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Issue No. 245 05 November 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

What’s In a Name?
McDonalds is doing it, IAG has done it, James Hardie desperately needs to do it – and now the Labor Council of NSW is doing it, re-working its brand to meet the changing demands of their markets.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The Reich Stuff
Robert Reich has led the debate on the future of work – both as an academic and politician. Now he’s on his way to Australia to help NSW unions push the envelope.

Economics: Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Environment: Beyond The Wedge
Whether the great forestry divide can ever be overcome or whether it is best sidestepped for the sake of unity and sustainability in other areas is up for debate, writes Tara de Boehmler.

International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews show us How To Kill A Country

Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Nick Lewocki from the RTBU lifts the lid on the shonky science behind RailCorp testing

Politics: Labo(u)r Day
John Robertson lets fly at this years Labor Day dinner

Human Rights: Arabian Lights
Tim Brunero reports on how a Sydney sparky took on the Taliban and lived to tell the tale.

History: Labour's Titan
Percy Brookfield was a big man who was at the heart of the trade union struggles that made Broken Hill a quintessential union town writes Neale Towart.

Review: Foxy Fiasco
To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! Brother George has saved the White House from an invasion by infidels, writes resident bard David Peetz.

N E W S

 Unions Dump Labor

 Shearers Brush Woolly Mammoths

 Girls Should Be Short Changed

 Sydney Turns Down Volume

 Minister Rides Collie

 Staff, Trees Weather the Blame

 Offshore Embassy for Families

 Visy Paper Folds

 Workers Unplug Power Cuts

 Silverwater Offers Porridge

 Environment Wiped Out In Dubbo

 Justice Eludes Kariong Staff

 Nelson Flags Another Raid

 Five Steps to Sanity

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Locker Room
In Naming Rights Only
Phil Doyle has Gone to Gowings

The Soapbox
Homeland Insecurity
Rowan Cahill tells us how the Howard Government’s appointment of Major-General Duncan Lewis to head up the national security division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has received little critical comment, until now.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
New proposed legislation in NSW provides a vital window of opportunity for unions to ensure they achieve convictions for workplace deaths, writes Ian West.

L E T T E R S
 Too Young
 Let's Start A New Party
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News

Minister Rides Collie


Federal Government is backing corporate moves to deny workers time off to sit on local councils.

Less than four weeks after its election victory, the Howard regime has intervened in a federal court hearing that seeks to make it illegal for employees to bargain over a number of issues, including contract labour and local government representation leave.

Lawyers for Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, arrived in Perth, last week, to back Westfarmers in its challenge to the legality of half a dozen clauses advanced by Collie maintenance workers.

Westfarmers has gone further, issuing claims for unspecified damages against the AMWU, its state secretary Jock Ferguson, assistant secretary Colin Saunders and four rank and file delegates.

The company, one of Australia's largest, will be able to chase respondents' assets if the Federal Court rules in favour of Westfarmers and Andrews.

The issue stems from September's Electrolux decision in which the High Court ruled only matters directly pertaining to the employer-employee relationship could be included in agreements under the Workplace Relations Act.

Anything else, its judgement suggested, could render signed agreements invalid and leave workers, and their representatives, who had engaged in industrial action, open to massive damages claims.

Dissenting judge, Justice Michael Kirby, predicted the majority decision would have a "chilling" effect on enterprise bargaining.

The Perth case stems from industrial action taken by maintenance workers at Westfarmers subsidiary, Premier Coal, in July. Westfarmers originally contested its legitimacy in the Industrial Relations Commission where it failed to win an injunction.

Some of the claims now being litigated by Westfarmers, and Andrews, had already been agreed to in negotiations.

In his submission to the court, Andrews contended workers were not allowed to bargain over union fee deductions, right of entry, union meetings, local government representation leave or controls on contract labour.


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