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Issue No. 218 30 April 2004  

End of the Casual Affair
The Secure Employment Test Case that kicks off in the coming week in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission will be an important test of how far down the path of labour market deregulation we have travelled.


Interview: Terror Australis
The Howard Government has just discovered the nation's ports are a terrorist target. The International Transport Federation's Dean Summers has been warning them for years.

Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Hidden in the Australian Workers Union Sydney office is a mild-mannered industrial officer who once strutted the international cricket stage, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: The Hell of Troy
On the basis of a couple of hours in the witness box, Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terence Cole described Troy Stratti as "credible". Six men who, together, have known the company director for the best part of 50 years beg to differ.

Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Traditional unions are rediscovering the power of grassroots organising. Paddy Gorman reports from the coal face.

Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
Evan Jones argues that economic policy making has been narrowed and rendered mechanistic and antiseptic.

History: Vicious Old Lady
Despite its Liberal leanings, the Sydney Morning Herald has never been shy of bashing unions, writes Neale Towart.

International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Thailand must end its crackdown on Burmese fleeing rights abuses in their military-ruled homeland, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

Review: War Unfogged
Want to go to war but not sure where to start? Look no further than Errol Morris' latest doco-drama for the definitive 11-step lesson plan, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: TAFE
A TAFE student struggling under the weight of fees shares his wordly wisdom


 WA Bosses Duck for Cover

 Static Hits Digital Revolution

 Rising Sun Sets on Costello

 Terror Telegraphs New Era

 Dust Storm Greets Hardie

 Psych Nurses Seek Safety

 Work Bad for Your Health

 Govt Lays Death Track

 Howard Slugs Battlers

 APHEDA Wins Award

 Feds: Freedom Is Slavery

 Free Trade Fun Day

 Activists Whatís On!


A Voice for Peace
Palestinian trade union leader calls on militants to lay down their arms while the ICFTU protests harassment of Palestinian union leader.

The Soapbox
The Double Standard Bearers
Nicholas Way argues that when it comes to collective action, the Howard Government has different views depending on whether you are a unionist or a small business.

The Locker Room
The Fine Print
While the result mightnít be everything, it does make the back of the newspaper more interesting, as Phil Doyle reports.

The Westie Wing
Ian West crunches the numbers in Macquarie Street and finds virtue in deficit.

 Tom is UN-Amazed
 Organís Manslaughter Pics
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Tool Shed


Corporate cowboy Sam Chisholm rides his way into the Tool Shed this week on the back of everybodyís favourite donkey, Alan Jones.


Sam Chisholm, finds himself in the digital Tool Shed this week after a spectacular week of riding roughshod over his fellow Australians.

Chisholm is a director of Telstra as well as being chair of Alan Jones employer, Macquarie Radio Network. No doubt Macquarie carry fearless coverage of Telstra despite the many hats crazy Sam likes to wear.

Chisholm's commitment to freedom of expression was illustrated when his company ran off to court in an attempt to silence the ABC's Media Watch, who were making some interesting allegations about how business was done at Macquarie flagship, 2GB.

On top of his comfortable sits at Telstra and Macquarie, Chissy is also the chair of Foxtel, so the old coot doesn't mind spreading himself a bit thin.

Foxtel, of course, are famous for the digital revolution that isn't, and their effort to pay their installation subcontractors peanuts to do the pay-TV operator's dirty work.

Their latest no-brainer is to refuse to talk to the subcontractors union and instead try the DIY approach and get their subscribers to install their new digital set up themselves, or better still try and pay couriers $30 to install it.

Maybe Sam has been watching too many of those flaky TV home renovation shows.

Sam joined his Foxtel CEO Kim Williams, Nepotee Lachlan Murdoch and Telstra chief Ziggy Switkowski at the launch of the digital "revolution" at Foxtel, where no mention was made of the months many ordinary punters will have to wait before they can connect.

Just what a loser Sam is was revealed a few weeks back when he was inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame (Yes, we all had a laugh too) - no doubt for services to mediocrity.

He took the opportunity to continue his lifetime of crawling by thanking the two social diseases, Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch.

Chisholm has a great social conscience. He was on the board of Farmhand, the charity set up by Rupert Murdoch so that ordinary people could help sell the remaining public stake in Telstra.

Chisholm obviously opposed Telstra's bizarre move to buy Fairfax, but was that because he believed the telco shouldn't be in the media? Or was it because he wanted to keep the reputable news provider on the market for his mates Kerry or Rupert, so that they could run it into the ground instead?

He obviously has no problems with our largest telco being heavily involved in the media - being more than happy for it to jump into bed with pay television. Besides, no doubt Telstra's close relationship with the media saves it from close scrutiny. A handy thing if you're trying to use the Howard government's Not Nailed Down Act to pinch Telstra from the Australian public, against their wishes.

Yes, it appears the man who brought us the high quality garbage that is the Nine Network is more than happy to use his role to continue the evisceration of what remains of public debate in this country.

After all, why does the big end of town need an informed Australian public? How about another gameshow instead Sam?

Sam Chisholm! Come on down! You're our Tool Of The Week!


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

View our Gallery of Tools

Nominate a Tool!

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