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Issue No. 234 20 August 2004  

True Lies
While the Prime Minister's penchant for the porky finally appears to be catching up with him, perhaps the biggest lie of his leadership remains largely unchallenged.


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
Don’t 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 month’s Bad Boss nomination.

International: Cruising For A Bruising
Europe’s big unions are bruised as they watch companies roll over some of their best-organised unionised workplaces demanding longer work hours – 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.


 Hardie Chiefs Dodge Findings

 Virgin Wants Them Young

 RTA Counts Cheapie Cost

 Miners Trump Rio Gold

 Suits Star in Big Steel

 Boffins Back Sweatshops

 Tony Winner Bags an Ernie

 Bush Fires Up

 Kiwis Unfriendly, say Aussie Bankers

 CPSU in Pay Cut Territory

 Brains Over Buns Claim

 AIG Backs "Cowards"

 BHP Makes A Killing

 Schools Fight for Equity

 Activists What's 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 Hardie’s 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.

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

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.

 Howard Minor Goes Bush
 Dummy Spitting
 Tom Relieves Himself
 System Screws Workers
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Tony Winner Bags an Ernie

Australia Post has backed up its Tony Award for Australia’s worst boss with an Ernie Award for sexist behaviour after telling female workers to lose weight before they could attend the opening of a new branch.

The directive bagged Aussie Post the Industrial Ernie but was not enough to take the Gold Ernie from Toohey's for an advertisement where rugby fans offered their sisters to the Wallabies.

The Ernies, dedicated to the former Labor Council president Ernie Ecob are organised by NSW Legislative Council president Meredith Bergmann in honour of his legendary observation that female shearers should not be tolerated in shearing sheds because all they were interested in was the sex.

Bergman says while the Ernie awards were inspired by the blokey culture of the union movement in the early nineties, the focus is now on the broader community.

"Trade unionists have so cleaned up the act - that industrial is now a sidelight - and the bosses always win!"

The Full List of Winners, voted by popular acclaim - or boos - from a dinner attended by 400 inappropriately dressed women at NSW Parliament were:

The Gold "Ernie" - Tooheys Advertising - A bunch of Wallaby supporters hold up a banner at the game which says "Boys, if you win you can have our sisters." The banner has arrows pointing to "their sisters" in the seats beside them.

The "Warney" (for sport) - Bulldogs Chief Executive Malcolm Noad -

"Let's believe nothing happened in Coffs Harbour."

Media "Ernie" - P P McGuiness - "The crude abuse coming from many of the ageing feminists and their ideological children who have for years repeated the tired stuff about women having the sole rights over their own bodies, as if there were no moral or ethical issue beyond that, merely shows that they have devoted no serious thought to the issue since the 1970s."

Political "Ernie" - John Howard for:

- vetoing the $20 million campaign against domestic violence because it was too "anti-male,"

- arguing against a paid maternity leave scheme, saying "it would not increase the fertility rate or improve job security,"

- criticising Mark Latham for not wanting to change the Anti-Discrimination Act to allow male-only scholarships for teachers, and

- describing as "crazy" the ALP's plan to offer casual workers the option of permanent part-time work with holiday pay and sick leave entitlements saying "women will be the biggest losers."

Judicial "Media" - Melbourne Barrister, Paul Reynolds - for saying to a client, "just let me feel those puppies then" (he was not referring to her pets)

Industrial "Media" - Australia Post - for telling female staff at the Bondi Junction Post office that if they wanted to be at the opening of the new Post Office they should lose weight, and cutting the maternity leave of a worker from 12 to 6 weeks when her baby was born 13 weeks premature on the basis that this was 12 weeks earlier than the date she had nominated.

The "Anon" (the Good "Ernie" for boys behaving better) - Adam Goodes - for saying his mum was his inspiration and for taking her to the Brownlow Dinner.

The "Elaine" (for the remark least helpful to the Sisterhood) - Jackie Kelly, Federal Member for Lindsay - "No-one in my electorate goes to uni... it's pram city."

The "Clinton" (for repeat offenders) - Tony Abbott


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