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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

Building Families Pocket $15 Million


Fifteen million in wages and entitlements has been secured for 250 construction workers at failed building giant Walters.

Negotiations by the CFMEU and Unions NSW has also resulted in over 100 white collar workers receiving some money or new jobs, and approximately 100 subcontractors receiving around 80% of money owed.

"It shows that strong unions and dedicated members get a result,' says Andrew Ferguson from the CFMEU. "Workers stuck together to get this outcome."

Unions expressed concern that proposed changes to Federal laws would prohibit contractors from joining unions and campaigning to reclaim lost money.

Workers on jobs including Gosford and Wyong Hospitals, Sydney shopping centres and Sydney Water projects received the news as ALP Federal leader Kim Beazley tabled 4000 petitions for more protection for workers entitlements.

Another 2000 petitions will be tabled this week.

Multiplex Under The Gun

Meanwhile, threats to Multiplex crane drivers have been renewed, with an extortionist advising the CFMEU that unless $50 million is paid they will commence shooting at a building site in Australia or Great Britain on Monday, April 18.

Multiplex employees held stop work meetings on sites, with workers voting to remain on the job.

"This is nothing short of terrorism," says CFMEU NSW President Peter McClelland. "We take the threat seriously."

McClelland hailed the Multiplex employees for their bravery in standing up to this latest threat.

"The CFMEU is proud of our membership. This


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