It took a few well-chosen comments by the sole Howard Government minister with a grasp on reality - or at least a penchant for a bit of takeaway - to blow Peter Costello’s Federal Budget to pieces.
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.
Costello Whacks Women
Abbott Picks Fight with Nurses
Simon Slams Big End
Hands-Off Howard Loses Seamen
Safety Net Slips Disabled
Clerks Put Boot In
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
What May Day Means to Me
Reader Marlene McAlear penned this tribue to May Day and worker solidarity.
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.
ZNet's Marie Trigona reports from the streets of Argentina in the rundown to last week's presidential election.
Ron The Tool
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.
In Defence of Tom
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Della’s Dallying Could Cost Miners
Delays by the Carr Government in implementing their much-vaunted Five Year Review of Industrial Relations Laws could leave a group of Cobar miners without union representation.
Changes recommended by the tripartite review of the 1996 Act that would have closed dozens of loopholes have yet to become law after the Government held off amending the laws until the State Election.
But that delay has caught Australian Workers Union members employed at the Elura mine near Cobar, whose mine is being brought by Consolidated Broken Hill in a liquidation sale.
Their problem is that CBH are not union friendly and are showing no inclination to keep the same award wages and conditions struck by the AWU.
If the workers were covered by the federal system, the new owners would be forced to employ the workers under the same agreement; but a loophole in the NSW Act means that the new owners can start from scratch and effectively lock the union out of negotiations.
It's one of many issues raised in the Five Year Review of the NSW laws and was slated to have been fixed in late 2002, before the legislation was pushed off the priority list.
NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson says the plight of Elura miners shows why the Five Year Review needs to be implemented as a priority.
"Workers in the real world can't wait for the most conveniently or politically advantageous time to make amendments," Robertson says. "They need action from a government that needs to keep its good record on industrial relations by getting on the front foot."
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