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Issue No. 223 04 June 2004  

Last Year´┐Żs Model
Economists keep telling us things have never been better, all the economic indicators say so. Which sparks the obvious question: why are so many of us feeling so low?


Interview: The New Democrat
Canadian activist Judy Rebick explains how she's using lessons from Brazil to rebuild the labour movement.

Bad Boss: The Ugly Australian
Prime Minister John Howard is in California spruiking the "merits" of this month´┐Żs Bad Boss nomination ´┐Ż

Unions: Free Spirits and Slaves
International capital demands guest labour ´┐Ż legal or illegal ´┐Ż as a way of beating down wages and conditions and, as Jim Marr discovers, the Australian Government seems happy to oblige.

Industrial: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on another workplace death (we-will-not-RIP NOHSC), heartburn for the Canberra consensus and all the action from around the states in our national wrap.

History: A Class Act
The problem of forgetting the primacy of class in favour of other ideas of community is highlighted in a new book, writes Neale Towart

International: Across the Ditch
NZ Nurses Union leader, Laila Harr´┐Ż, is in Sydney this week, comparing notes with the Australian Nurses Federation and seeking transTasman support for New Zealand´┐Żs highest profile industrial campaign.

Economics: Home Truths
Sydney University's Frank Stilwell argues that tax policy is driving the housing boom.

Review: No Time Like Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is one part Grim Reaper of the environmental movement and two parts fictitious fable dramatically window dressed with extreme special effects, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Silent Note
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers the current public service motto ´┐Ż "Don't tell the Minister!".


 Trade Deal a $47 Billion Dud

 Ground Staff Spread Fashion Wings

 Ghan Raises Trans-Continental Stink

 Union Busters Bank on Labor

 Witnesses Face Casual Duress

 Rail Workers Cop ´┐ŻBeer Nannies´┐Ż

 Sun Shines on Green Bans

 Big Business Plan to Cripple Compo

 Money Can´┐Żt Buy Me Love

 Federal Election in Doubt

 Safety Defects Plague Adelaide

 Police Investigate Assault Claim

 Activists What´┐Żs On!


The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part I
The Australia Institute's Clive Hamilton questions the assumptions underlying a society that defines happiness in dollar terms.

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part II
Clive Hamilton concludes his analysis, looking at how more and more Australians are pulling back from a marketplace that is no longer providing the goods.

The Locker Room
Sack ´┐ŻEm All!
Phil Doyle puts his job on the line, but doesn´┐Żt everyone these days?

The Westie Wing
The NSW Government has an agenda on the table but the test is finding innovative ways to finance it, writes Ian West

 Liberal Laugh
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Police Investigate Assault Claim

An ´┐Żargumentative, evasive, liar´┐Ż is being accused of man handling a female trade union official.

Heater manufacturer Richard Rees admitted grabbing AWU organiser Tonya Stevens by the shoulders and marching her from his company's Moorabbin premises.

Police are investigating allegations of assault.

Rees counterclaimed that it was Stevens who committed the assault.

After giving evidence in 2001, the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal, found Lees had "told deliberate lies" and was "evasive and argumentative and prevaricated".

The court found Lees, an accountant, had acted in breach of his fiduciary duties as a director, kept "accounts, minutes and other records in a deliberately incomplete, vague and disorderly way", and had failed to disclose documents which were clearly relevant to court proceedings.

An AWU spokesperson said low wages of $14.00 an hour, poor safety, and intimidation were main concerns at Moorabbin.

A worker from the site, Patrick Fagan, has claimed he was intimidated and humiliated in front of workmates because of his union membership.

Fagan said when he was in hospital suffering from cancer a manager from the company came to his bedside and said he should resign and left paperwork.


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