Wanna Bomb Saddam
Scarier than Star Wars, the latest weapon to be deployed in the battle for Iraq is the Singing Dubya.

Satire: Diuretic Makes Warne's Excuses Look Thin
Australian cricketer Shane Warne today admitted that he was still feeling the after effects of the diuretic he tested positive to.


 Travelex Wrong-un Stumps Staff

 No Utopia In Lifetime Contracts

 Della Renews Jobs Pledge

 Chef Roasts Double Standard

 Howard’s Navy – Aussies Need Not Apply

 Bank Lockout Mars Peace Day

 Intrepid Tourists Buck ILO Bans

 Whistle Blown on Second Hand Rail Safety

 Back-Packers Used to Break Hotel Strike

 Qantas for High Jumps

 Burrow Calls for New Family Formula

 Central Queensland Sucks on Roche

 Cabbies Hail Fair Deal

 Smoke Free St Patricks Day

 Workers Flush on Poo Pay

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Workers Friend
Shock jock Alan Jones snubbed his Liberal mates to bucket the Cole Royal Commission and launch Jim Marr's book

The Locker Room
Boer Bore Boring
In the face of oppression Phil Doyle falls asleep in front of the TV

Guest Report
Dead Labor
The Hawke and Keating legacy is John Howard, Leonie Bronstein argues.

Hands Off, Tony
John Della Bosca argues the NSW Industrial Relations System gives his State a competitive advantage.

Groundhog Day
Another year, another round of corporate excess. Bosswatch returns from its summer slumber to find the same old dogs up to the same tricks.

 Addicted to ANZUS
 A Plea for Legal Action
 Accord Reconsidered
 Johnny's Green Card
 Veto The War
 Law and Order
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Travelex Wrong-un Stumps Staff

Australian World Cup stars Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee are being asked to review sponsorship deals with Travelex because the global currency trader has bowled a wrong-un to long-serving staff.

The ASU Services Union sought support from the pair as Travelex carved thousands off staff pay packets while handing over millions to associate itself with cricketers, racing car drivers and yachties.

Long-serving Wollongong consultant Jean Laurent is at the centre of a stitch-up which sees Travelex hanging onto bonuses staff have already earned under reworked conditions it imposed last year.

Laurent finished with the company in March after six years of unblemished service. Its thankyou took the form of refusing to pay her more than $2900 she had earned over the previous 12 months.

Laurent told Workers Online bonuses, for beating budget, were part of workers' terms of employment. However, British-owned Travelex hangs onto 50 percent of everyone's bonus every quarter and refuses to honour any of the entitlement if an individual fails to hit budget in a single quarter.

What cost her though was another company rort - it won't pay the money already earned if you resign prior to payment. She gave notice in Februay and Travelex snaffled the 50 percent of her bonus earnings from the last two quarters of 2002.

"Travelex will not be paying any further reward payments to you. I understand that this decision may disappoint you ..." it wrote in something of an understatement.

Laurent found herself more outraged than disappointed.

"That's my money," she said. "I don't expect payment for the quarter in which I finished but I do expect to be paid what I have already earned.

"There are a heap of issues there. Some individuals worked more than 100 hours of unpaid overtime between February and March this year, then they declare the bonus scheme will be self-funded, now they won't even pay out the 50 percent they hung onto.

"Meantime, they are putting millions into the Australian cricket team, Formula One racing and the America's Cup."

ASU organiser Lauren Hutchens has asked both Gilchrist and Lee, who have personal sponsorship deals with Travelex, to intervene on their member's behalf. She has also drawn the matter to the attention of the ACB.

Lauren is seeking advice on the possibility of putting the matter before the IRC or a small claims tribunal.


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