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Issue No. 198 03 October 2003  
 
F E A T U R E S

Interview: No Ifs, No Butts
Rugby League Professionals Association president Tony Butterfield on his battle to deliver a collective agreement for NRL players.

Unions: National Focus
In this month’s national wrap: Noel Hester meets a heavy hitter talking up open source unionism, truckies front the suits at Boral’s AGM, tales of corporate bastardry and Medicare birthday revelry.

Industrial: Fools Gold
Unions have thrashed out a string of protocols with the NSW Labor Government. Some, now, are questioning whether they are worth the cheap, imported paper they are written on, reports Jim Marr.

Bad Boss: Bones of Contention
Byron Bay chicken boners have nominated thier boss for a Tony after seeing their entitlements plucked.

History: The Gong Show
In late September the South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) celebrated 75 unbroken years championing the rights of workers in the coastal Illawarra region 80 kilometres south of Sydney, writes Rowan Cahill.

Politics: The Hawke Legacy
The election of the Hawke Labor government twenty years ago holds some salient lessons for today’s Labor Party, writes Troy Bramston.

International: Sick Nation
As Australia celebrates 20 years of Medicare’s universal health coverage the crisis facing American workers in need of medical care is a useful reminder of what we’ve got – and what we stand, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Closed Minds
Philip Mendes looks at the political influence of right-wing think tanks, their financial backing and asks why the left hasn’t been able to get its ideas out there.

Review: Mixing Pop and Politics
He's had relations, with girls from many nations... but Billy Bragg seems to like us Aussies as much or even more than any of the others, writes Pádraig Collins.

Poetry: One Size Fits All
There once was a man from the Lodge - Who tried hard, our poems, to dodge... Resident bard David Peetz is back!

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Concrete Boot for Democracy
If Boral directors get their way only shareholders worth more than $90 million will be able to propose significant policy changes at future AGMs.

The extraordinary proposition is Boral’s response to small shareholder demands for improved workplace safety, and shareholder control over executive remuneration. [full story]

Picketers Get Blue Ribbon Result
Seventeen Tasmanians burned their way through four 200-litre drums and 50 tonnes of firewood during a 182-day picket that has blown a hole in bodgey contracting practices that deny thousands of Australians basic entitlements.

Meatworkers Union Tasmanian secretary, Grant Courtney, said picketers were "over the moon" with this week’s Industrial Commission ruling that they be re-employed by Blue Ribbon Products and its labour-hire firm, Newemploy, and be back-paid for six months. [full story]

ICAC Call at Mudgee Abattoir
Pressure is growing for the NSW Government to cough up millions owed to Mudgee Abattoir workers amidst calls for an ICAC investigation of management at the failed facility.

Mudgee Shire councillors have joined the United Services Union (USU) in calling for an investigation into the disappearance of worker’s entitlements at the local government controlled slaughterhouse. [full story]

Telstra on Charges
Telstra is fending off dishonesty charges after going public about 60 new call centre jobs in the week it actually dumped 54 permanent Wollongong employees.

The trick, according to CPSU spokesman Steven Jones, is to sack ongoing permanent workers and pick-up labour hire casuals who are denied entitlements including sick, service, holiday pay, maternity leave and penal rates. [full story]

Unis Walk Over Federal Bullying
University staff across the country will walk off the job in response to Federal Government "bullying" that will see 8000 student positions disappear.

Academic and non teaching staff will strike at Sydney University on October 7 in the lead up to a national NTEU stoppage at all 38 of Australia’s public universities on October 16. [full story]

IRC Shoots Rooster that Quacked
Tens of thousands of Australian casual workers might have more rights than employers or Federal Government believed.

The prospect was raised by last week’s Federal IRC ruling which granted unjustified dismissal rights to short-term casuals, previously expressly denied access to such remedies. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Ugly Australian Riles Timorese

 Medicare Gets Abbott For Birthday

 Business Council Opposes Salary Vote

 Rail Workers Call For Self Defence

 ACT Leads On Industrial Manslaughter

 Thumbs-Up for Awards Binding Subbies

 Entitlements Crash into Hangar

 Blackouts on NSW Horizon

 State Govt Told To Clean Up Contracts

 Would-be Presidents Face Union Probe

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Workers around the nation wished medicare a Happy 20th Birthday - but all the sick old scheme got was Tony Abbott at the steering wheel!

E D I T O R I A L
If Abbott takes his approach to the workplace into the health portfolio, one can only wonder at the conflict he will create – between rich and poor, public and private patients, and the sick and the healthy.

Reverend Tool

C O L U M N S

Postcard
North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Soapbox
The $140 Million Patriot
It would be hard to imagine a steeper slide from hero to zero than the experience of Richard Grasso, the now-deposed head of the New York Stock Exchange. writes Jim Stanford.

Media
Bush's Bad News Blues
The Bush Administration is cooking up a new campaign 'to shine light on progress made in Iraq', writes Bill Berkowitz.

The Locker Room
A Tale Of One City
Phil Doyle gazes into the crystal ball for signs of life, and finds that somewhere the horses are running in the wrong direction.

Culture
With Banners Furled
There is no better account of the glory that was the annual Labour Day marches than that given by Kylie Tennant in Foveaux, her fictional account of life in inner Sydney in 1912, the year she was born.

Politics
The Westie Wing
Our favourite Macquarie Street MP, Ian West MLC, reports on the world of NSW politics.

Postcard
The Cancun Wash-Up
The dramatic collapse of the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, last month has been followed by a deafening quiet from Geneva, Brussels and Washington, writes Peter Murphy.


LETTERS to the Editor
 A Hard Act To Follow
 Which Boss?

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