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Issue No. 246 12 November 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

How It Comes To This
There are times when a worker has no real option than to take a stand, no matter the cost. This is the situation confronting NSW’s 15,000 rail workers right now.

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

 Workers Seize Cat

 Castle Hill Uprising

 Carr Flips on Rail

 Producers Call "Cut"

 Fly Me To … Anywhere

 Saint Buzz: Hymn the Man

 Patricks Attacks Westies

 Cold Comfort for Scientists

 Mothball Bowls Port Hedland

 Boss Rejects AWA

 Asbestos Audit Refused

 Bear Mauls Children

 "Leave or Leave," Telstra

 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
 What about the real crooks?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Producers Call "Cut"


An actor who spruiked for a credit card company in a TV campaign had his own application rejected by the same company.

The revelation comes as Australian screen producers seek to tear up a negotiated agreement in a bid to slash earnings for Aussie actors.

Mark Cuffe, who has appeared in a number of commercials, also works as a storeman, musician and accountant, to make ends meet.

The credit card company rejected the one time drummer for Australian band Spy v Spy for a card because of his financial position, despite appearing in their ads at the time.

"There is no guarantee of work," says Cuffe of his acting career. "Even now it is a part time job."

"It is good hard work if you can get it, but it's hard to get."

"At my level I don't know anyone who is making a living out of it."

"For aspiring young actors it can be soul destroying, similar to the music industry."

Cuffe successfully re-applied for a card but only after his financial situation improved.

Cuffe spoke as the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) confirmed it would terminate an agreement for actors in Australian-made commercials broadcast in North America.

"It's a dastardly act," said MEAA national director, Simon Whipp.

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance rep said it was ironic that an American performer, covered by a Screen Actors Guild agreement, could expect up to US $30,000 for a 12 month campaign, with similar agreements in Canada.

The Australian agreement, he said, provided 33 percent of that payment for an ad that ran for the same period.

"We object to bully-boy tactics better suited to outfits like Patricks or Rio Tinto. Just how exactly do we negotiate a new agreement in good faith with a big black cloud hanging over our heads?" asks Whipp. "The average yearly wage for an Australian performer is $10,500, so producers arguments that performers are paid too much ring hollow."

"Unless SPAA can show a little more respect for Australia's performers, industrial action, including a strike, is certainly looking more and more likely as the SPAA 12 December deadline draws nearer."


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