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Issue No. 269 24 June 2005  

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


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


 Choice Bro, Andrews Unmasked

 Rev Kev’s 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!


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

 Good outlook at Hertz
 Foxtel’s folly
 Stuck for words
 More care, less scare
 Do or die time
 China throws in Mao’s towel
 Don’t strike out strikes
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Grass Roots Flourish

Commuting is getting a lot more interesting as workers step up the campaign against the Howard government’s workplace laws.

Brett Williams from Minchinbury in Sydney’s west took it upon himself to grab a captive audience on a packed Sydney commuter train to spell out what the changes would mean for punters.

"I just stood up and introduced myself and explained what the changes were," says Williams. "There was a good reaction. People were interested. People were asking questions. People wanted to hear what was happening."

"I'm not political," says the Rail Tram and Bus Union member. "I just wanted to do it for the interest of other Australians."

Williams' colleague Stephen Threllfall invited his Central Coast neighbours over to watch the twenty-minute DVD produced for the SkyChannel delegates meeting on May 27.

"People had no idea of how serious this was. Next I'm taking it down to a neighbourhood pre-school to show the staff there."

Paul Douglas went to buy a lottery ticket and was buttonholed by the sales assistant over his 'You're Rights At Work' badge.

"She asked me what's going on and I told them this is going to affect everyone, especially mums and dads and helping out with kids sport. She wanted information so I dropped off some flyers you can get from the website,

The grass roots campaign is part of a number of actions planned for this week, which includes minimum wage workers hosting Unions NSW secretary John Robertson and ALP leader Kim Beazley at a Randwick Childcare Centre, while across town ACTU Sharan Burrow launching the 1300 362 223 info hotline at Sydney Airport.

Beazley will then be heading up the Pacific Highway to meet locked out Boeing workers at RAAF Willamtown, who are resisting being kept on AWAs by US Contractor Boeing.

On Tuesday there is rally outside the Housing Industry Association office at 4 Byfield Street, Ryde, at 12.30pm over apprentices being forced onto AWAs.

Wednesday is the NSW Premiers Roundtable with public sector workers at 11am, which is followed on Thursday by the inaugural Brown Nose Day being put on by the Working Students Network at Sydney University.

The week culminates in Friday's State Wide Sky Channel Hook-up at 9.00am, with the key meeting at the Sydney Town Hall telecast to over two hundred venues across the state. Check for a venue near you!


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