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Issue No. 262 06 May 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Rights and Wrongs
Something unseasonal and hitherto untoward has been occurring up at Macquarie Street in recent weeks, a flurry of legislative activity around workers rights.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Fortress NSW
NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca on how to win the battle for workers rights - and save the state system.

Unions: Fashions Afield
With new anti-sweatshop creations being paraded at this year's Australian Fashion Week, is equity the new black and are sweatshops the new fur? asks Tara de Boehmler.

Industrial: Pay Dirt
John Burgess argues that the flow-on effect from changing the minimum wage could be more than we bargained for.

Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones

History: Big Day Out
Neale Towart looks back on the events that created the May Day heritage.

International: Making History
Hundreds of aid organisations, charities, trade unions and religious groups have formed a global alliance called “ Make Poverty History”.

Economics: The Fear Factor
The solution to skill shortages is intelligent planning, argues John Spoehr

Review: The Robots Revolt
New kids flick Robot uses our electronic friends to teach audiences that inbuilt obsolescence is just a state of mind, writes Tara de Boehmler

Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The idea of a corporations power that could cure any ill has inspired our resident bard, David Peetz, to verse.

N E W S

 Harmer FACS Families

 Brats Drive Bus Row

 Harsh Reality – Bella Turns Pink

 Rev Kev Blesses Bosses

 Workers Online Legit

 Howard Rides Kiwi Model

 Della Opts for Gaol

 Feds in the Dock

 Carr Race to Bottom

 Bosses Walk on Water

 Govt Gets Claws into Nurses

 Ion Faces Legal Probe

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
May Spray
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson delivered the annual May Day Toast - and warned it is no time to be comfortable and relaxed.

The Locker Room
A Rucking Good Time
Phil Doyle reveals many things, some of them useful

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, is back to regale us with inside goss and intrigue from the Bearpit.

L E T T E R S
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News

Feds in the Dock


Federal government’s anti-union agenda breaches basic academic and human rights principles, according to legal cases that will be run in international forums.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has flagged formal complaints to the UN and International Labour Organisation (ILO) about Canberra's prescription for driving unions off university campuses.

Federal secretary, Grahame McCullough, says the Howard Government is breaching international agreements that Australia has signed off on.

Canberra has announced it will strip universities of $280 million in funding if they don't adopt the Coalition's hardline industrial relations agenda.

Specifically, they must introduce non-union AWAs to campuses, and block unions from any negotiations where their presence is not formally requested by individual staff members.

McCullough says members will back the legal strategy with a "significant increase in industrial action", building to a national day of protest on June 28.

He says the forced introduction of AWAs appeared to breach the ILO convention on the right to bargain collectively, while UNESCO's instrument on the rights of teaching personnel, contained provisions about university independence and autonomy.

The Australian Vice Chancellors Committee said universities were uncertain about what the federal government was demanding.

McCullough said Government appeared to want thousands of finalised contracts "torn up" and started again.

Meanwhile, the PSA says the changes point out the weakness in government's AWA sales pitch.

"What they have been unable to do by persuasion they are now trying by coercion. They are eliminating choice", says Mr Cahill.

"Their long term aim is to reduce labour costs through reduced wages and lesser conditions.

Cahill said the changes, announced by Ministers Kevin Andrews and Brendan Nelson, would not improve universities but would further accelerate Australia's brain drain.


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