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Issue No. 239 24 September 2004  

Moral Victories
The release of the Jackson Inquiry into James Hardie may represent the completion of one chapter of Australia’s largest corporate scandal, but it is by no means the end of the story.


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.


 Delta Parties Like It’s 1994

 Shot In The Arm for Dealers

 Corporates Vote for AWAs

 Mind Game for the Discriminating

 Electrolux "Try On" Rebuffed

 Cultural Revolution Purges Howard

 Xerox On The Blink

 Billions Hidden Behind the Veil

 Customs Crosses the Border

 Toolbox Gimmick Threatens Awards

 Cleaners Clean Up

 u r brkng t law

 Unions Join Power Surge

 Vulnerable Lose Shot At Life

 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.

 I Say I Say I Say
 I Say I Say I Say II
 Vote Early, And Often
 No Surplus Of Generosity
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Corporates Vote for AWAs

Western Australia’s biggest employers have launched an AWA blitz in a bid to head off the possible election of a Labor Government on October 9.

State branches of the powerful Mines and Minerals, Motor Trades and Master Builders Associations have urged members to lodge non-union agreements before election day as the Federal Court examines whether one of their members broke the law in an effort to force mineworkers onto AWAs.

Justice French, last week, postponed an expected decision on an AMWU claim that Henry Walker Eltin had illegally locked 130 workers out of a remote Pilbara mine owned by BHP Billiton.

Henry Walker Eltin locked Yandi mineworkers out after 85 percent of them rejected financial inducements to sign AWAs. A key argument now between the company and workers is its unilateral decision to force new starters onto individual agreements which Labour has pledged to abolish.

The AMWU is arguing that the contractor's lockout notice was deficient because it was posted on its Perth office door at 5am on a Sunday, barely 90 minutes the locked out was enforced, hundreds of kilometres to the north east.

AWAs and Western Australia have moved into the spotlight of a federal election campaign in which industrial relations are seen as the most striking difference between the Coalition Government and Labor opposition.

State AMWU secretary, Jock Ferguson, said employer-government justification for AWAs - freedom of choice and flexibility for small employers - were a lie.

"Ask new starters at Yandi about freedom of choice," he said. "The fact is there is no choice for working people, it's an AWA or the dole queue, simple as that."

"Employers in Western Australia have used AWAs to attack unions and reduce safety standards and they are not the battling family firms the federal government talks about. The companies exploiting AWAs most aggressively are billion dollar operations like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

"Our experience is that these companies will go to any lengths to get people on individual contracts. That's got nothing to do with freedom of choice, it's all about control and smashing any collective resistance."


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