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Issue No. 269 24 June 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Truth In Advertising
In the past seven days we have witnessed the unprecedented spectacle of a Howard Minister attempting to campaign on ĎTruthí. That it has come back to bite him on the bum is the clearest proof yet of some eternal notion of justice.

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: Bruceís Big Blunder
The Big Fella, Jack Lang, gives an eyewitness account of the last time Conservatives tried to dismantle Australiaís 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

 Choice Bro, Andrews Unmasked

 Rev Kevís Big Stick

 Grass Roots Flourish

 Academics Give an F

 Feds Invoke Feared Beard

 Mum Gives Johnny the Slip

 Hadgkiss in Family Friendly Assault

 Slick Operator Goes Down

 Tassie in Grip of Chip Strip

 Elderly Boss Gets Cranky

 Army Used To Privatise Phones

 Dangerous Vic bosses face slammer

 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 benchesÖ

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

L E T T E R S
 Good outlook at Hertz
 Foxtelís folly
 Stuck for words
 More care, less scare
 Do or die time
 China throws in Maoís towel
 Donít strike out strikes
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Donít strike out strikes


In relation to your last editorial, there are many points on which I totally agree with you.

The focus of a community based campaign, targeting people where they live is a progressive step, and in pace with the way our society gathers information. There can be no doubt a strategy that engages families and attempts to solicit a community wide response can only be a good thing.

However, to disregard any kind of strike action, or imply that any kind of strike action would turn public opinion against us is a generalised assumption, and one, which could leave any powerful campaign half-baked.

I do not believe that spreading the message through advertising is a soft option, however, it is an option that could be effectively reinforced by a strategic industrial campaign. Beyond the strategies, we must acknowledge any industrial action is a right of every working man and woman. To say that workers should not take collective action is as large a travesty of their rights as the proposed Howard IR agenda.

Collective strike action is as legitimate a campaign option as any other. We would be wrong to view it as unsophisticated, out-dated or heavy handed. We would also be disrespectful of workers if we thumbed our noses at their views of industrial action.

If you have ever stood side by side with your comrades in the struggle, you will know what I mean.

Your comments of workers forgoing $200 a day, (how was that figure derived, by the way?) only to have public opinion turn against their cause is patronising and ignorant of our movement.

One of the most powerful actions any worker can take is to withdraw their labour. To discredit that option is to discredit every worker and ultimately, to discredit our movement.

Our fight is to save our cause. Our cause is to protect every worker and their families and to proudly say that dignity is not negotiable.

Derrick Belan

State Secretary National Union Of Workers (NSW Branch)


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