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Issue No. 270 01 July 2005  

After the Action
After a National Week of Action that has had everything from mass rallies in all capital cities to IR chat rooms opening on the Vogue Magazine website it�s fair to say that the first objective of this campaign � to raise public awareness � has been achieved.


Interview: Battle Stations
Opposition leader Kim Beazley says he's ready to fight for workers right. But come July 1, he'll have to be fighting by different rules.

Unions: The Workers, United
It was a group of rank and filers who took centre stage when workers rallied in Sydney's Town Hall, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: The Lost Weekend
The ALP had a hot date, they had arranged to meet on the Town Hall steps, and Phil Doyle was there.

Industrial: Truth or Dare
Seventeen ivory towered academics upset those who know what is best for us last week.

History: A Class Act
After reading a new book on class in Australia, Neale Towart is left wondering if it is possible to tie the term down.

Economics: The Numbers Game
Political economist Frank Stilwell offers a beginners guide to understanding budgets

International: Blonde Ambition
Sweden can be an inspiration to labour movements the world over, as it has had community unionism for over 100 years, creating a vibrant caring society, rather than a "productive" lean economy.

Training: The Trade Off
Next time you go looking for a skilled tradesman and can�t find one, blame an economist, writes John Sutton.

Review: Bore of the Worlds
An invincible enemy has people turning against one another as they fight for survival � its not just an eerie view of John Howard�s ideal workplace, writes Nathan Brown.

Poetry: The Beaters Medley
In solidarity with the workers of Australia, Sir Paul McCartney (with inspiration from his old friend John Lennon) has joined the Workers Online resident bard David Peetz to pen some hits about the government's proposed industrial relations revolution.


 Don't Get Angry, Get Organised

 Feds Threaten Hardie Battlers

 Beasts of Bourbon Play Dog

 Churches on Workplace Mission

 Unions Are The New Black

 Muster Has Bosses in Fluster

 Workers Flood to Protests

 Official: Libs Don�t Know Own Laws

 Schools Out For Uni Bosses

 IR Campaign Taxing Andrews

 Air Safety at Risk

 Carr Runs Over Lib Laws

 Aga Khan Workers Gaoled

 Activists Whats On!


The Soapbox
State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson lifts the lid on �The Nine Myths of Modern Unionism�

The Locker Room
Wrist Action
Phil Doyle trawls the murky depths of tawdry sleaze, and discovers Rugby is behind it all.

To Hew The Coal That Lies Below
Phil Doyle reviews Australia's first coal mining novel, Black Diamonds and Dust.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite State MP, Ian West, reports from Macquarie Street that the Premier is all the way with a State Commission.

 Workers Give In FNQ
 Power and the Passion
 Mao and Then
 The Third Way Hits A Dead End
 Unfair For All
 What Is To Be Done?
 Black Hawk Up
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Unions Are The New Black

The website message board of glamour mag Vogue lit up last week as the fashion conscious reacted with alarm at Howard�s workplace laws.

The message board, normally the exclusive domain of fashion and beauty tips, was full of comments from fashionistas aghast at the proposed changes.

"I don't like it. I don't want an AWA. I want unfair dismissal protection," was one comment written under the dot com de plume of 'hornbaghead'.

"I want unfair dismissal Protection Too. Who Doesn't?" says Faux Fuschia, while many other posters on the message boards were craving more detail of the changes and even talking about their own real-life workplace examples.

"From a person that worked in an organisation for four years that had a tyrant of a boss who sacked five people in six months for no reason (and faced five unfair dismissal cases against the organisation) I think its really quite frightening,' says Ms Chi Chi. "Our organisation had around 40 people working for it, well under the "100" that would face the new laws. New changes do not protect workers at all. I've seen some of my closest friends lose their jobs for stupid personality clashes!!!"

"I used to work at a gym which fired a fitness instructor for not wearing make up," says Boffin. "She was "warned" a couple of times that she was expected to wear make up because it "looked attractive and professional" and when she refused she was fired. And it was legal to dismiss her because she was a casual employee."

A comment receiving a lot of positive reaction came from EowynStar: "Should the rights of an employee depend on the goodwill/ personality/ ethics/ whims of each individual employer or should workers' rights be protected by law?

"I go for the second option."

The Vogue site wasn't alone on the net as a site addressing the workplace laws. 35754 people, or 70% of respondents, gave the thumbs down to Howard's workplace laws at an online NineMSN Poll. While over at the Sky News website, a poll asking if the ACTU should do "whatever it takes" to stop the changes received backing from 82% of respondents.

The Vogue message board is available online at


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