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Issue No. 245 05 November 2004  

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.


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.


 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!


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.

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.

 Too Young
 Let's Start A New Party
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Visy Paper Folds

Visy Industries agreed to a single national agreement, incorporating industry standard wage rises, hours before AMWU members were due to walk off 13 sites around Australia.

The packaging giant, headed by billionaire Richard Pratt, agreed to fold two existing EBAs into a single document, featuring annual wage movements of 4.75 percent, at 11th hour talks in Melbourne yesterday.

AMWU industrial officer, Juliana Dickinson, called the agreement a "major victory" for 600 workers who had waged a three-month campaign.

They had given notice of indefinite action, effective from 12.30pm yesterday (Thursday), at sites in Queensland, NSW, WA and Victoria.

"Solidarity, and commitment to collective action has delivered one agreement," Dickinson said. "Strong and disciplined leadership by our delegates around the country was the key to securing it.

"Everyone welcomes Visy's change of heart and is looking forward to a more co-operative relationship in the future."

Initially, Visy refused to discuss the national agreement claim, voted up at meetings on all its sites. Instead, it ran ballots, offering bonuses to individuals if they would break ranks and pick up single-site, non-union agreements that offered less than the 4.75 percent signed off on by major competitors Amcor and Carter Holt Harvey.

That strategy came to a halt after the proposal was rolled by ballots at TPC Smithfield, Visy Board, Warwick Farm; Visy Board, Dandenong; Visy Paper, Smithfield; Visy Board, O'Connor (WA); and TPC, Kewdale (WA).

Yesterday's early-morning meeting brought agreement on the single document, wage movements and increased redundancy entitlements.

Dickinson said the "nuts and bolts" of bringing the existing documents together would take place next week.

"This a great result because it gives Visy employees the best chance of defending their wages and conditions in what could be uncertain times," she said. "They have already proved that standing together works."


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