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Issue No. 263 13 May 2005  
 
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.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Bikies Needle Heroines
Motorcycle gangs are being used to intimidate women picketing a Melbourne company that wants to turn them into sham contractors.

A dozen motorcycle gang members, some wearing helmets and bandanas, crashed the Kemalex Plastics picket line at Dandenong South on Thursday. [full story]

Bosses Play China Card
Major NSW employers are using John Howard’s free trade agreements to slash jobs and demand $250 a week wage cuts.

Auto component manufacturers, Tri Star and Spicer Axle, have targeted 800 employees for the dole queue and at least two other manufacturers, employing more than 600 people, say job losses are inevitable. [full story]

Giant Collapses on Ankle
CFMEU picketers have shamed insurance giant QBE into forking out for a 57-year-old woman’s ankle operation.

Angry delegates from the union’s construction and timber divisions mounted a protest outside QBE’s Parramatta offices, last Friday, after learning insurance company-ordered cuts to workers compensation payments had resulted in Isabelita Cruz having her power cut off. [full story]

NAB Cuts More Than Jobs
The National Australia Bank will have to cut service levels by nearly 10 per cent in order to shed 2,000 jobs, under a binding agreement with its workers.

Finance Sector Union NSW secretary Geoff Derrick says that under anenterprise agreement with 24,000 workers, NAB is prohibited from reducing jobs without a commensurate reduction in overall workload. [full story]

Left Footers Kick Back
Australia’s minimum wage must "adequately" reward workers and "meet the needs" of families, according to the Catholic Church.

Bishop Christopher Saunders, chairman of the Catholic Social Justice Council, is urging the faithful to consider the position of more than one and a half million Australians, dependent on the minimum wage. [full story]

Oh Brother, Tim Plays House
Former Workers Online hack Tim Brunero has turned up in the Big Brother house where he has called for the downfall of Prime Minister John Howard.

His surprise entry has attracted the support of Unions NSW, with secretary John Robertson calling on members and affiliates to help evict Brunero's competition.  [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 WA on the Block

 Patrick Fails to Hide Asbestos

 Budget Hits Civil Rights

 Combet Launches Shark Attack

 Childcare Wage Grows Up

 US To Drain More Aussie Brains

 Dictators Beg Eric To Stop

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
“The women were so concerned for their safety that they called the local police for assistance,” NUW Vic secretary Martin Pakula

E D I T O R I A L
Kim Beazley is right to expose the tax cuts at being skewed to the haves over the have-nots, but he is wrong to make it his battleground.

Permanent Tool Status

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.


LETTERS to the Editor

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