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Issue No. 248 26 November 2004  

Australian Idols
It was a week for the little people as Casey won Australian Idol and Rebecca beat the railways. In entertainment and politics it was a young woman from the burbs who ran rings around the pros.


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.


 Helicar Fingers Victims ... Again

 Rabbits Sick of Clover

 What a Banker

 Pack Up and Go Home

 Pratt By Name

 Horror at the Hacienda

 Women Wiped for Bush Jobs

 Veteran Fights Bullet

 Tunneler Survives Death Trap

 Bathurst Three Face Court

 Chullora Cuts Struck Out

 Bully Breaks Heart

 Southern Cross Flies High

 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.

 Regarding Pee Poles
 Pee Pole Shame
 Latham Is A Scapegoat
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Pratt By Name

Australia�s second richest man is using helicopters to fly scabs over picket lines in a bid to claw money from sick and injured workers.

Billionaire Richard Pratt was flying strikebreakers into Visy, Dandenong, and bussing them into, Warwick Farm, as the Federal Court rejected his application to have employee resistance declared illegal.

The Federal Court, in Melbourne, rejected Visy's move to use a technicality to force employees in Queensland, WA, Victoria and NSW back to work.

Six hundred workers at 12 sites struck after a national agreement collapsed over company demands to slash the entitlements of workers who fall victim to long-term illness or injury.

The impasse brought negotiations down after AMWU members cleared a number of obstacles, including getting Visy to drop insistence on single-site, non-union agreements.

Print division secretary, Steve Walsh, called the breakdown "very disappointing".

"We thought we had a framework agreement but when we got into the details there were major problems over income protection," he said.

"Under Visy's proposal some people could be seriously disadvantaged."

Negotiators had settled on 14.75 percent wage movements over three years and agreed to establish the first national Visy agreement.

"We got very close," Walsh said, "frustratingly close. This action is an indication of how seriously our members view income protection."

Walsh said the union was ready and willing to negotiate at any time.

The dispute effects Visyboard, Visypaper and Visy Recycling operations in Queensland, WA, Victoria and NSW.

Last week, AMWU members were near unanimous in their support for a three-year agreement hammered out with leading Visy competitor Amcor. It contained 14.75 percent wage movements and maintained income protection.


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