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Issue No. 247 19 November 2004  

In Defence of Jeff
Those of us who know and have worked with Jeff Shaw over the years have found the unfolding spectacle of his very public fall from grace profoundly distressing. Surely they have the wrong guy.


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.


 Activists What's On!

 Union Baiter on Charges

 Commuter Champ Backs Workers

 Late Night Threats in Perth

 Corporates Gobble Apprentices

 Fleas Get Thumbs-Up

 Packer Perishes in Blue

 $5000 Bill for Teen

 Miners Plunge Before The Beak

 Cops Raid Press

 Christmas Sack at Broken Hill

 Admin Staff Exposed

 Teachers Swallow Lolly


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.

 Backbone Derail Causes Paralysis
 Shawly we’ve heard enough
 Decline of The American Empire
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Packer Perishes in Blue

Bosses at Kerry Packer’s Perisher Blue ski resort were left red faced after a long-standing union member extracted a 78-week pay-off.

Management had tried to argue that their longest standing, most ticketed and experienced employee was their least competent in an attempt to remove electrician Paul Evans.

But the sparkie, who had worked on the Perisher Ski Tube since its inception, stood his ground and resisted the move despite management shifting him to lesser jobs, such as getting him to work in slush and on snowbound chair lifts.

Perisher Blue manager Bob Jack told Electrical Trade Union (ETU) organisers "I want that prick off my mountain".

To get rid of Evans they were going to give him minimum notice and the award minimum of 20 weeks pay.

"He was one of the few remaining permanent blokes with experience," says Matt McCann from the ETU. "Perisher Blue has let go one of the last accredited with overhead line work

As a result of the ETU's intervention Evans has now got a substantially improved package.

The ETU organisers were full of praise for the hard working sparkie.

"He always stood up for his apprentices and dealt with issues on the job," says Neville Betts. "In the end he got Kerry Packer justice."

Pollies By Candlelight

Meanwhile ETU Canberra organiser Neville Betts has asked for the public to send a candle to their local pollie.

The move comes after management at parliament house are trying to get "blood from a stone", according to Betts, pushing for nearly $8million in savings by Parliament House electricians before they get a pay rise that even keeps up with inflation.

"This is a bit rich when you look at the pollies gold plated superannuation."


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