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Issue No. 179 23 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

War Declared on Mega Salaries
Unions will wage a three-pronged assault on executive pay in the wake of research shattering the link between gold-plated remuneration and company performance.

The Labor Council of NSW will press for legislative change, greater activity by super fund trustees and grass-roots industrial campaigns to end the explosion in CEO pay which has jumped to 74 times the average weekly wage. [full story]

Poms Prick Golden Parachute
British shareholders this week rolled the board of one of their largest companies, GlaxoSmithKline, to block a proposed 22 million pound payment termination guarantee to chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier.

But such activism is impossible in Australia because the Howard Government refuses to pass laws forcing companies to give shareholders a right to vote on executive remuneration. [full story]

Picket Breaks Abbott
Tony Abbott has conceded the right of workers to a collective agreement after extraordinary scenes on an Arncliffe picketline today.

Further, the champion of individual contracts, pledged to intervene in the long-running Morris McMahon dispute after being embarrassed by rank and file process workers and their union officials. [full story]

Abbott: Unions are Winning
Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott admits unions have frustrated his agenda to de-unionise Australia’s workforce.

In a 20-page submission to Cabinet colleagues, Abbott confirms public servants are turning their backs on AWAs and non-union agreements in massive numbers and, as a result, are winning higher wages than Government would like.  [full story]

Hotel Silences Poverty Witness
A prominent Sydney Hotel is using economic blackmail to stop a low wage worker from taking part in a Senate Poverty inquiry.

The 445 room Avillion Hotel has threatened the worker and his union, for wanting to take the time to appear on Monday before the Senate Inquiry hearings. [full story]

We’ve Lost A Lion
The irony that CPSU National President Matthew Reynolds died the same week he was re-elected - and his ACT government members finally got their long-awaited pay rise – would have, no doubt, appealed to his own mischievous sense of humour.

Matthew Reynolds was a deeply loved and respected part of the CPSU family. A fact confirmed by the hundreds of heartfelt tributes the union has received over the last 48 hours.  [full story]


 Nurses Refuse to be Shelved

 Boss Picks Porters’ Pockets

 Left, Right Meet at Sea

 ACTU Prescribes Pan Medicine

 Tycoon Tuned Out

 MUA Clout in Wollongong Punch-Up

 Pusey Roams Dark Side

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
“If you look at the numbers, it is accurate to say the more you pay a CEO the worse the company performs and the less you pay the better it performs,” researcher Dr John Shields

The message from this research is that when you look at the numbers the claims for high CEO pay do not add up. The message for the Top End of Town is that the game’s up.

Phil the Impaler


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
 Hard Copy
 Bad Language
 Modern Management Theory
 Tom's Revival
 Off the Rails

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