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Issue No. 214 26 March 2004  

The Security Shift
As the War on Terror spirals out of control, the political dynamics of security are starting to shift – and those banging thee drums of war may become the unlikely casualties.


Interview: Baby Bust
Labor's Wayne Swan argues that the plight of our aging workforce is only one side of our demographic dilemma.

Safety: Dust To Dust
Failure by authorities to police safety in the asbestos removal industry is threatening the lives of members of the public, writes Phil Doyle.

Bad Boss: Shaming in Print
Delegates from print shops around Sydney will publicly shame this month’s Bad Boss nominee with a rally outside his new Alexandria operation next Thursday.

National Focus: Work's Cripplin' Us
Noel Hester reports on a spin doctors' talkfest, workplace pain, stroppy teachers and IWD party time in the national wrap.

International: Bulk Bullies
An extraordinary five month struggle over affordable health care, by nearly 70,000 Californian supermarket workers, has just come to an end, writes Andrew Casey.

History: The Battle for Kelly's Bush
Green Bans saved a piece of bush before they saved much of the Sydney’s built environment, writes Neale Towart

Economics: Aid, Trade And Oil
Tim Anderson reveals Australia’s second betrayal Of East Timor is playing out before our eyes.

Review: The Art Of Work
Workers and westies are being celebrated as the cultural icons they are thanks to two Sydney exhibitions reminding us there is a world of art in the everyday, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Sew His Lips Together
Wondering where the next porkie is going to come from? Resident bard David Peetz knows.


 Terrorism: Workers In Front Line

 ‘Racist Throwback’ on Rail Project

 Green Light for Council Code

 Underground Mines a Time Bomb

 Teachers Delete Email

 Bush Uses Burma Sweatshops

 Family Mourns Dead Worker

 Call Centre Shocker

 Bosses Touched Up With Wet Lettuce

 Andrews Throws Last Dice at CFMEU

 Smelter Contractors Clear Air

 Activists What’s On!


The Soapbox
Iraq and Your Mortgage
How high interest rates go will be a key issue in 2004 and if you are looking for a clue, there's no better place to look than the war in Iraq, writes Michael Rafferty.

Hang Onto the Day Job
Show someone else the money, says Phil Doyle.

Westie Wing
Ian West shows why Eveleigh Street’s not so far away from Macquarie Street

Don’t Give Up the Fight
Get Up, Stand Up is the logo of choice on a popular range of subversive condoms. Ken Davis from Union Aid Abroad reports from Zimbabwe’s second city

 More On Green Bans
 But Will He Get the Trains To Run On Time?
 Uniting For Peace
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Letters to the Editor

But Will He Get the Trains To Run On Time?

Dear Sir,

I note with cynical interest, the proposed amendments Local Government Legislation in relation to Employee Security, some of the promised amendments are nothing more that entrenched conditions which along with thousands of jobs, were given away over the past decade.

I personally have no faith in the promises of the arrogant Carr Government, a government which appears to have plagiarized as its template Mussolini‚s Italy of the 1920s‚.

Back to the amendments, some of those proposed are:

- Terms & conditions of employment are protected for staff at all affected councils for three years.

- No forced redundancies at all affected councils for three years.

- Lateral transfers and internal advertising extended from one to three years after an amalgamation or boundary change.

- Relocations may not occur where they cause unreasonable hardship because of the distance required to be traveled.

- Where practicable, councils in rural centers required to maintain core staff numbers indefinitely.

- Core numbers to include permanent casual positions.

- Employment protection extended to all non-senior staff - including staff on fixed term contracts, who now gain access to protection for the full three years.

- Employment protection provisions to be retrospective to 1 January 2004.

Of course these amendments are yet to be debated and passed by both houses of parliament and the question arises - "Will the Parliament, and the Minister for local government The Hon Tony Kelly roll over or will they stick to the Carr Radical Reform Agenda, or will they , like 'Il Duce', the now pathetic ex Lord Mayor of Sydney Frank Sartor, go to water?"

As for the retirement of Eric Roozendaal to the upper house, at least there still is glimmer of sanity within the corridors of power, on this issue there appears to be a chorus of "good riddance to bad rubbish".

Tom Collins

Emu Plains NSW


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