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Issue No. 257 01 April 2005  

Icarus Rising
Right now John Howard is flying. Watch him soar in his Vodafone track-suit, further than the Hawke into unchartered skies.


Interview: Australia@Work
Labor's Penny Wong has the job of getting more people into the workplace and keeping companies honest. In her spare time ....

Unions: State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson unveils the annual survey of attitudes of workers to their jobs, thier lives and the union.

Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Jim Marr unpacks the unlikely claim of a suburban house to be considered the New Mecca of the New Right �

Legal: Leg Before Picket
Chris White looks at how the federal industrial changes will impact on the basic right to strike.

Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Neale Towart asks why the only form of legitmate welfare seems to be going to the top end of town.

Health: Cannabis Controversy
Zoe Reynolds looks at how drug and alcohol testing is leading to some addled outcomes.

Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
As the indicators head south, Frank Stilwell wonders whether it is the way we do economics that is to blame.

History: Politics In The Pubs
Phil Doyle reports on the increasingly-popular Struggles, Scabs and Schooners day out.

Review: Three Bob's Worth
Doing their best Margaret and David, Tara de Boehmler and Tim Brunero have different takes on the new Australian flick Three Dollars.

Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
Workers Online bard David Peetz teaches how workers to dance to Howard's industrial laws.


 Health System to Subsidise Shonks

 Who Likes Bing Lee?

 Death Threats Shut Campsie

 Thumbs Down for Union Busters

 Advocate Pours Salt on Wound

 United Front Beats Drug Boss

 Kev Backs Double Standard

 Victorian Morality Shafts Teacher

 Doctors Prescribe More

 Multinational Banks Jobs

 Working Class Idol

 Greens Protect Entitlements

 Activist�s What�s On


The Soapbox
Notes From a Laneway
Mental Health Workers Alliance member Toby Raeburn shares a week on the frontline.

The Locker Room
War, Plus The Shooting
The Socceroos aren�t their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes the secret passage out of Macquarie Street to deliver his take on NSW Parliamentary Committees and other goings on.

 Students Bear Brunt
 Security Lacking
 Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
 Dirt Cheap Right On Money
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Who Likes Bing Lee?

Bing Lee is using threats and pay offs to stop Villawood warehouse employees joining a union.

"Bing Lee�s slogan is �Everything�s Negotiable�," says Mark Ptolemy from the National Union of Workers (NUW). "That obviously doesn�t apply to their own workers."

Delegate Miguel Reyes was sacked after a spotless record of five years service.

"Ken Lee [Bing Lee's son] threatened me," says Reyes. "He wanted to pay me off; offered me some money.

"I said no, so he said 'OK, when I give you three warnings, and then you get nothing'."

He received two warnings, one for dumping rubbish in a rubbish bin, before being dismissed over damage that allegedly happened while he wasn't even at work.

"I feel very bad. It's a big company. They make a lot of money. All the money gets spent on advertising. I have a family and a mortgage."

"We're in Australia, you should be able to speak up."

"They flew into a panic,' says Ptolemy of the Bing Lee management. "There has been a campaign of veiled threats against all warehouse staff.

"Ken Lee is anti-union. He has made it clear that he doesn't want his workers unionised."

"They have completely ignored the provisions of the OHS Act and the common sense of consulting with their staff over safety."

Another employee, Daniel O'Connell, was sacked after the NUW was able to secure his unpaid entitlements. That matter is currently pending an unfair dismissal hearing.

Over half of Bing Lee's warehouse workers have joined the NUW after the industrial umpire dismissed Bing Lee's objections to the union being allowed onto the premises.

Why not email Bing Lee and tell them what you think about their campaign against union members.

Thumbs Down for Union Busters


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