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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 ‘Truth’. 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: 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

 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!

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
 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
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Mum Gives Johnny the Slip


A western Sydney mum, sacked for being pregnant, has earned six months compensation in defiance of moves to block unfair dismissal rights.

Lisa-Maree Wintle was sacked by Another World 4 Kids Kindergarten-Pre-school after telling the boss she wanted to take maternity leave to have her first baby.

NSW IRC Commissioner, Ian Cambridge, said the injustice of the sacking provided a "case study for the protection provided by unfair dismissal laws."

"If contemporary objective standards determine that it would be acceptable to dismiss someone because they were pregnant, one might envisage a society absent of an important protection for basic human dignity," Cambridge said.

He said it was hard to contemplate that any employer "acting with such abhorrent disregard for the circumstances of a pregnant woman" might be able to avoid being held to account on the grounds it was a small business.

The company claimed Wintle had left a Christmas party, for children and parents at 6pm, before it had finished. Wintle pointed out her working day was from 7.30am to 3pm and that on this day she needed to get home.

She had informed the centre of her pregnancy weeks earlier.

Wintle ran her case, with support from the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU).

In awarding her the maximum compensation available, Commissioner Cambridge said reasons for the dismissal, advanced by the childcare operation, had been "spurious"

The Coalition has introduced a bill to parliament that would deny anyone at a workplace of less than 101 people the right to challenge an unfair sacking.


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