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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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Quad Gets the Brush

A Canberra father's early mornings spent scrubbing toilets and mopping floors have been rewarded with below award wages and a vanishing employer.

This week his plight was outed when the cleaning contractor that turned a blind eye to the employment practices of its subbies scored the LHMU's annual Toilet Brush Award.

Quad Services was hired to clean the Belconnen Leagues Club but outsourced its duties to subcontractors, including Sues Cleaning Services.

The LHMU said Quad refused hold Sues accountable for the below award wages paid to its staff, one of whom was father of three Peter Ippolitti.

Ippolitti cleaned the Belconnen Leagues Club as a second job to help pay of his mortgage and support his family, the LHMU said.

He endured 4am starts in addition to his day job for four months before the ACT Magistrate's Court ordered Sues to pay him $2000 in underpaid wages and interest.

When Sue's disappeared it was Quad's refusal to reveal its location that cemented Quad's position as the winner of the 2005 Toilet Brush, said LMHU cleaning division secretary Gil Anderson.

"Quad is perpetuating a conspiracy of silence by keeping the subcontractor's location to itself.

"Regardless of whether he has the money or not the moral imperative is on Quad Services as they are making money out of the cleaning contract," he said.

All of the mainstream cleaning companies had signed the ACT Cleaning Industries Code of Best Employment Practice, which requires companies using subcontractors to consult with the union to ensure correct wages are being paid.

Anderson said Quad's refusal to sign gave it an unfair advantage.

The Leagues Club was also approached to sign the Code and were currently considering their position, he said.


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