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Issue No. 259 15 April 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Roosting Chooks
It wasnít that long ago that John Howard was the great Conservative leader who wanted to remake Australia in his own image, defending the monarchy, beating up gay mums and attacking the ABC.

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

 Freedom From Choice

 Hostile Takeover - Can Howard Do It?

 Premier Sues Miners

 Vanstone Shows Brickieís Cleavage

 Sparkies Refine Safety Tactics

 Ten Cent Deal Cuts Beards

 Kiwis Vote for Flight

 Death Penalty No Deterrent

 Costa Railroads Jobs

 Greystanes Soiled

 Aussies in Ivy league Battle

 Drivers Shake the Cage

 Employers Come Clean

 Big Call in Newcastle

 Bosses Back Gaol for Cowboys

 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
 Adler Should Be Hung
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Premier Sues Miners


Premier Coal is seeking millions of dollars from three WA miners who took part in a safety strike.

The workers, John Borlini, Leon Strojek and Steven Flynn were amongst 162 CFMEU members who struck over objections to working with "cowboy" contractors.

The maintenance contractors were brought into the Collie coal mine and processing plant after 63 maintenance tradesmen took strike action 43 days ago, after EBA negotiations broke down.

The miners say the new contractors have little experience in mine work, and have been antagonistic to workers on site.

Their employer, Wesfarmers, has launched at least nine separate court cases to try to force workers back to the pit, including supreme court action seeking tens of millions of dollars from miners and tradesmen.

CFMEU member, Borlini, says miners simply want to maintain safe work practices.

"We've had some horrific accidents across Western Australia and we've had a good record at Collie," said Borlini. "We don't want any cowboys coming in and wrecking it."

Wesfarmers, owners of Premier Coal, claim the industrial action is costing them half a million dollars a day.

Tradesmen took strike action over differences with the company on pay rates, rosters and provisions for contractors to be brought on site.

AMWU organiser, Tony Lovett, says the core issue is about the survival of Collie. Premier Coal is citing "managerial prerogative" to try and end consultations before bringing in contractors.


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