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Issue No. 257 01 April 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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

F E A T U R E S

Interview: [email protected]
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 Ö

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.

N E W S

 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

 Activistís Whatís On

C O L U M N S

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 arenít their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

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

Parliament
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.

L E T T E R S
 Students Bear Brunt
 Security Lacking
 Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
 Dirt Cheap Right On Money
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Advocate Pours Salt on Wound


Federal Governmentís Employment Advocate is backing the tv restaurateur who wants to use AWAs to slash wages by $300 a week.

Channel Seven reality program, My Restaurant Rules, exposed the truth about AWAs when it broadcast an episode in which Pink Salt boss, Evan Hansimikali, tried to use the non-union individual contracts to impose massive wage cuts on staff.

Stunned sous chef, Stewart, confronted Hansinmikali, on prime time television.

"No one has talked to us. No one has shown us where our pay slips are. No one's shown us our tax, no one's shown us our super," he protested.

"I'm getting the forms so you can sign the AWAs," the Manly restaurant boss replied.

The sous chef estimated that after the AWA-driven pay cut of $300 a week, he would be working for a flat rate of around $10 an hour.

Hansimikali tried to placate him by saying he could make extra in tips.

A NSW Office of Industrial Relations inspector visited the restaurant to brief owners on their obligations, and said he would return to examine time and wages records.

Minister, John Della Bosca, said the episode pointed out how workers could be hurt if the Federal Government succeeded in its bid to over-ride state IR systems.

"Although AWAs are supposed to be an agreement, staff didn't get the opportunity to agree or disagree, they simply opened their pay packets and found they were $300 short," Della Bosca said.

But bullish Employment Advocate, Peter McIlwain, publicly urged Hansimikali to press on with his AWA plans.

McIlwain used a newspaper letters column to offer taxpayer backing.

"AWAs are popular in the restaurant business because they offer flexible working arrangements which benefit both employers and employees," McIlwain wrote. "That is why 37,000 AWAs have been approved for restaurants and cafes in the last three years.

"I hope Pink Salt does offer its staff AWAs my office would be glad to help them with the process."


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