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Issue No. 237 10 September 2004  

Bully Busting
No one likes a bully � and if the response to Labor Council�s bullying conference is anything to go by, there are more of these irritating creatures in Australian workplaces than ever before.


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.


 Position Vacant for Bully

 Reality Dawns on Delta

 Stink Rises from Dunnies

 Girl Power Slays Oil Giants

 CFMEU on Highway to Hell

 Super Deal for Mums

 Millionaires Pay Peppercorn Wages

 Hardie Fighters Go Dutch

 Exporting Your Bank Details

 Teachers In Crossfire

 Strikers Unplug Western Power Play

 Health Changes Shift Barrier

 Meredith and Me

 Activists What's On!


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.

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

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.

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

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Millionaires Pay Peppercorn Wages

Childcare moguls resisting pay rises for "poverty level" staff are reporting massive increases in operating profits.

ABC Learning Centres, whose owner Eddie Groves features on BRW�s list of Australia�s 100 richest people, last week reported an annual profit of $21.4 million, up 77 percent on the previous year.

ABC uses federal government AWAs to hold down the wages and conditions of qualified child care workers earning between $12 and $15 an hour. The company has actively opposed the work value case being run on behalf of child care workers by the LHMU.

It told the full bench "costs" meant it could not agree to a wage rise.

Until last Thursday, ABC's biggest private competitor was Peppercon Management Group. Its end of year statement recorded a massive profit increase of 183 percent to $116 million.

Peppercorn managing director, Michael Gordon, debuted on the BRW rich list this year.

Days after the companies reported their results, Groves announced agreement on a merger that would give his company control of Peppercorn and Child Care Centres, sparking immediate fears for parental choice.

The new company will be worth more than $700 million and control 895 daycare centres across Australia.

The LHMU immediately called for an ACCC review of a situation that will give Groves control of 90 percent of long daycare places in Western Australia, 80 percent in South Australia, and 60 percent in Queensland.

"We would ask them to make sure parents have some choice in the private sector market," industrial officer Sue Bellino, said.

"These people are in no-loss situations. They have been made into multi-millionaires by taxpayers who heavily subsidise their businesses but they won't share their wealth with childcare workers who actually provide the services.

"The average Australian childcare worker earns around $25,000. These are poverty level wages being paid by taxpayer-funded millionaires."


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