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Issue No. 179 23 May 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

The Game’s Up
Research into executive pay commissioned by the NSW Labor Council makes explicit what most of us have suspected for some time: the multi-million packages are a rolled gold rort.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 War Declared on Mega Salaries

 Poms Prick Golden Parachute

 Picket Breaks Abbott

 Abbott: Unions are Winning

 Hotel Silences Poverty Witness

 We’ve Lost A Lion

 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

C O L U M N S

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

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.

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

Bosswatch
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.

L E T T E R S
 Hard Copy
 Bad Language
 Modern Management Theory
 Tom's Revival
 Off the Rails
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

ACTU Prescribes Pan Medicine


The ACTU is looking to replicate the success of Pan Pharmaceuticals workers in establishing equal treatment for redundant employees, irrespective of location or status.

Hearings begin in the AIRC on Monday on a case aimed at increasing the entitlements of millions to redundancy and ending discrimination.

"Pan Pharmaceuticals has acknowledged the unfairness of the current regulations by agreeing to redundancy payments for long-serving casuals who were sacked through no fault of their own. The ACTU's case would provide a similar fair go for all casuals made redundant after more than 12 months in the job," ACTU secretary Greg Combet said.

"Many redundat workers are unfairly disadvantaged by differing regulations between states, by different rules for permanent and casual employees and by special treatment of smaller businesses.

"The ACTU test case will establish a fair minimum standard for all long-serving employees regardles of where they live or work."

The ACTU's test case also seeks to:

- double entitlements from eight to 16 weeks pay for workers made redundant after more than six years

- increase severance pay for those with two-five years service in line with the NSW standard

- provide up to four weeks extra for workers aged over 45

Combet said the existing federal cap on severance pay of eight weeks was unfair when redundant workers averaged 22 weeks of unemployment.


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