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Issue No. 265 27 May 2005  

Hit and Myth
John Howard came to power on the back of a myth about the sort of Australia we had once been; now he is creating a new myth about the sort of Australia we want to become.


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.


 Sign or You're Gone

 Unions Back a Winner

 Howard Chases Nurses

 Victims Champ Joins Resistance

 Red and Green Blue

 Usual Suspects Lead Cheer Squad

 Ugly Australian On Charges

 Aussies Longer and Harder

 Guard Attached, Then Sacked

 Doh – Homero Loses Voice

 Bunbury Families Win Payouts

 Double Standards For Dads

 Libs Back 'Illegal' Rally

 TAFE Teaches A Lesson On Winning

 Activist’s What’s On!


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

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

 One Hell Of A Job
 US Fan Mail
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Aussies Longer and Harder

Two and a half million Australians are now working in excess of 40 hours a week, new research shows.

There has been a 50% increase in employees working 50 hours a week or more over the last twenty years, with long hours now standard for two out of every five full time employees.

The research by Dr Iain Campbell, Senior Fellow at the RMIT University's Centre for Applied Social Research, is to be published later this year in French journal, Revue de l'IRES.

It shows that Australia has become an "extreme" example of working hours, with working hours moving in a direction that flies in the face of most other OECD nations.

The disturbing trend is that much of the overtime being worked is now unpaid - researchers have sheeted this home to a direct product of creating insecure jobs and using fear to motivate people in the workplace.

Researchers have called for better regulation of working hours.

Unions have pointed out that planned the planned Federal IR revolution will only make the situation worse.

"The issue of working hours has galvanised the union movement from day one," says Unions NSW secretary John Robertson. "Unions formed around the issue of the eight-hour day. Union activism saw working hours progressively decline throughout the twentieth century."

"All of this has been placed under threat by a surge in working hours driven by deregulation of the labour market."

Things Fall Apart

The growing issue of excessive hours will be examined at a special seminar being hosted by Unions NSW.

It brings together leading experts in the fields of ethics, family, work and social research to examine the effects of an increasing workload on society.

The seminar, Things fall Apart: What is work doing to families and community, is set down for the 3rd June 2005 at the Australian Museum Theatrette, College Street, Sydney

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Neale Towart at Unions NSW on 9264 1461, or email [email protected]


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