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Issue No. 232 06 August 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Tarnished Rings
As our athletes approach the starting line in Athens, it is interesting to reflect on how the world has changed since Sydney was the centre of a global group hug just four years ago.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Trading Places
New ACTU International Officer Alison Tate cut her teeth delivering aid to developing nations through APHEDA. Now she is helping chart the global union agenda.

Safety: Snow Job
James Hardie has been drilled into our collective consciousness as a story of power, greed and immorality. It is also, as Jim Marr reports, a tale of human tragedy.

Politics: In the Vanguard
Damien Cahill reveals how neo-liberal think tanks have been at the forefront of the corporate assault upon trade unions and social movements in Australia.

Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Donít get between Sydney sparkie Semir Pepic and a gold medal in a dimly lit alley, writes Tim Brunero.

Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
Perfect Porker, Darren Vincent, brings a history of meat worker shafting to this monthís Bad Boss nomination.

International: Cruising For A Bruising
Europeís big unions are bruised as they watch companies roll over some of their best-organised unionised workplaces demanding longer work hours Ė without any recompense, reports Andrew Casey.

History: Under the Influence
Was John Kerr drunk when he wrote and signed the letter dismissing Edward Gough Whitlam from the Prime Ministership in 1975? Geraldine Willissee investigates.

Economics: Working Capital
Where superannuation fits, where it fails and what we should we do about it. Neale Towart gives the tough answers.

Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
There's many a must see moment in Mike Moore's new flick but beating the propaganda machine at its own game wreaks havoc with wearied bullshit detectors, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
When Flood washed away the PM's sins, the truth was once again left high and dry.

Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
During a recent visit to an elderly relative in a nursing home, I was waylaid by an ancient gentleman who insisted I listen to what he had to say, writes Rowan Cahill.

N E W S

 Stink Rises from Hamberger

 ALP Embraces Collectivism

 Bully Drives Deckhand into Drink

 Fighter in Cancer Link

 Tunnellers Dig in for Safety

 Seconds Out in Newcastle

 Vale Josh Heuchan

 "Betrayal" Sparks Election Rethink

 Councils Wedge James Hardie

 Great Southern Death Rattler

 Libs Desert "War Criminal"

 Casuals Take Over

 ALP Star Hits The Waterfront

 Activists Whatís On!

C O L U M N S

Parliament
The Westie Wing
The Labor Governments in each State must take the lead to stop the abuse of corporate law in Australia in the absence of action from the Federal Government, as the Inquiry into James Hardieís has highlighted, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Cleaners Deserve Our Support
It's time the state's cleaners were given some support, loyalty and long service leave, writes Chris Christodoulou.

The Locker Room
Half Time At The Football
Phil Doyle wants to have his pie and eat it too.

Tribute
Faithful Servant
Frank Mossfield was one of the labour movementís quiet achievers. Former Labor Council secretary Michael Easson pays tribute.

Postcard
Lessons From East Timor
Just back from a study tour to East Timor, National Reserach Officer with the Construction division of the CFMEU, Ben Stirling, writes about the experience for Workers Online.

L E T T E R S
 An Officer And A Teacher
 Tom Goes Asexual
 Road Rage At Work
 Democracy In Action
 Asbestos Bastadry
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

ALP Embraces Collectivism


A Latham Labor Government would return collectivism to Australian workplaces by barring AWAs, increasing the powers of the industrial umpire, and restoring awards and union access rights.

The policy was outlined in Sydney today by Workplace Relations spokesman, Craig Emerson, who pledged to line-up federal workplace laws with those of NSW and Queensland.

Emerson moved to counter certain opposition from employer groups and the Howard Government by arguing the "sky hadn't fallen in" in either of the eastern states.

In fact, he said, under Labor IR regimes, business had boomed and industrial disputes were at 20-year lows.

Emerson promised to introduce "good faith bargaining", a concept strongly opposed by business spokespeople.

Emerson said Labor's industrial relations policy would be built on four pillars ...

- improving job security

- encouraging family-friendly workplaces and work-family balance

- restoring the right of Australians to collective bargaining

- assisting parties to avoid and resolve disputes

Specific policies include disbanding the discredited Building Industry Task Force; abolising AWAs and the Office of the Employment Advocate; encouraging the IRC to allow long-term casuals to convert to permanent employment; and guaranteeing 100 percent of entitlements through a national employees entitlements scheme.

Emerson pledged $40 million to boost federal wages information and compliance systems.

"A key new initiative will be increased funding for inspectorate services to ensure employees are paid the wages legally owed to them," Emerson said.

"The Howard Government has turned a blind eye to the underpayment of wages. Last year it prosecuted only seven cases Australia-wide, and it has a standard policy of not prosecuting underpayments of less than $10,000. Yet, in one year, it has received more than 5000 complaints from employees.

"Labor opposes the Government's push for a fully de-regulated labour market that would allow wages and conditions of the working poor to fall in the Government's race to the bottom of low skills and low wages."


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