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Issue No. 227 02 July 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

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

L E T T E R S
 Letter From America
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News

Telstra Hangs Up On Staff


A ‘management speak’ email has sparked fears Telstra will rip dozens of jobs out of regional Ballarat.

Telstra BigPond sales, service and call centre staff failed to win assurances over their futures in the wake of a memo suggesting regional operations would be "brought together" and this would be met with "some sadness."

John Jamieson from the CPSU says Telstra is playing word games with workers concerns.

Company "double speak", he said, centred on Telstra's position that labour hire casuals were not its business. Eighty five workers at BigPond, Ballarat, are supplied by labour hire company, DFP.

That company called the union last week to raise concerns over the future of its employees.

"Telstra will say they will not sack one Telstra worker in this re-structure but more than half of the workforce is employed by DFP - their jobs have not been assured" he said,

"These workers have been with Telstra for two years working 38 hour weeks, and are still treated as casuals, so they don't get any retrenchment benefits let alone sick or holiday leave."

Federal MP Kathryn King has sought assurances on the workers' futures from Telstra..

"People are frustrated they can't get a straight answer and they are looking to Telstra to do the right thing," Jamieson said.

The company email that caused the furore began, "Hi Team - Today, Ziggy made an important announcement" and went on to say the Big Pond "team", currently spread around Ballarat, Adelaide, Bathurst and Melbourne, would be "brought together".

The impact on Ballarat staff, is "currently being scoped."

But the changes would provide "an exciting opportunity" for Telstra to "intensively focus" on growing "this strategically important product", whilst "addressing and enhancing the process improvements" in many aspects of "the end-to-end customer experience."


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