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Issue No. 224 11 June 2004  
 
F E A T U R E S

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’s Bad Boss nomination …

Unions: Free Spirits and Slaves
International capital demands guest labour – legal or illegal – 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 Harré, is in Sydney this week, comparing notes with the Australian Nurses Federation and seeking transTasman support for New Zealand’s 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 – "Don't tell the Minister!".

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Making Plans For Nigel
Building Industry Task Force officers pay teenagers for information and make secret, illegal recordings of conversations, according to allegations levelled in the Senate.

Controversial Task Force boss, Nigel Hadgkiss, fended off claims that his officers had illegally recorded people at a Perth site by arguing, in part, that it was legal for "anybody" to make covert recordings in WA. [full story]

People Importer Wants Indemnity
FreeSpirit wants exploited South Africans to indemnify it against backpay claims that could exceed $100,000 as the price of keeping them in the country.

The company has been at the centre of a storm of controversy since the AMWU blew the whistle on its importation of 29 boilermakers, pipe fitters and welders who were paid effective rates as low as $11.50 an hour to work in Western Australia. [full story]

Desperate Ambos Turn to Copper
A woman died after a police officer was press-ganged into driving an ambulance following a road accident in Liverpool, last week.

Angry NSW ambulance officers have lashed out at a "chronic" situation that saw one of five ambulances "waiting beds" dispatched from nearby Liverpool Hospital without its trolley to attend the critically injured pedestrian. [full story]

Victims Dusted in Asbestos Row
Asbestos victims could be forced to bail out of the James Hardie inquiry because the NSW state government won’t grant them legal aid.

In the absence of direct communcations from Macquarrie St, the AMWU is still trying to confirm the validity of this week’s news media reports. [full story]

Delos Bang Victory Gong
Wollongong workers have won their battle for 24/7 availability of emergency doctors, after threatening a region-wide strike.

A new deal will make a Wollongong Hospital Doctor available for medical and rescue work across the Illawarra.  [full story]

Teaching 12 Percent Tougher
Teaching children in the information age has become a more onerous job, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission recognised in handing down a 12 per cent ‘special case’ rise to teachers this week.

But the Carr Government faces ongoing industrial action from public school teachers after the IRC ‘moderated’ its final decision in the landmark pay case because government cried poor. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Now Carr Faces Medical Bill

 Officers Hurt in Transit

 Support Unit Makes Canberra Debut

 Winter Beds Breakthrough

 Workers Wait For Bread

 HoWARd the A**sLIcKEer

 Activists What’s On!

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Independent dramatists Darren Valentine and Ezra Lawrence are bringing HoWARd the ArseLicKEr" to a theatre near you - as long as you live in Newtown, that is.

E D I T O R I A L
If Pete Garrett is to be a Labor MP, it is fair to expect him to be not just a card carrier, but a committed unionist.

Think Tank Tool

C O L U M N S

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 ‘Em All!
Phil Doyle puts his job on the line, but doesn’t everyone these days?

Politics
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


LETTERS to the Editor
 Godbotherers Descend On Poor
 Sick Of This Job
 Office Junior’s Secrets

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