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Issue No. 178 16 May 2003  

Interview: Staying Alive
CPSU national secretary Adrian O'Connell talks about the fight to keep the public service - and the union movement - alive.

Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Wollongong workers on poverty-level wages are losing up to $5000 for taking toilet breaks, according to the union representing staff at a Stellar call centre.

Industrial: Last Drinks
Jim Marr looks at the human cost of the decision to close Sydney’s Carlton United Brewery

National Focus: Around the States
If Tampa told us that John Howard circa 2003 is the same spotted rabid dog from 1987, this week’s assault on Medicare confirms it reports Noel Hester in this national round up.

Politics: Radical Surgery
Workers are vitally interested in Medicare, not least because they traded away wage rises to get it. Now, Jim Marr writes, the Coalition Government is tearing apart the 20-year-old social contract on which it was founded.

Education: The Price of Missing Out
University students and their families will pay more for their education following the May Budget, writes Tony Brown.

Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
Love is wonderful the second time around, goes the famous torch song. But is the same true for legislation? Asks Ashley Crossland

History: Massive Attack
Labour historian Dr Lucy Taksa remembers the general strike of 1917 to put the recent anti-war marches into perspective

Culture: What's Right
Neale Towart looks at a new book that looks at the failings of the Left, while reasserting the liberal project

Review: If He Should Fall
Jim Marr caught Irish folk-rock-punk legend Shane MacGowan at Sydney’s Metro Theatre. He was surprised but not disappointed.

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.

Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to monitor the Iraqi economy to ensure that the reintroduction of looting into the economy conforms with free-market theory.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Costello Whacks Women
Women, casuals, outworkers and contractors will be big losers in Federal Government’s move to limit unjustified dismissal rights, detailed in this week’s budget.

That was the warning delivered by Professor Ron McCallum of Sydney University’s Law Department in a speech that challenged Australians to “stand up and fight back”. [full story]

Abbott Picks Fight with Nurses
Nurses are promising Tony Abbott a “fight” over attempts to restrict the ability of a large section of the Australian workforce to improve their wages and conditions.

The federal budget forshadowed plans to curtail the rights of health, education, community service and building workers to take industrial action in support of bargaining claims. [full story]

Simon Slams Big End
Big business would no longer be able to write off multi-million dollar golden handshakes to CEOs under measures in the Federal ALP’s alternative budget.

Unions see Opposition leader Simon Crean’s promise to hold companies more accountable for the money they pay their executives as an important first step to addressing corporate excess. [full story]

Hands-Off Howard Loses Seamen
Seaman are pitching in to help starving workers, owed hundreds of thousands of dollars, as the Federal Government stands by and does nothing.

Maritime Union representatives this week swooped on two Flag of Convenience ships, sanctioned by the Howard Government, to provide assistance for hungry Ukranian, Sri Lankan, Maldive and Russian crew members. [full story]

Safety Net Slips Disabled
Rates of pay in sheltered workers are under the spotlight, with claims some workers are earning as little as $1.50 per hour under agreements being rubber stamped by the industrial umpire.

The Labor Council of NSW has called a forum this week to discuss the status of disabled workers, while the Australian Industrial Relations Commission is so concerned its reviewing whether enterprise agreements should even apply. [full story]

Clerks Put Boot In
Rail clerks have declared war on fashion-challenged bosses, after they were sent home for wearing jeans and sandshoes to work.

The Rail Infrastructure Corporation clerks, who have no contact with the general public, believe management have gone over the top in imposing a corporate dress code. [full story]


 Bank Hold-Ups Expose Compo Failings

 Low Paid Dirty on Lawyer

 WIN Tactics a Big Turn Off

 ABC Jobs On Line

 Della’s Dallying Could Cost Miners

 Ministers of Misinformation Scoop Orwells

 Death Squads Strike

 Currawong Cottages Waiting for You

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Morris McMahon delegate Edith Rapana urges support for next Thursday's protest against the city lawyer who has made her life a misery.

We can only extend Amanda Vanstone's ham-fisted food analogy. For working Australians and their families, Budget 2003 is a shit sandwich - not enough bread and lots of crap in between.

Let Them Eat Junk


The Soapbox
What May Day Means to Me
Reader Marlene McAlear penned this tribue to May Day and worker solidarity.

The Toast
Labor Council secretary John Robertson's toast to the annual May Day dinner in Sydney.

The Locker Room
The Numbers Game
In life there is lies, damned lies and sporting statistics, says Phil Doyle - but who’s counting.

Brukman Evicted
ZNet's Marie Trigona reports from the streets of Argentina in the rundown to last week's presidential election.

The Costs of Excess
Some tall business poppies had their heads lopped this week as the laws of economic gravity applied their always chaotic theory.

LETTERS to the Editor
 Ron The Tool
 In Defence of Tom

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