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Issue No. 182 13 June 2003  

The Dead Couple
The message from the ACTU’s Future of Work research is that the two theoretical frameworks for understanding work in the 20th century - ‘Harvester Man’ and ‘TINA’ are both dead.


History: Nest of Traitors
Rowan Cahill uncovers a ripping yarn that could redefine the way we look at Australian involvement in World War II.

Interview: A Nation of Hope
Former PM Bob Hawke bemoans the demise of industrial relations but takes heart from the prospect of peace in the Middle East

Unions: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on a soap star rebellion, Howard’s plans to renuclearise South Australia, more historical atrocities in the north, the redundancy test case plus more in the monthly national wrap.

Safety: The Shocking Truth
It’s every power worker’s worst nightmare – and it happened to Adrian Ware. In a flash of voltage, his life changed forever, as Jim Marr reports.

Tribute: A Comrade Departed
From Prime Ministers to wharfies, the labour movement paid tribute to Tas Bull this week. Jim Marr was among them.

History: Working Bees
Neale Towart looks at a group of workers who got sacked so their boss could keep making the Bomb.

Education: The Big Picture
The NTEU’s Dr Mike Donaldson and Tony Brown join all the dots in the current debate around higher eduction.

International: Static Labour
Ray Marcelo argues there’s another side to the recent furore over Telstra’s use of cheap Indian IT contractors.

Economics: Budget And Fudge It
Frank Stilwell argues that Peter Costello’s latest budget plumbs fiscal policy to new depths.

Technology: Google and Campaigning
Labourstart’s Eric Lee argues the latest weapon for campaigning could be the humble search engine.

Review: Secretary With A Difference
Looking for a new job can be hard enough, without having to worry about sadomasochistic bosses and the threat of being spanked for forgetting to cross your ‘t’s, says Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Minimale
The Labor Party leadership is in the news again, inspiring our resident bard David Peetz to song

Satire: Howard Calls for Senate to be Replaced by Clap-O-Meter
John Howard released a controversial policy statement today, arguing that the Senate be abolished in favour of a device measuring noise from the gallery of the House of Representatives.


 Air NZ Grounds Mums and Kids

 Unions to End Casual Affair

 Carr Faces Acid On Job Security

 Abbott Prescribes Dole for Mother of Six

 Cole Batting Zero from Thirty Two

 Labor Insider Makes Mess

 Dust Busters – MUA Sails into Allianz Fight

 Security Forces Come Out Firing

 Women’s Centre Faces Ideological Jihad

 Varsity Casuals Win Wage Increase

 Fortress NSW Protects BHP Workers

 Pharmacists Seek Jobs Medicine

 Iranian Textile Workers Sewn Up

 Unique Union –Uni Partnership

 Activists Notebook


It’s Our Party
Long time union watcher Nicholas Way looks at the changing dynamics between the industrial and political wings of the labour movement.

The Soapbox
Grass Roots
In his Maiden Speech, new MP Tony Burke argues that the ALP’s union links are nothing to be ashamed of.

Opinion Forming Down Under
Evan Jones condemns the mainstream’s media coverage of the War on Iraq and the damage it is doing to our national psyche.

The Locker Room
Location, Re-Location!
It’s all fun and games until someone loses a club, writes Phil Doyle

 Costa Must Be Crazy
 Saharwi Struggle
 Vinegar Hill
 Tom's Toons
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Carr Faces Acid On Job Security

The NSW Government’s commitment to improving worker rights will be tested when NSW Labor Council targets the public sector in its Secure Employment Test Case.

After sitting on recommendations to regulate casuals and labour hire for more than two years, the government will now have to respond to the same claims, as an employer.

As such the government will have to make the call whether to back the Labor Council claim in NSW Industrial Relations Commission to establish three core principles:

- a mechanism for regulating casual work that would give casuals the opportunity to become permanent after six months

- a set of procedures employers would have to go through before contracting out, including consultation and not using the process to merely evade existing wages and conditions, or de-unionise the workplace

- a requirement that labour hire employees attract the wages and conditions paid by the host employer

If successful the standards would flow across the entire public sector, a section of the workforce where casualisation and labour hire is growing dramatically as departments attempt to meet workloads without breaking a Treasury-enforced freeze on new jobs.

The NSW IRC would be asked to look at awards covered by three unions - the Public Service Association, the National Union of Workers and the CFMEU. Under NSW industrial laws all employers covered by an award are 'roped in', meaning rogue employers can't undercut the ruling.

Labor Council deputy assistant secretary, Chris Christodoulou said its public service component would be the 'acid test' of where the NSW Labor Government actually stood on workers rights.

"We are looking for basic safeguards in the event of contracting or labour hire," Christodoulou said. "We don't accept these things should be a back door way of cutting wage rates or conditions, particularly where they have been hard won over years.

"It is a reasonable response to growing casualisation and the increasing use of labour hire and contracting."

Christodoulou said Labor Council's hand had been forced by the "laissez faire" attitude of the Government which had turned it down on any regulation of labour hire, and proposal for host employer conditions.

"They say they are sympathetic but argue such matters are best dealt with by the IRC. Well, that's where we are going," Chrisotdoulou says.


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