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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 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.


 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

 Activistís Whatís 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 arenít 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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Blackadder Bones Boss

The reinstatement of a union activist by the High Court has added to union confidence that the countryís top judges will not simply rubber stamp Howard Government industrial attacks on workers.

Meatworkers union leader Kath Evans has hailed the decision as a "win for all workers across Australia" and a classic example of the "little guy taking on the big guy".

"This is a unanimous decision from a conservative bench,' says Evans. "We are delighted."

"What this means for workers is that if they are re-instated they will have a job and not simply be paid to 'go away'."

Stephen Blackadder, a boner at Ramsey's abattoir in Grafton, was sacked in September 1999 after he refused to move from his usual job of boning the hindquarters of pre-chilled carcases, to another job for which he was not fully trained and risked aggravating an existing injury.

On the previous day Blackadder had given evidence unfavourable to Ramsey in AIRC unfair dismissal proceedings involving another employee.

The high court found that Ramsay's had breached an AIRC reinstatement order when it put Blackadder back on the payroll but refused to provide him with work.

Justice Kirby of the High Court presumed that the boner believed his change in duties the day after the AIRC hearing was "more than coincidental".

"The [Workplace Relations] Act does not grant the employer the unilateral power to buy its way out of the obligations imposed on it under a valid law of the Parliament," he said.

"'Reinstate' means literally to put back in place," Justices Callinan and Heydon said in the court's leading judgment.

They said the issue at stake in the case was whether the WR Act's unfair dismissal provisions required an employer "to provide actual work" to a reinstated employee.

"The words 'reappoint' and 'position' should not be read in any restricted way."


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