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Issue No. 261 29 April 2005  

Lest We Forget
Just four days separate Anzac Day and the International Day of Mourning for Deaths at Work, but in the eyes of our leaders the gap could be 100 years.


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.


 Employers Desecrate Graves

 Blackadder Bones Boss

 Tights Fail In Flight

 Dick Tracy Booted In Blacktown

 Cops Not Fashion Victims

 Picnic On for Working Families

 Skinny Pay Starves Weight Watchers

 Banks Get Work For Free

 Aged Care Workers Off Their Feet

 Cleaners Clean Up

 VSU Bad for Business

 Unions Urge Fair Go For Timorese

 Activist’s What’s On!


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

Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

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.

 It's Criminal
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Letters to the Editor

It's Criminal

Dear Sir,

Will there be no end to the onslaught upon those must vulnerable in our society by the oppressive regime of the Howard Government.

This oppression legitimised through association with pseudo Christian conglomerates such as the Salvation Army.

I refer to the recent proposed assault on the long term unemployed, as reported in the ABC Online 'Dole cheats' may face payment suspensions'.`

As one who has (not through choice) recently been long-term unemployed 3 years in fact, and experienced the behaviours of the Salvation Army Employment Plus, I would suggest that this are the last organisation that should be provided with taxpayers dollars, for any reason. Of course this Employment Plus is a separate entity from the Salvation Army Œper se‚.

The outrageous statement from Work Force Participation Minister Peter Dutton says tougher action on dole cheats is needed; this in its self is an unfair labelling of long term unemployed

I had a Social Contract with the Australian Government, that I would work and pay my taxes, and in return, there would be safety nets in place, I have for almost 40 years maintained without complaint my part of this contract, it is now that the Howard Government attempts to renege on this Contract, a behaviour not inherent in persons of integrity.

What really left me agape was the statements from the Salvation Army Employment Plus John Dalziel, stating that:‰ they deal with a small percentage of people who are dispirited and despondent because they have been trying to unsuccessfully for an extended period of time to get a job‰-„When we work with them about their feelings of alienation they will be persuaded to go for jobs that have some potential of them getting.‰ He said

Unfortunately my experience with this particular Job Network provider was: the catalyst to these very feelings of which this spokesman referred to, these feeling culminating in extreme depression.

During my interactions with this Job Network Provider, I felt continually demeaned.

This relationship ended when , this job network provider , recommended my payments be suspended , because I refused to sign a false statement , my appeals to the Social Security Tribunal although successful , caused not only distress but additional loss of self esteem.

It is my honest belief that this organisation is totally unsuited to benefit from the Australian Tax Dollar and one only needs to give a cursory glace to the Social Security Act, compared it to the Crimes Act, to realise that to adhere to one is in breach of the other.

Also, I would query why, in a secular society, is preferential treatment being given to a Christian Sect.

Tom Collins

P.O.Box 304

Emu Plains

NSW 2750



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