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Issue No. 268 17 June 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

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

 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!

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
 Wandering In The Wilderness
 Once Upon A Time In America
 The Truth Is Out There
 History Repeats
 Cash Cow On Private Tax Farm
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Corporates Arm Firing Squad


New Commonwealth Bank chief, Ralph Norris, takes the reigns as big businesses gears up for a job-slashing orgy expected to pitch tens of thousands of people into dole queues.

The Finance Sector Union, representing 15,000 CBA staff, is seeking a clear the air meeting with Norris, a Kiwi with form.

Norris was a key figure in New Zealand's Business Roundtable, a powerful lobby group that engineered that country's radical Employment Contracts Act.

In the 1990s he shook the New Zealand banking industry, by introducting individual contracts and seven-day opening at the Auckland Savings Bank.

Norris comes to the multi-million dollar chief executive's position as Australian shareholders demand workers' heads to pay for a dizzying round of corporate acquisitions and mergers.

American, Solomon Trujillo, has been delivered an $11 million salary package to slash costs before the federal government privatises Telstra.

Business analysts are urging Australia's largest company to punt another 10,000 people to make it more attractive to investors.

Competitor, Optus, has announced it will try to compete with a minimum of 370 scalps.

It has already started a national round of sackings expected to deliver 220 bodies, ahead of plans to close an outsourced call centre that will see 150 Tasmanian jobs exported to a low-cost Indian operator.

The National Australia Bank, still suffering the fallout of last year's foreign currency debacle and board room wrangling, has already offered the market a sweetener of 2000 Aussie jobs.

Fosters Group is expected to cut hard and often to fund its debt-laden takeover of major competitor, Southcorp.

Fosters stumped up $3.2 billion to eliminate the rival and is expected to announce major job cuts after a two-month review of the combined operation.

Australia's most profitable company, BHP Billiton, will start paying off the $9.2 billion it outlaid to eliminate WMC Resources by applying the bullet to at least 600 members of WMC's management and middle-management teams.

Dairy Farmers hopes the elimination of 20 percent of its workforce will boost its coming sharemarket float. The producer of Ski yoghurt, Coon and Cracker Barrel cheeses, has already announced it will dump 460 Australians.

International giant "Nestle" has promised to axe 147 Victorians as it moves to "rationalise" its operation.

Norris was brought to Australia to replace retiring CBA chief executive, David Murray.

Chinese Takeaways Explode

Meanwhile, the federal government's desire for a no-minimum-standards trade deal with China has delivered up another 600 car component positions.

AMWU members at Trico, Melbourne, downed tools after learning 160 of their jobs would be exported to China, a country that refuses to sign off on core labour standards.

Across town, seatbelt and airbag maker Autoliv, targeted another 65 jobs as part of its move to punt 450 people by the end of next year.

Last month, Workers Online reported that the proposed free trade agreement had cost more than 1000 people work at two NSW car component companies.

Representatives of Trico and Autoliv said, last week, they had no alternative to moving operations to China.


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