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Issue No. 227 02 July 2004  

A Place To Call Home
These days the Great Australian Dream is closer to a fantasy, where the chances of owning to your own home depend on either inheriting property or winning lottery.


Interview: Power and the Passion
ALP's star recruit Peter Garrett shares his views on unions, forests and being the Member for Wedding Cake Island

Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Tony Butterfield became a State of Origin gladiator at the unlikely age of 33. Even that, Jim Marr reports, couldn�t prepare him for the knock-down, drag-em-out world of modern IR.

Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Proposals to flog off NSW�s forests have raised eyebrows and temperatures amongst some of the key players reports Phil Doyle.

Housing: Home Truths
CFMEU national secretary John Sutton argues for a radical solution to the housing affordability crisis.

International: Boycott Busters
International unions have issued a new list of corporations breaching ILO sanctions to do business in Burma.

Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
The absurdities of neoclassical economic assumptions has never stood in the way of their being trotted out to justify profiteering and attacks on the rights of citizens. The AUSFTA is the latest rort we are supposed to swallow, writes Neale Towart.

History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Interest in JC Watson's short time as Labor's first Prime Minister should not detract from his more substantial role as Party leader, writes Mark Hearn

Review: Chewing the Fat
As debate rages in Australia about Fast Food advertising, Julianne Taverner takes a look at a side of the industry that Ronald McDonald won�t tell you about in Supersize Me.

Poetry: Dear John
Workers Online reader Rob Mullen shares some personal correspondence with our glorious leader.


 NRMA Reverses Over Turnbull

 Privatisation Kills

 Crikey: Irwin Feeds Staff AWAs

 Nurses Telegraph Fight Back

 "Sexiest Man" Plays it Safe

 Eureka: Bug Swats Hadgkiss

 Macdonald Ponders Asbestos Blue

 Latham Gets Late Mail

 Murdoch Faces Discrimination Rap

 Boss Goes Postal

 Oberon Survives Bomb Threat

 Howard Out On CD

 Telstra Hangs Up On Staff

 Activists What�s On!


The Westie Wing
As the NSW Labor Government sells its first budget deficit in nine years, the real concern for the union movement is the devil in the detail, especially when it comes to procurement agreements, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Rubber Bullets
Labor's IR spokesman Craig Emerson launches a few characteristic salvos across the Parliamentary chamber

The Locker Room
Tears After Bedtime
Phil Doyle says that it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye

Postcard from Vietnam
APHEDA's Hoang Thi Le Hang reports from the north of Vietnam on a project being fund by Australian unionists.,

 Letter From America
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Crikey: Irwin Feeds Staff AWAs

Steve Irwin has been sprung dangling AWA�s in front of young workers at his North Queensland zoo.

The Zoo, an official AWA ambassador, has signed up its 450 staff to the non-union agreements which pay all staff equally from reptile keepers to labourers and have abolished penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work.

Irwin caused a media storm last year by dangling his month old son in front of a hungry crocodile and, more recently, drew criticism for his behaviour in Antarctic wilderness areas.

"AWA's are excellent in terms of keeping it simple. As a base document to build our policy on, I couldn't ask for anything better," his HR manager, SandyWhitehead, said.

The announcement that Irwin had been co-opted to the AWA campaign was the last official engagement of controversial Employment Advocate, Jonathan Hamberger.

The federal government has used AWAs to undermine collective agreements and attempt to write trade unions out of the employment relationship.

Hamberger has promoted their use, even when they cut workers' earnings by thousands of dollars. Despite the support of Hamberger, and advocates like Irwin, less than three percent of Australian workers are covered by AWAs.

As employment advocate, Hamberger conducted a long-running campaign against the CFMEU and his 11-page report into the construction industry was responsible for the federal government establishing the Cole Royal Commission.

His office was castigated by Justice Marshall for putting up witnesses who had "artificially manufactured a confrontation" and told "untruths" in a court case against the CFMEU.

Hamberger, an ex-staffer of Industrial Relations Minister Peter Reith, will take up his appointment as a senior deputy president of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

The Howard Government was accused of "stacking" the bench in the lead-up to the last federal election.

So far, it has made 17 appointments to the IRC, the vast majority from employer backgrounds.


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