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Issue No. 199 10 October 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Bush-Whacking
Those of us preparing to protest US President George W Bush’s visit to Australia must tread a fine line – between condemning the policies of an illegitimate president with a dangerous agenda and damning an entire nation.

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!

N E W S

 Rail Whistleblower Attacked - Again

 Royal Con on Tape

 Call Centre Stumps Umpire

 Breakthrough for Email Privacy

 Harbour Sell Off Sparks Occupation

 Harvey World Travel Locks Up Tour

 STOP PRESS: Telstra Drops Out

 Workers Voice Gets Hard Edge

 Employees Disable Hard-Ball Bosses

 Canberra Eyes Crash Windfall

 Bush Whacker - Dubya Fingered

 Assault Costs Education Department

 Uni Workers Stand Up To Feds

 Thousands Say No to Cole

 The Town that Struck

 Activists Notebook

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.

L E T T E R S
 On The Waterfront
 An Honest Job
 Letter From America
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Employees Disable Hard-Ball Bosses


Low-paid community and disability workers have beaten off attacks by Employers First and Australian Business Lawyers to secure a $17 a week wage rise.

The increase was awarded by the full bench of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission in the face of staunch opposition from representatives of for-profit operators.

The bench awarded the full amount to NSW community and disability workers earning $731 a week or less. Colleagues earning more will get a $15 increase.

ASU president, Sally McManus, said the decision was a rebuff for Employers First who had demanded that community workers trade off conditions.

"This is a significant victory for people amongst the lowest paid workers in NSW," McManus said. "They will now receive what other workers in this state are entitle to, without bargaining away hard won conditions."

She highlighted the support of "decent" community service employers, including the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations and Jobs Australia, in the union's battle for a fair wage outcome but warned Employers First would continue to try and undermine the living standards of sector workers.

"It's a signinficant first round vitory despite an attempt to undermine our award by hard-right ideologues who don't have the best interests of community services at heart," McManus said.

"It's a shame Employer's First want to bring hardline private sector tactics into community services because they hurt employees and employers alike.

"We expect them to continue their attacks on our working conditions but at least they do not have the State Wage increase as bargaining chip."


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