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Issue No. 258 08 April 2005  
 
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 …

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.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Cash Grab Targets Families
Australia’s lowest paid workers would be $2300 a year worse off under the federal government’s minimum wage prescription.

Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, said the Prime Minister’s recipe would equate to a two percent jump in home loan interest rates. [full story]

Wattyl Lacks Colour
Wattyl bosses have painted themselves into a corner by labelling striking workers "blobs" in an insult that barely registers on the industrial scale.

Since staff sprung a senior manager describing 350 strikers as "blobs" in an internal email, the company has been in whitewash mode. [full story]

Censors Ban Workers Online
Finance company SunCorp is using an email and internet firewall to block access to Workers Online.

"This is about freedom of speech," says Geoff Derrick from the Financial Sector Union (FSU). "Workers Online is one of the only independent worker oriented industrial news services available to white collar private sector employees." [full story]

Stink Over Water
Raw sewage pumped into the Harbour, massive increases in household bills, foul-smelling air, and multinationals being paid squillions to leave town.

That’s the vision of privatised water that Sydney Water staff will take to the public this week. [full story]

Cole Slurs Slide
Authorities celebrated the second anniversary of Cole Commission findings by quietly disposing of more slurs against building workers.

Without fanfare, the Industrial Registrar wrote to the CFMEU conceding that after considering Cole’s allegations in "some detail" there were no grounds to "conduct an investigation or commence a prosecution" against the NSW branch’s Wage Claims Department. [full story]

Table Hands Stuffed
Sixty Tasmanian women could be owed $1 million after stuffing envelopes for four years on flat-rate AWAs that deny overtime and weekend penalty rates.

Three of the women, employed by Print Mail Logistics at Hobart and Kingston, have not been rostered for any shifts since challenging their employer over all-in rates, more than $2.50 below the award minimum. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Sweat Shop Taxes MLC’s Patience

 Cops Strengthen Thin Blue Line

 Buses Drive Commuters Crazy

 Guards Win Rail War

 Building Families Pocket $15 Million

 Students Mark Lecturers

 Activist’s What’s On

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Who is this man? The Amazing Howard? Or an upside down Robin Hood, stealing from the poor and giving to the ultra-rich

E D I T O R I A L
The challenge for the labour movement will be to respond to guest workers in a manner which focuses on the real issue – the creation of a second class of worker that is neither good for the guest worker or for the host.

The Workers’ Friend

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 aren’t 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.


LETTERS to the Editor
 Out-of-sight, out-of-your-mind

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