Planet Common Cents
The current debate around the federal government’s move to ban compulsory university service fees exposes more than a pathological hatred of all things ‘union’.
Evan Thornley was a labour activist. Then he rode the tech wave. Now he's home with new ideas on how Labor can win the economic debate.
Workplace: Dirt Cheap
In her new book, Elizabeth Wynhausen learns how hard it is to live on the minimum wage.
Industrial: Daddy Doesn’t Live With Us Anymore
Andreia Viegas’ tells the story of the loss her young family has felt since her husband was killed at work, and the need for justice for families who fall victim to industrial manslaughter.
Economics: Who's Afraid of the BCA?
Big Business's agenda for Australia has gone from loopy to mainstream at the speed of light, writes Neale Towart
International: From the Wreckage
Working people across Iraq are struggling to build their own independent unions – and are successfully organising industrial action on the vital oil fields as well as in hotels, transport outlets and factories, Writes Andrew Casey
Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones
History: Meat and Three Veg
A new book recounts the impact of the Depression on women workers, writes Neale Towart,
Savings: 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, writes Jim Marr.
Politics: Popping the 'E-Word'
Federal shadow treasurer Wayne Swan unveils Labor's new economic doctrine.
Poetry: To Know Somebody
This week saw an appointment to the ABC Board that was even more breathtaking than that of Liberal Party figure Michael Kroger. Resident Bard David Peetz celebrates the occasion with a reworking of an old Bee Gees hit.
Review: Off the Rails
A new play on the impact of rail privatisation in Britain has a poignant message for Sydney commuters, writes Alex Mitchell
MaxiRort in Ballarat
Beer Boss’ Want Froth
Facts Ruin Costello’s Story
Uni Burns Book Man
Strong Pulls Pianist
Terminator Runs Away
No Choice for Small Business
Scully On Run from Cops
Picketer Wins $190,000
Wheat Board on Sea of Shame
School Raids Condemned
Tangled Web Weaved
CASA Cans Safety
Radioactive Relay Race
Activist’s What’s On!
The Big Picture
Think about this: It takes 150 tonnes of iron ore to buy a plasma TV, writes Doug Cameron.
The Locker Room
Reducto Ad Absurdo
Phil Doyle offers advice for the lovelorn, and finds that things are getting smaller
Work is In
The rise and fall of the working hours debate in france is relevent to Australian workers, writes Daniel Donahoo and Tim Martyn
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP surveys the upcoming conservative centralist collective attack.
Poor Prose Praised
Postcard from Harvard
Australian union officials making the annual pilgrimage to the Harvard Trade Union Program learnt that, at least, they are not alone, says Natalie Bradbury.
Fabulous Fan Mail
Nelson ‘Solves’ Skills Crisis
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Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Beer Boss’ Want Froth
NSW beer baron’s want to scrap the five days workers are currently allowed before signing onto non-union AWAs .
Australian Hotels Association general manager Andrew Vlachos thinks individual employees have too much bargaining power and has written to members promising to lobby the Howard Government.
"The nature of the hotel industry is such that you have to be able (to) agree on an employment contract at the point of interview, otherwise you may not see that employee again," Vlachos says in a newsletter to members.
Liquor union official Mark Boyd says many workers are not in a position to refuse AWA's, especially in an interview situation, and the move will disadvantage workers.
"My concern would be the AHA will convince residential hotels in Sydney to offer AWA contracts on a take it or leave it basis," said Boyd.
Boyd says the five percent of industry workers already on AWA's have significantly worse conditions than those on the award.
"They take away penalty rates," he said " the majority of work done in the industry is on the weekend and late in the evening when penalty rates usually apply.
"Then they stuff around with overtime and make it a flat rate, or time and a quarter for all overtime."
Boyd says workers on AWA's are more likely to be casual and so have no sick pay, long service leave, annual leave or security of hours.
"AWA's are already tough enough, now they want to make them worse," he said.
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