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Issue No. 273 22 July 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Split Infinitives
As unions across Australia put up a united front against the Howard IR assault, events across the Pacific serve as a warning of what can happen when individuals start going one out.

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.

N E W S

 Centrelink to Cheat Workers

 Foot Soldiers Get Blisters

 Feds to Lift Voting Age

 Taskforce Plastered

 Paint It Slack

 Howzat!

 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!

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.

L E T T E R S
 Frame Up
 Keep the Faith
 Life on a Low Wage
 Seeing the Trees For the Wood
 Carnival Comes to Town
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Police And Thieves


Bosses are offering massive sweeteners to workers who hold out on AWAs.

A Canberra firm, Energy Services Environmental, went behind the back of employees who signed its original AWA deal to offer nearly eight dollars an hour extra to one man holding out.

The letter offering the deal ended up on the lunch room table, which led to the remaining workers confronting their employer over the different pay rates.

The boss then called police to evict a union organiser who met with workers who had expressed concern over their AWAs.

Rodney Larsen, a supervisor with Energy Services Environmental, grabbed Matt McCann from the Electrical Trades Union by the arm in an attempt to get him out of the workplace after McCann had met with employees

When McCann refused to go Larsen called the police.

"When they turned up the coppers rolled their eyes and seemed pretty annoyed about having their time wasted," says McCann.

Two employees out of a workforce of ten have refused to sign AWAs offered by the company which strip public holidays, penalty rates, shift allowances, holiday loading, rostered days off and have a 41 hour working week.

Energy Services Environmental attempted a collective agreement, also known as a LK Agreement, which would have roped the two workers not on AWAs onto the same conditions as the AWAs.

When this agreement went to a vote the workers on AWAs chose not to force their two colleagues onto the lower conditions.

The two workers are continuing to refuse to sign the company's AWAs.


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