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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Frank Mossfield was one of the labour movementís quiet achievers. Former Labor Council secretary Michael Easson pays tribute.
An Officer And A Teacher
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.
Tom Goes Asexual
Road Rage At Work
Democracy In Action
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Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Casuals Take Over
One in three female workers has no access to sick pay or annual holdays due to an explosion in casual work.
Since the Howard Government was elected in 1996, more than 42 percent of all new jobs have been casual, according to ACTU research released this week.
Australia now has the second highest proportion of temporary or casual workers of any developed country with the vast majority missing out on entitlements once considered rights.
ACTU president Sharon Burrow says the fact so many countries have much lower rates of casual work shows insecurity is not essential to a competitive economy and the problem can be fixed.
Casual work was designed for short-term jobs or widely varying hours, but unions allege casual status is increasingly used by employers to avoid basic entitlements.
The research shows casuals, who make up 28 percent of the workforce, get paid 21percent less than permanent workers even though they receive an extra pay loading.
The low pay and lack of permanency means banks are reluctant to lend to casuals. Only 35% of casuals own their own home compared to 60% of permanent workers.
The insecure nature of the work has prompted the Labor Council of NSW to run a ground breaking secure employment test case in the IRC.
They are seeking:
- to be offered permanent employment when they have worked regularly for six months.
- to be paid the same rates as those employed by the host employer
- that contracting employers must offer existing workers alternative employment with the contractor - at the same rate of pay.
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