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Issue No. 236 03 September 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Interest Overboard
A tired, ageing government tries to scare the electorate into re-electing it on the basis of a lie. Sound familiar? Yep, John Howard is going to the polls again.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: True Matilda
Former senior bureaucrat John Menadue coordinated the group of 43 calling for truth in government; and now he has bigger fish to fry.

Politics: State of Play
Are all political parties the same? Workers Online tries to cut through the jargon to compare the major parties' approaches to key policy areas.

Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Public Private Partnerships amount to privatisation by stealth. Or do they? Jim Marr investigates.

Unions: Rhodes Scholars
Tim Brunero discovers how the Electrical Trades Union is doing its best to ease the national apprentice crisis.

National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
Noel Hester previews how unions will be fighting the federal election - on the ground and online.

International: People Power
Over the next four years there is a real potential a major struggle will take place for workers’ rights and the creation of truly democratic unions in China., writes Andrew Casey

Economics: A Bit Rich
Who Gets What? Why? And So What?, Frank Stilwell reviews the BRW's Rich List

History: Mine Shafts
It's 25 years since Nymboida passed the baton to United, writes Peter Murray

Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Former RAAF engineers could be sitting on a health time bomb, Tim Brunero reports.

Organising: Building a Wave
Community groups, unions and social movements all practice organising, wrties Tony Brown and Amanda Tattersall.

Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
How dare any Liberal suggest that the Prime Minister is a lying rodent! Resident bard David Peetz reports on the outrage that this slur has justifiably caused.

Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Tim Brunero writes The Battle of Algiers is a coldly objective, almost scientific anatomy of revolution.

Culture: The Word On The Street
Phil Doyle reports on how the Australian working class experience lives on through the words of the remarkable Geoff Goodfellow.

N E W S

 Sprung: Howard Liberal with Truth

 Yanks Demand Racism

 The Greening of Labour

 Mums Move to Ease Squeeze

 Flying Kangaroo Goes to Water

 Health Warning for Bank Robbers

 Heritage Goes to Waste

 Freespirit in Hiding

 Offensive Toilets Threaten Pupils

 Telstra Dials Workplace Acquiescence

 P-Plate Nightmare for Young

 Free Loaders on Notice

 Funny Money Raises Interest

 Privatisation Debate Energised

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Hail to the Metro-Sexual!
If the cultural shift required in the workplace to give greater security to working families was broadly accepted the ACTU would not be locked in an adversarial Work and Family test case argues Sharan Burrow.

Politics
The Westie Wing
In his latest missive from Macquarie Street our resident Parliamentary commentator, Ian West, walks us through issues around the PBS.

Postcard
How Bush Lost His Wings
Tracking the National Guard Career of the Fatuous Flyboy from New Haven, Jeffrey St Clair.

The Locker Room
The Name of the Game
Phil Doyle wonders whether we are barracking for the sponsor or the team.

Postcard
Women to Women
APHEDA-Union Aid Abroad is working to create opportunities for Palestinian women living in Lebanese refugee camps.

L E T T E R S
 Gold Gold Gold for Neolibs
 Co-operating At All Costs
 Fan Mail
 All Good Except You
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Mums Move to Ease Squeeze


Women forced to quit their job because employers refused to be flexible will spearhead a new test case to shift the work/family balance.

In opening submissions this week, the ACTU said to would call working mums like Annette Rowlands and Helen Walker who will testify how they left their jobs because they were unable to arrange care to match the requirements of their jobs.

ACTU advocate Cath Bowtell told the Australian Industrial relations Commission that the ACTU claim for a set of family rights would benefit working women, business and the national economy.

'The applications for more time together for parents in the first few weeks after the birth of a child, extended parental leave and part time employment for parents of preschoolers provide, in effect, a detour around the collision black spots," she said.

"They allow parents, especially mothers, to avoid the inevitable head-on.

"By keeping those mothers attached to the labour force and in their pre-maternity jobs they assist in ensuring that her labour market trajectory is not diverted so far off-course, nor slowed to such an extent, that regaining the momentum becomes impossible."

Key elements of the case are:

- An increase from one week to eight weeks in the amount of the parental leave that can be taken simultaneously at the birth of a child.

- An extension of the total amount of parental leave available to families from one year to two

- A right for parents returning from parental leave to return to their job return part time up until their child reaches school age.

- A right for employees to request to change their working hours or place of work to meet their caring responsibilities and a corresponding obligation upon employers to try to accommodate requests.

- A right for employees to request up to 6 weeks unpaid leave, which may be accompanied by a wages averaging system, and a corresponding obligation on employers to consider to unreasonably refuse these requests. o

- And access to paid and unpaid family emergency leave.


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