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Issue No. 261 29 April 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

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

 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!

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
 It's Criminal
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Dick Tracy Booted In Blacktown


Five hundred council workers in western Sydney have walked off the job after managers were caught spying on staff.

The managers, who have been labelled Dick Tracy and Co by workers, were lambasted by the industrial umpire, who described their actions as "disappointing".

One of the managers drove across Sydney from Sutherland to spend two and a half hours sitting in his car spying on workers on their picnic day.

Workers claim they have been photographed and shadowed in cloak and dagger style operations while they are going about their work.

Managers at council's Rooty Hill depot were accused of writing detailed reports on staff movements, taking photos, and "building a case" for dismissal against them.

The workers conducted a sit in at Blacktown Council's Rooty Hill depot after a worker was threatened with the sack after popping into a shop for five minutes.

The worker had been shadowed for two and a half hours by a manager; an act that has seen him labelled as "an industrial peeping Tom"

"The Award clearly states that managers must give instruction in the first instance," says Steve Donley from the United services Union (USU). "Management are saying they have the right to manage, but this is ridiculous."

"This is another example of the importance of award protection."

Donley said that if workers were doing the wrong thing then management should step in straight away.

Commissioner Bishop of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission chastised Blacktown Council's actions and ordered essential services staff to paid from 4pm on the day of the strike.


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