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Issue No. 233 13 August 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Australian Pastoral
Now the US Australia Free Trade Agreement is signed, sealed and rubberstamped, we will see for ourselves who was right Ė those who argued Nirvana or those who warned of economic Armageddon.

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

 Hardie Boycott Sweeps State

 Vic Bosses Spit Dummy

 Revenge of the Bank Staff

 Young Workers Grounded

 Stab Proof Undies Arresting

 Carr in Cleaners Dust-Up

 Conflict Threatens Rail Safety

 Stats Lead Race to Bottom

 Spotlight on Olympic Stitch-Up

 Bomber Targets Canberra

 Casino's Gamble Backfires

 Choice in Truth Mix

 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
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WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Choice in Truth Mix


Workers at Country Energy are on a collision course with the Howard Government after voting to have bargaining fees inserted in their award.

The clause, which would levy a fee against non-members who benefit from union-negotiated pay rises, is the type that new legislation in the Senate would outlaw.

More than 90 per cent of workers endorsed the bargaining fees clause in their latest award. They will now ask the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to respect their choice and approve the clause.

Electrical Trades Union state secretary Bernie Riordan says the clause is a simple case of users pays.

"Country Energy workers have voted through a democratic process to ensure that all who benefit from pay rises contribute to the substantial costs of negotiations," Riordan says.

"The Country Energy workers are not insisting on everyone joining the union; they just want those who benefits from the union's work to contribute their fair share."

The NSW Labor Council says the federal government legislation attempting to outlaw bargaining fees in state awards is an attack workers' freedom of choice.

Labor Council secretary John Robertson says that, if passed, the bill would take away the right of workers to choose to levy service fees on non-members who benefit from union negotiated pay rises.

"It seems to me this bill takes the idea of 'freedom of choice' to absurd levels," Robertson says.

"In a bid to protect a person's freedom to benefit from a service they don't pay for, the Minister wants to take away the right for workers to choose to make non-members pay a small contribution towards the costs of negotiating a pay rise.

"For the Howard Government, it seems 'choice' only exists where it suits their ideological agenda,"

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