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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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Electrolux "Try On" Rebuffed

Four hundred Dandenong workers have stared down an attempt to use the controversial Electrolux decision to dud them of money, conditions and protections.

Truck manufacturer Iveco walked away from the "try on" this week, after a mass meeting of union members endorsed claims put under the microscope by IRC senior deputy vice president O’Callaghan.

O'Callaghan ruled a week and a half of industrial action at Dandenong had not been "protected" because workers' claims did not meet the narrow definition of pertaining to the employer-employee relationship, laid down by the High Court in its Electrolux ruling.

Iveco, part of the giant Fiat Group, used that to demand that workers give up income protection, above award payments, and the right to be consulted over redundancy, contracting out, or labour hire plans.

Also included in three pages of proposed clawbacks were demands aimed at weakening union organisation on the site, including rescinding right of entry, payroll deduction and trade union training provisions.

All the clauses Iveco nominated as "non-compliant" are included in other vehicle industry agreements, covering more than 30,000 Australian workers.

AMWU Vehicle Division secretary, Ian Jones, immediately accused the company of a "try-on".

"A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing and this company has as little knowledge about the Electrolux decision as anyone in Australia," Jones said.

"They can't just draw lines through everything that has been negotiated in good faith, over the last decade, and blame it on Electrolux. It would wipe out every agreement we have got."

In dissenting from the majority High Court decision on Electrolux, Justice Kirby warned his colleagues' ruling would have a "chilling effect" on the process of collective bargaining.

More than 300 vehicle industry stewards met in Melbourne last week to plan bargaining strategies. They considered the Electrolux judgement and voted, unanimously, not to concede a single clause in any of their agreements.

Iveco withdrew its demands this week.

Workers Online understands a type of Mexican Stand-off has developed at Iveco, with tacit agreement on the contentious clauses but doubts about the wisdom of handing them up for certification in light of the Electrolux ruling.


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