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Issue No. 252 18 February 2005  

Wood for the Trees
In the book that may never become a film, ‘Eucalyptus’, a father will not give his daughter away unless her suitor can name every tree on the property.


Economics: Super Seduction
Sharks are circling your super. From July 1, banks and financial planners will have access to the nesteggs of an extra four million workers.

Interview: Bono and Me
ACTU Sharan Burrow lifts the lid on the rock star lifestyle of an international union leader.

Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Rowan Cahill bucks conventional wisdom to argue the eight-hour day began in Sydney.

Economics: OEC-Who?
The OECD calls for more reform. But, Asks Neale Towart, who is really doing the calling?

Technology: From Widgets to Digits
How can unions grow and continue to successfully represent workers when their traditional structures are rooted in an industry, craft or fixed location?

Education: Dumb and Dumber
Unions are leading the fight against a political agenda that does away with smart jobs.

Health: No Place for the Young
The support of union members is required to help get young people out of nursing homes, writes Mark Robinson

History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
February 17 marks 30-years to the day that sacked coal miners at the NSW Northern District Nymboida Colliery began their historic work-in at the mine.

Review: Dare to Win
The history of the militant and often controversial BLF is as surprising as it is fascinating writes Tim Brunero.

Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
With another change at the helm of the Labor Party, our resident bard, David Peetz, can't help but dreamily drawing on some political history.


 Families On the Rack

 Detention Centre for Darling Harbour

 Transit Officers' Close Shave

 Truckies Drive Mac Attack

 We Have Way of Making You Walk

 Howzat – Murali Spun Out

 Show Me The Money

 Walter’s Mates Pay

 Retailer Sells Out Workers

 Financiers Squash Capital Idea

 Taskforce Stands Over Families

 Big Australian Changes the Rules

 Bodyguards Stabbed In Back

 Big Brother Stirs Up Porridge

 Carr Sees Trees for Wood

 Activist’s What’s On


Titanic Forces
There are book reviewers who have not read the book they have just reviewed and there are critics who have criticised films they have not yet seen. I want to review a novel that has not yet been written.

The Soapbox
Labour and Labor
Grant Bellchamber looks at the relationship between both sides organised labour

Aussie Unions Help Tsunami Victims
The union movement’s aid agency reports back on its relief effort in Asia.

The Locker Room
Game, Set and Yawn
Phil Doyle asks if tennis is evil or just boring

The Westie Wing
As a reshuffle of the State Ministry settles in and the Federal Government throws down the gauntlet, 2005 promises to be a new and vital chapter in the struggle for workers and their families, writes Ian West in Macquarie Street.

 Toxic Talk
 Millstone Revealed
 But Then Again
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Transit Officers' Close Shave

Sydney rail transit officers have been barred from growing facial hair on company time.

A new grooming policy, baldly states officers may only grow beards whilst "on leave or otherwise absent from duty".

Bosses acted immediately to stand down an officer for sporting a small goatee on his lip, falsely claiming the grooming edict had been signed off on by rail unions.

The policy also says that a "minimum three weeks growth is necessary before resuming duty" and that "beards must be full face in the 'King George V' style".

"It's ridiculous," says ASU president Barry Rule. "Are they going to have people out there with rulers measuring people's stubble?"

"I thought that RailCorp was being managed by Vince Graham, not Carson Kressley.

"This is another example of RailCorp's zero tolerance policy, not only towards members of the public, but towards its own employees.

"Maybe they should think about altering the colour of the uniform rather than handing out razor blades.

"This is all about management trying to intimidate staff by getting them to bow down to any ridiculous demand."

Even one of the ASU's transit officer representatives, Dragan Bircevic, sports a stylish goattee, which escaped the wrath of RailCorp management.

ASU delegates and union officials met with RailCorp management, who quickly retracted the "new" standard and stated that they will be simply enforcing current RailCorp grooming standards.

The ASU claim that Transit Officer management have refused to abide by this policy and are continuing to mislead staff, with a number of staff at Central depot being harassed into shaving after senior management threatened to publicly stand them down.

The ASU says it will take the matter to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission if management persists.

King George V was unavailable for comment.


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