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Issue No. 274 29 July 2005  

The Heart of the Matter
Senators Steve Fielding and Barnaby Joyce are right to quibble over the futures of Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.


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.


 Carr Fingers Feds

 Boeing Scabs Take Flight

 Billion Dollar Blow Hards

 Door Closes on Foot Soldier

 Andrews Ropes In Footy

 Gooooood Morning Sydney!

 Posties Bite Back

 Choice Myth Busted Again

 Vale HT

 Dumb and DEWR

 Combet: Business Can't Be Trusted

 Telstra Burns Bush

 Detective on Death Site

 States of Disunity

 A Turbulent Decade


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.

 Don’t take your Gunns to town
 Yankee Panky
 Poetry in motion
 Losing the faith
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Bad Boss

Door Closes on Foot Soldier

The military style management of a Patrick's 'footsoldier' from the waterfront dispute has resurfaced at rail giant Pacific National, where it has led to plummeting morale and bewildered train drivers.

Ex-military officer Kieron Wain's bizarre behaviour as manager at Port Waratah in Newcastle culminated in him removing a meal room door to stop drivers “hiding”.

"There were never people hiding in there," says Stephen Wright, a locomotive driver with Pacific National.

The Port Waratah drivers installed their own door on the meal room, measuring five inches by five inches, on one of the remaining hinges - and dubbed it the 'Kieron Wain memorial door'.

"The military style regime was something we weren't used to," says Wright. "Since he left, morale has returned to where it was before he arrived."

During his time at Port Waratah, Wain came under a cloud over an alleged anger management issues, with drivers claiming he threw furniture and office equipment about.

Workers Online understands that Wain accompanied army reservists who were to be used as strike breakers in the 1998 waterfront dispute to Dubai.

Wain moved to Pacific National's Melbourne Freight Terminal at the beginning of this year.

In his brief time in Melbourne Wain has been forced to apologise to another Pacific National employee, Phil Allen, over an argument about drivers' uniforms.

He also allegedly told a female customer that if staff didn't perform "their penis' would be on the line".

Safety Torn Up

Meanwhile Pacific National drivers have blown the whistle on another senior manager who dumped a damming safety report in a garbage bin.

In a meeting with Pacific National employees, manager Doug Grimmond opened an envelope containing an external audit of Pacific National safety. The report was a damning indictment of declining safety standards between 2003 and May 2005.


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