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Issue No. 260 22 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

Pope Backs Rights At Work
The new Pontiff is a backer of workers’ right to organise, having written key Vatican policies that implore governments to have "a just labour policy".

While a staunch opponent of communism and liberation theology, Pope Benedict XVI was responsible for a series of statements and encyclicals supportive of workers’ rights to organise through trade unions. [full story]

Trade Deal Built On Corpses
Australian workers have "no faith" in a free trade deal built on the bodies of 14,000 Chinese workers.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union National Secretary Doug Cameron says John Howard's proposed free trade agreement with China was based on the "fundamental lie" that China had a market economy. [full story]

AWAs Go – So Do Long Hours
Storeman at a Sydney firm have scored a shorter working week for the same pay after tearing up their individual contracts and demanding the right to strike a collective agreement

The 150 workers dumped the Federal Government inspired Australian Workplace Agreements, after a year of activism and negotiation by the near universal union membership. [full story]

Sunday Too Far Away
Bank workers are being pressured to sign away their weekends for the next 15 months as Westpac moves to enable itself to trade on Sundays.

The push has prompted industrial action with hundreds of Westpac workers walking off the job in Victoria and more action slated for South Australia and Tasmania this week. [full story]

True Lies at RailCorp
RailCorp have been caught out telling porkies in a bid to turn the public against drivers, with official figures showing they inflated sickie figures by almost 100 per cent in a bid to derail their 2004 industrial campaign.

Media statements by the CEO Vince Graham blamed drivers taking "sickies" for late running trains, but figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request reveal that there was no campaign, only a shortage of drivers. [full story]

Mushrooms Mums Fed Bull
A group of mushroom picking Mums from Mildura who refused to sign individual contracts that slashed their pay by $150 per week have convinced the Howard Government’s own union-busters that their boss was out of order.

The Office of the Employment Advocate upheld the women’s appeal against the contracts and instructed Merbein Mushroom farmer, Geoff Izard to pay shortfalls in their wages dating back to the start of the year. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Sewage In The Streets

 Taskforce Stands Over Vet

 Engineers in Driving Seat

 Backyard Funerals Targeted

 Work Deaths Get Permanent Reflection

 Yanks Brawl With Mall

 Activist’s What’s On

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
April 28 marks the International Day of Mourning for those who are killed in the workplace. Among other ceremonies, building workers will be marking a minutes silence on over 100 jobs across NSW.

E D I T O R I A L
Dig into the archives of the new Pope, who has openly backed trade unions in his writings for the Vatican, and you get a picture of a theology that would have difficulties with the coming attack on unions.

The Fresh Food 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

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