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Issue No. 252 18 February 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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

C O L U M N S

Politics
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

Postcard
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

Parliament
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.

L E T T E R S
 Toxic Talk
 Millstone Revealed
 But Then Again
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Retailer Sells Out Workers


The world's largest retailer has shut down a store rather pay union-negotiated rates.

Wal-Mart, which part owns the Australian retailer K mart, announced it would close a Canadian store where workers had formed a union six months earlier.

Workers claim that they were on the verge of winning a historic victory as the retail chain's only unionised store.

Negotiations had been proceeding for several months when the company pulled the plug after workers appealed to the Quebec Labor Ministry.

The Jonquiere, Quebec, based workers had been seeking to establish a wage and benefit settlement.

"Wal-Mart has fired these workers not because the store was losing money but because the workers exercised their right to join a union," says Michael J. Fraser, national director of UFCW Canada. "Once again, Wal-Mart has decided it is above the law and that the only rules that count are their rules."

"The message from the world's largest and wealthiest retailer to consumers, communities and workers worldwide is clear: Wal-Mart would rather close stores, eliminate workers' jobs and make an entire community suffer than reach an agreement with workers for fair wages and benefits," said the peak US union body, the AFL-CIO.

Wal-Mart, which earned $280 billion in revenues last year, has previously gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid unionisation.

When 11 butchers at a Texas store joined a union in 2000 the company abolished their jobs by outsourcing butchering across the country.

Unions have launched an online petition at www.unionvoice.org/campaign/walmart_accountable


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