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Issue No. 259 15 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

Freedom From Choice
Abysmal take up rates for federal AWAs have pushed the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations into ditching "choice" and forcing new starters onto individual contracts.

The about-face became effective from April 4, provoking allegations of unfairness and contravention of core public service values. [full story]

Hostile Takeover - Can Howard Do It?
There is growing legal opinion that the federal government’s plan to ride roughshod over state industrial relations systems will not withstand a High Court challenge.

As former Attorney General Jeff Shaw prepares a legal team to argue the union case, leading academics and practitioners are forming the view that the radical extension of Commonwealth’s corporations power will be unconstitutional.  [full story]

Vanstone Shows Brickie’s Cleavage
Thousands of foreign bricklayers and carpenters will hit the Australian building industry as the boom tapers off, under changes to the skilled immigration program.

And foreign childcare workers, included in the Migration Occupations in Demand for the first time, will be shipped into Australia without having any formal assessment of their qualifications. [full story]

Ten Cent Deal Cuts Beards
Tunnel workers on the Chatswood rail link are being told to shave their beards to save the boss money.

Contractors, Thiess Hochtief, introduced ten-cent paper masks for underground workers exposed to deadly silica dust. [full story]

Kiwis Vote for Flight
Unions are rallying 450,000 Australian-based Kiwis to vote in this year’s New Zealand general election.

A Sydney-based organisation is helping expats exercise their rights in what is shaping as a watershed poll. [full story]

Costa Railroads Jobs
Former Transport Minister, Michael Costa, is being fingered for the likely loss of 600 skilled Hunter Valley jobs.

Stunned worker representatives are gob-smacked by the Minister for the Hunter’s failure to warn them his government would slash local content requirements for 500 new carriages, from 100 percent to 20 percent. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Premier Sues Miners

 Sparkies Refine Safety Tactics

 Death Penalty No Deterrent

 Greystanes Soiled

 Aussies in Ivy league Battle

 Drivers Shake the Cage

 Employers Come Clean

 Big Call in Newcastle

 Bosses Back Gaol for Cowboys

 Activist’s What’s On

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
The new ACT Cleaning Code of Practice, designed to drive shonks out of the Territory, has won wide community support.

E D I T O R I A L
Our system of government is based on the lines between Commonwealth and state powers; we can argue about where the line lies, but there is a line to be drawn.

Rock Solid, Ironclad Tool

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
 Adler Should Be Hung

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