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Issue No. 268 17 June 2005  

Courting Public Opinion
This weekend marks a significant step forward in the evolution of union campaigning, with the launch of $8 million in advertising to hit the Howard Government where it hurts – in the lounge rooms of middle Australia.


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


 Insults Hertz

 Andrews Bends Over for Big End

 Boeing, Boeing Gone

 Cobb & Co Punt Parkes

 Corporates Arm Firing Squad

 Quad Gets the Brush

 Practical Joke Costs Police

 Unions Target Soap and Grunt

 US Backs Terrorists

 Royalty Held Hostage in WA

 Bad News Rising On AWAs

 Workers Exercise Choice

 Howard Scores Own Goal

 RailCorp Shocker

 Activists Whats On!


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

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

 Wandering In The Wilderness
 Once Upon A Time In America
 The Truth Is Out There
 History Repeats
 Cash Cow On Private Tax Farm
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Letters to the Editor

Wandering In The Wilderness

Dear Sir,

While I do agree with the figures bandied about as to four million workers losing their protection from unfair dismissal, the articulation of this legislation was enabled, through the betrayal of Union and ALP members by the career politicians who have purloined the captaincy of these previously vehicles of social justice.

These ongoing effects of this betrayal will eventually surpass those of the great schism of the 1954 -1955, leaving the ALP and the Unions in the Political and Industrial wilderness for years to come, if not decades.

While, I can also find no reason to dispute the argument that this journey will result a reduction in wages, it is not the ultimate goal, but an integral component of a long term plan, which has been on the liberal agenda for many years.

Sadly there are many who still assume that they will be immune from this legislation, including several of my comrades‚ still working under the umbrella of Living City Services ˆ who contract for Sydney City Council.

The consensus for these chappies is that Sydney City employs more than 100 employees, so they will be protected from this insidious legislation , regrettably for them, they are employed in legally separate business units , most of which are under the 100 employee mark.

This agreed to structure was also part of the bigger picture, which those negotiating with the previous administrations refused to acknowledge, through possible incompetence and ignorance both deliberate and not.

While a blame game may satisfy some , the reality is that if the ALP , and the Unions , do not form a united front , not through pandering to special interest groups , but though the very essence of democracy , which is „Populism‰ , they will be , as the biblical Children of Israel , lead into the wilderness for 40 years.

Which some may say is what they deserve.

Tom Collins

P.O.Box 304

Emu Plains

NSW 2750


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