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Issue No. 193 29 August 2003  

Smells Like Community Spirit
Over the past view weeks Labor Council has been undertaking some focus groups to gauge community perceptions to unions. The result is a massive wake up call for those of us who want a union culture to survive into the 21st century.


Interview: The New Deal
US union leader Amy Dean expands on her agenda to give unions a real political voice

Unions: In the Line of Hire
Unions have lobbied and negotiated in a bid to stem casualisation and insecurity. Now, Jim Marr, writes they are seeking protection through a formal Test Case.

Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
Young people are amongst the most vulnerable in the workforce. So why aren't they joining the union, asks Carly Knowles

International: The Domino Effect
An internal struggle in the biggest and strongest industrial union in Germany IG Metall has had a devastating wave effect across not just that country, but also the rest of Europe, writes Andrew Casey.

Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
Max Ogden looks at the vexed issue of Works Councils and the differing views within the union movement to them.

National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
Achieving a fairer society and a better working life for employees from across Australia will be key themes at the ACTU's triennial Congress meeting later this month reports Noel Hester.

History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Rowan Cahill looks at the role Australia's conservatives played in supporting facism in the days before World War II.

Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Frank Sartor might have shot through but Robert Domm still calls the IR shots at Sydney City which pretty much explains why the council is this month’s Bad Boss nominee.

Poetry: Just Move On.
Visiting bard Maurie Fairfield brightens up our page with a ditty about little white lies.

Review: Reality Bites
The workers, united, may never be defeated but if recent episodes of Channel 10 drama The Secret Life Of Us are to be believed, this is not necessarily a good thing, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Iranians Expelled Over Teen Affair

 IR Promises Crash on Motorway

 Telstra Pigs Out on Indian

 Teachers Fight Casual Attitude

 Superstars in EBA Showdown

 Sink One with Billy

 Abbott Asked to Consider Honesty

 Printer’s Win Drink Stink

 WorkCover To Take Robbery Seriously

 Power Blackouts Expose Jobs Shortage

 Qantas Woes Set To Soar

 Sports Workers Walk

 Bigger Money Player Equals Job Cuts

 Indonesian Human Rights Appeal

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Fighting Words
Craig Emerson gave what could be the most spirited Labor spray in a decade to the NSW Labor Council this month. Here it is in all its venom.

Out of Their Class
Phil Bradley argues that Australia's education system should not be up for negotiation in the global trade talks.

The Locker Room
The ABC of Sport
Phil Doyle argues that the only way to end the corporate madness that is sport, is to give it all back to the ABC.

Locks, Stocks and Barrels
Union Aid Abroad's Peter Jennings updates on the situation in Burma, where the repression of democracy is going from bad to worse.

 A Nice Letter
 Tom’s History Of The World
 Tony Is A Tool
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IR Promises Crash on Motorway

State Government has "gone to sleep at the wheel" on Sydney’s Western Orbital, allowing employment conditions indistinguishable from those being advocated by Federal Workplace Relations Minister, Tony Abbott.

CFMEU spokesman, Peter Zaboyak, made that claim as members of his union and the AWU voted for a series of rolling stoppages, beginning with a 48-hour walk-out this week, that will halt progress on the $1.7 billion project.

Zaboyak accused Abi Group and Leightons Contractors of using "slave labour" on the ring road that will link many of Sydney's existing motorways.

The two established contractors have formed a joint venture company, Abi Leighton, for a project expected to employ more than 1000 people at its peak.

The joint venture, Zaboyak says, is evading its responsibilities by using non-union body hire labour on all-up rates as little as $14 an hour - an amount supposed to factor-in workers compensation, super, long service leave and payroll tax payments.

"These people are getting 50 percent of what directly employed workers are receiving. Abi Leighton is using body hire to slash wages and evade its responsibilities," Zaboyak said.

"They are screwing workers with the sub-contractors to a degree I have never seen in my 20 years' experience."

Zaboyak said the credibility of the NSW State Government had been "seriously undermined" because Abi Leighton had breached the employment code it trumpeted in an effort to highlight industrial relations differences between itself and the Federal Government.

"Frankly, it is a little hard to distinguish any difference between what is happening here and Tony Abbott's regime," Zaboyak said. "The RTA has gone to sleep at the wheel."

AWU secretary, Russ Collison, said "substantial breaches" of workplace laws had been uncovered on the project and predicted an "extensive industrial campaign" lay ahead.

Labor Council will contact Roads Minister, Carl Scully, to urge implementation of his Government's NSW Construction Code of Practice on the Western Orbital.

Workers voted to strike after months of negotiations on a project award failed to bring an agreement.


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