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Issue No. 273 22 July 2005  
 
F E A T U R E S

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.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Centrelink to Cheat Workers
The Howard Government will cut the dole to workers who refuse to sign AWAs that undercut award wages and conditions, according to government insiders.

A Centrelink staffer told Workers Online, on condition of anonymity, that job seekers who say no to such AWAs will be ‘breached’ – leading to cuts in their social security payments. [full story]

Foot Soldiers Get Blisters
Howard Government backbenchers feeling the heat over their attack on workers rights are beginning to break ranks in the face of local campigning.

As the ACTU and ALP prepare a legal challenge to the government's plans to use $20 million in taxpayers funds to sell the changes, local MPs are attempting to go to ground or back away from them altogether. [full story]

Feds to Lift Voting Age
Employees on share schemes would have to work for 85 years before they had enough shares to participate in company meetings in their own right under changes flagged by the Howard government.

The move have been slammed as an attack on shareholder activism with Paul Bastian from the AMWU pointing to the recent James Hardie campaign, which would be gutted by the Howard government’s proposals. [full story]

Taskforce Plastered
Nigel Hadgkiss Building Industry Taskforce sat on its hands while a Wollongong plasterer ripped off an 18-year-old apprentice and defied IRC orders to make restitution.

On June 17, K & K Bowden, was given 28 days to pay CFMEU member, Justin Sutherland, $8800 after being found guilty of discriminating against the teenager, and denying him a range of allowances he had been entitled to. [full story]

Paint It Slack
John Howard’s Office of the Employment Advocate is spruiking AWAs that would rip $360 a week out of family budgets.

A model Australian Workplace Agreement for a "brush hand", displayed on the OEA’s website, takes away paid annual leave, paid sick leave and paid public holidays. [full story]

Howzat!
Brits have caught out John Howard over claims his Fair Pay Commission is modelled on the Blair Government’s minimum wage system.

"In practice, your proposal is running in completely the opposite direction," the British Trade Union Congress has warned the Prime Minister in a personal letter. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Hadgkiss in Safety Failure

 Freedom to Starve

 Police And Thieves

 Feds Make Asbestos Blue

 Scabs Farewelled

 Capital Idea Under Threat

 Masterton Homes Crumbles

 Activists Whats On!

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
What we're fighting for. Three year old Darcy McCann is putting his weight behind a campaign to protect his future.

E D I T O R I A L
Look through history and very few splits make either the splitter or the split-ee stronger; from Caesar and Antony, through Trotsky and Lenin to the ALP and DLP – they’ve all ended in tears.

Tool Of Fame

C O L U M N S

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.

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

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


LETTERS to the Editor
 Frame Up
 Keep the Faith
 Life on a Low Wage
 Seeing the Trees For the Wood
 Carnival Comes to Town

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