Beyond the Workplace
The NSW union movement’s intervention this week into the debate over the future of public transport is an important step in redefining what unions are all about.
Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
The Welfare Rights Centre's Michael Raper on 20 years of activism, the politics of punishment and how to make Australia egalitarian again.
Unions: Joel's Law
Building Workers have overcome powerful forces to push workplace safety back up the national agenda. But, Jim Marr writes, their "success" has come at an unacceptable cost.
National Focus: Spring Carnival
It must be spring: punting in Victoria, singing in South Australia, fighting in America. It’s all there in the national wrap from Noel Hester plus an Australian union movement rugby world cup class consciousness poll.
Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
They sacked the job delegate, reinstated him after an IRC hearing, and sacked him again two weeks later. But that was just the beginning.
Industrial: The Price of War
Mass industrial action is brewing in Israel as the policies of the right-wing Sharon Government come home to roost, writes Andrew Casey.
Economics: Who's Got What
Frank Stilwell pours over the latest BRW Rich List to build a picture of the increasing gap between the haves and have-nots.
History: Containing Discontent
Racism against minorities has always been a stock in trade of politicans, writes Phil Griffiths
Review: An Honourable Wally
Most Australians probably look at our politicians and feel they could do a better job but when redundant meatworker Wally Norman gets the chance to find out he realises getting elected is a major hurdle, writes Tara de Boehmler.
Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
A thousand blossoms bloomed during the US President's spring-time colonial visit last month.
Hamberger Bad for Kids
BHP Faces UN Sanction
Hardie Shareholders Face Death
Road Workers Swing Left-Right Blows
Joy Battles Goode at ANZ
Developers To Kick Transport Can
ACTU Names Its Price
Death By A Thousand Cuts
Ban Holes Water Police Deal
Cleaners Mop Up Contracts Mess
Workers Entitlements Dumped
Overtime Goes Bush
Libs Push Lawyers Picnic
Unions Set To Stand Up To Bullies
Jack Thompson Headlines Launch
Bush's Faith-Filled Life
The President's conversion, 'sense of divine calling' and struggle with sobriety are subjects of a forthcoming book, writes Bill Berkowitz
The Not So Smart Money
Phil Doyle is sick of big money ruining grass roots sport, and he’s taking his bat and going home.
The Westie Wing
The ongoing challenge for Labor members of parliament is to make what the Premier calls the ‘creative partnership’ between the Government and the union movement a reality, writes our favourite MP Ian West.
Burma Up In Smoke
Behind the Junta
Saw Min Lwin, Secretary for Trade Union Rights/ Human Rights for the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB), outlines the struggle for workers in his country.
Perils Of Pauline
Put A PM On The Barbie
Tom Holds Water
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Libs Push Lawyers Picnic
NSW Opposition legal spokesperson Andrew Tink has flagged moves to make Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) rulings open to appeal in the Court of Appeal.
It is believed the move is an attempt to return to the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act 1991, which saw employers use the Court of Appeal to bleed unions financially and to stall rulings of the Industrial Relations Commission.
"Under the 1991 Act the employers consistently appealed decisions of the Commission as a deliberate tactic to frustrate the processes of the Commission and to make life difficult for the unions," says Bernie O'Riordan, NSW state secretary of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).
The situation degenerated so much that it was addressed in the1996 legislation.
The ETU have called for the matter to be raised as a matter of urgency with the NSW government.
NSW Upper House MP, Tony Burke, has expressed his opposition to any proposed legislation that would allow decisions of the IRC to be appealed in the court of appeal.
"Such a provision [appealing IRC decisions] opens a window for unscrupulous employers to be unreasonably litigious," says Burke. "Labor has always supported the Commission as providing a means for justice at the work place. Departing from this position would require a compelling reason."
The Labor Council of NSW has also expressed its concern about any moves to allow for appeals from the Industrial Relations Commission to the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court or any other place.
Labor Council secretary, John Robertson, said that under the proposed legislation unions would be forced to employ expensive Senior Counsel and whether or not to run cases would be decided on their economic merits rather than the justice of the issue.
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