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Issue No. 210 27 February 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Rock Of Ages
The Howard Government’s response to Australia’s aging population - to make them work longer and harder – is a small minded response to a mind-blowing problem, a perversion of the discipline of demography.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Trading in Principle
AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, a key figure in the Labor movement, discusses the big issues - from Mark Latham to Pavlov’s Dogs.

Unions: While We Were Away
While Workers Online was washing sand from between its toes and enjoying an Indian summer at the cricket, there was a reality show chugging relentlessly away in the background, Jim Marr reports.

Politics: Follow the Leader
Worker’s Online tool man, Phil Doyle, dives into the ALP’s Darling Harbour love-in and nearly drowns in treacle.

Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
The CFMEU has come up with a killer nomination to kick off our 2004 hunt for Australia’s worst employer.

Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
British academic, Kevin Doogan, sets the record straight on casualisation and warns unionists about the dangers of scoring an own goal

History: Worker Control Harco Style
Drew Cottle and Angela Keys ask if it's worth rememberinng the 1971 Harco work-in.

Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
The 1998 maritime dispute threatened to tear many a family apart but Katherine Thomson's Harbour tells the tale of at least one that it brought back together - albeit reluctantly, writes Tara de Boehmler.

N E W S

 Siren Sounds on Asbestos "Scam"

 Youngsters Taken For A Ride

 Costello Necks Young and Old

 CFMEU Backs Redfern Jobs

 Della to Save Christmas?

 Time for Global Zone Out

 Equant's Pyramid Jobs Scheme

 Unions at Unis

 A Bridge Too Far

 Men Score Mat Leave

 Strikes Rock TAFE, Unis

 Health Maters To The Barricades

 Prison Officers Strike Back

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Dog Whistlers, Spin Doctor and Us
John Menadue argues the "better angels" of the Australian character are having their wings ripped off by an ever-expanding group dedicating to keeping the public at arms length from our decision-makers.

Postcard
Something Fishy In Laos
Phillip Hazelton fishes around in Vientiane, Laos, and looks at the impact of Bird Flu on those relying on feathered friends for survival.

Sport
Magic Realism
Phil Doyle discovers that literature and sport may have more in common than you would think

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Trickle, flood or drought? Workers friend Ian West, MLC, is wet, wet, wet on the issue of bilateral Free Trade.

L E T T E R S
 We Make Mistakes
 Taking The Piss
 Dear Mark
 Tom Goes Off I
 Tom Goes Off II
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Men Score Mat Leave


Companies that offer paid maternity leave are more likely to hire men than women, a new study shows.

The national survey, conducted by Dr Marian Baird from the University of Sydney School of Business, finds men more likely to work where there is paid maternity leave but women still missing out with 57% of Australia'n workplaces offering no maternity benefits.

The report finds that low paid mothers, many employed in casual or part-time jobs, are the least likely to have access to paid maternity leave.

"This [study] suggests that large numbers of low and middle income parents simply can't afford to take unpaid leave," says ACTU president Sharan Burrow. "In the absence of better financial support from Government and employers they are choosing to either use up entitlements to paid annual leave and long service leave, or resign their jobs."

"The research casts serious doubt on the capacity of current workplace arrangements and leave provisions to allow parents and especially fathers to spend adequate time at home with their children."

The findings come as the ACTU launches a test case on work and family before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, with hearings due later this year.

The ACTU has renewed its push for more family-friendly workplaces pushing a national paid maternity leave scheme that provides all mothers with 14 weeks pay at the minimum wage.

The peak union body is also seeking to extend leave to mothers employed as casuals.

"Currently two out of every five working mothers who are employed casually do not have access to leave even when their child is sick," says Burrow.


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