So the Governor-General has voted himself out of the Big House, recognising that his capacity to discharge his duties as Head of State had been fatally compromised by the skeletons in his Yarralumla closet.
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.
Sanitarium Casts Democracy into Hell’s Fire
Mouse that Roared
Abbott: Look After Number One
Entitlements Revamp – Acid on States
Strong Stuff – Commission Star in Court
Think Before You Drink
Maritime Hero Takes Final Journey
All Ding but No Gong
Aged Care in Terminal Condition
Strathfield Joins War on Shonks
AMWU Returns to the Fold
Green Jobs In Offing
Register for Action
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.
Language Most Foul
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.
Unions Deserve Reputation
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Sanitarium Casts Democracy into Hell’s Fire
Sanitarium has thumbed its nose at workplace democracy by filing for a non-union agreement within hours of a Federal Court hearing it sacked its Berkely Vale delegate after employees voted for a union-negotiated contract.
The delegate, John Draper, is seeking reinstatement and his union, the AMWU, wants orders against Sanitarium for breaching freedom of association provisions of the Workplace Relations Act.
Justice Gyles has reserved judgement after hearing the case in the Federal Court at Sydney.
AMWU food division secretary, Michelle Burgess, said "basic democratic rights" were at issue at Sanitarium.
"It is a 100-year-old company that has always been anti-union. John Draper's work there is an organising success story and the company doesn't like it," she said.
"In the space of 18 months more than half the workforce elected to join the union and voted down a company-sponsored agreement.
"They have voted to be union members and for the union to negotiate their agreement. Sanitarium won't accept that they have those rights."
The Seventh Day Adventist-controlled food company has used extraordinary tactics to try and dissuade people from joining the AMWU.
Last year a manager distributed leaflets in which a church founder described unions as "satanic".
"The trades unions will be agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been seen since the world began," it read.
So strong is the company's anti-unionism that it has repeatedly offered staff representation by any person or agency that is not a union.
Three separate documents were presented to the Federal Court in which Sanitarium said staff could be represented by any outside agency that was not a trade union.
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