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Issue No. 258 08 April 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Be My Guest
Is anyone else confused about the current behaviour of our Prime Minister? In just a few short years heís transformed himself from National Door Bitch to Regional Street Spruiker.

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

 Cash Grab Targets Families

 Wattyl Lacks Colour

 Censors Ban Workers Online

 Stink Over Water

 Cole Slurs Slide

 Table Hands Stuffed

 Sweat Shop Taxes MLCís Patience

 Cops Strengthen Thin Blue Line

 Buses Drive Commuters Crazy

 Guards Win Rail War

 Building Families Pocket $15 Million

 Students Mark Lecturers

 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
 Out-of-sight, out-of-your-mind
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

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.

The trio has joined the AMWU in a bid to win back pay and end exploitation of their colleagues.

AMWU organiser, Donna Sargent, says Print Mail Logistics has a bad name in the industry.

"Not only are they ripping off their employees, they're under-cutting contracts to get the work," Sargent said.

The AMWU has filed actions against Print Mail Logistics before the Anti-Discrimination Board and the Tasmanian IRC.

The union alleges the dismissed workers lost their jobs because of union membership, and is seeking $20,000 in back pay, through the Commission.

Sargent says, if other workers join the union, the back pay claim will rocket into the high six-figures because of significant overtime hours.

Casual table hands at Print Mail Logistics are expected to work up till midnight, and on weekends, for a flat hourly rate of $13.00, under AWAs promoted by Prime Minister, John Howard.

The minimum Monday-Friday casual rate in the Graphic Arts award is $15.36.


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