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Issue No. 267 10 June 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Rivers of Gold
The latest catchphrase from the econmentariat seems to be ‘infrastructure’ – which I think refers to what we used to know as ‘public works’.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The Baby Drought
Social ethicist Leslie Cannold has delved into why women - and men - are having fewer children. And it all comes back to the workplace.

Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
David Peetz uncovers the truth behind the latest statistics on earnings under Australian Workplace Agreements.

Workplace: The Invisible Parents
Current government policies about work and family do not reflect the realities of either family life or the modern workplace. writes Don Edgar.

History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
The Big Fella, Jack Lang, gives an eyewitness account of the last time Conservatives tried to dismantle Australia’s industrial relations system.

Politics: All God's Children
The battle for morality is not confined to Australian polittics. Michael Walzer writes on the American perspective

Economics: Spun Out
The business groups are feeling cocky. The feds have announced their IR changes, business says they don't go far enough. What a surprise, writes Neale Towart

International: Shakey Trials
Lyndy McIntyre argues the New Zealnd IR experiment provides warnings - and hope - for the Australian union movement.

Legal: Civil Distrubance
Tom Roberts argues that there is more at stake than an attack on building workers in the looming legsilation.

Review: Crash Course In Racism
Paul Haggis flick Crash suggests that when cars collide the extent of people's prejudices are revealed sans the usual veil of political correctness, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: You're Fired
New laws will leave bosses holding the whip and workers with a Raw Hide, writes resident bard David Peetz

N E W S

 Feds Wrong on Minimum Wage

 Dogs in Sheep’s Clothing

 Andrews Faces Probe

 NSW Packs IR Scrum

 China Syndrome

 Pirates Of The Canberrean

 Foxtel Scores Own Goal

 Killer Bosses on Notice

 Apprentices Spitting Chips

 Howard Chokes Working Women

 Vice Regal Notes

 Survey – Do it Now or Else

 Greens Join Fight

 Workers win repreive

 Activists Whats On!

C O L U M N S

The Locker Room
Ashes to Dust
In which Phil Doyle travels to distant lands in search of a meat pie, and prepares for the joys of sleep deprivation

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West lists the Top Ten reasons why workers in NSW can gain some solace from having the Labor Party sitting on the Treasury benches…

The Soapbox
Dear John
In response to this year’s Federal Budget, Bishop Kevin Manning wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard

L E T T E R S
 Secure Advice
 All The Way With The USA
 Expensive Door Charge
 Teen Years in Detention
 Court Cases are Media’s Drug
 Lang Is Right
 Legalising Unfairness
 Hertz Meenz Hurtz
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Secure Advice


As a current Security Operative my interest in the letter Security Lacking (Workers Online , April ,1, 2005), is entirely one of self interest and my first query in relation to this letter is who actually is the author and what is their relationship to the security industry?

I would also query his suggestion that the current high profile of Chubb should be a reason to facilitate a round-table discussion as to work practices and conditions, the implication being that something positive may arise from such dialogue?

While never having worked for Chubb, I cannot form any opinions as to their policies, their procedures and the application of these within the current industrial legislation.

The companies I have worked for have been very aware of the safety of their employees and their work practices and conditions reflect this. So the opinions I have formed as to Chubb are merely from new papers, anecdotal and hearsay and I would expect some would say heresy, but in a democracy they are still valid.

It is my view that rather than some round-table discussions, which could be construed as being a fair and equitable weight being given to the views of all parties, when the reality is that we now live in a deliberative democracy, a euphemism for contemporary feudalism, with the lord of the manor being the CEO of a corporation, a usually anonymous conglomerate of individuals hiding behind corporate law, an entity which the Howard Government is currently, attempting to animate as having the same rights as an individual citizen, with the ability to sue individuals for defamation. This legislation will effectively stifle if not completely remove the ability for free speech.

So while I found John McPhilbins letter interesting, but without example of either what his first paragraph refers to, or actual incidents as examples it was also very ambiguous with the exception of his last paragraph and the only suggestion that I would offer is that the behaviour of the dominant security providers be subject to a Royal Commission.

Tom Collins


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