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Issue No. 275 05 August 2005  

Iemma’s Dilemmas
The past fortnight has seen the sort of upheaval in NSW that reminds us all that politics is a very tenuous game with few certainties and even fewer rules.


Interview: On Holiday
Historian Richard White looks back on the Aussie vacation - and finds a way of life is under threat.,

Unions: One Day Longer
Nathan Brown travels to the Boeing picket line and find a group of workers with a steely determination to stick together.

Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Jim Marr plays the Howard Government's industrial relations spin job on its merits.

Politics: Spun Out
Canberra’s latest campaign underlines the need for controls over government advertising, according to Graeme Orr and Joo-Cheong Tham

Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
Evan Jones explains how the way we purchase alcolohol reflects the type of economy we live in.

History: Taking a Stand
Neale Towart looks at two books that chronicle how to build community support against social injustice.

International: The Split
Amanda Tattersal outsider's account of an insider's shake-out at the AFL-CIO Convention 2005

Legal: Pushing the Friendship
George Williams argues that the federal government’s constitutional powers are not sufficient to enact a comprehensive national industrial relations scheme

Poetry: Simple Subtractions
The latest blitz of taxpayer-funded advertising has revealed a crisis of arithmetic in government ranks has moved resident bard David Peetz to prose.

Review: Sydney Trashed
Sydney band SC Trash are on a mission to give new life to folk and country music – and the politics of common sense. Nathan Brown had a beer with them


 Carmen's Boss No Fun Guy

 Discriminating Centrelink on Charges

 Uproar Over Holiday Plans

 Do The Bus Stop

 Taxpayers to Fund Advertising Orgy

 Get Up Stands Up

 Andrews Provokes Showdown

 Thousands in Super Rort

 Constituents Don’t Trust Andrews

 Skill Shortage Fabricated

 Yanks Short Change Tradesmen

 Howard Steamroller Hits Building Sites

 CFMEU Bans Ferguson

 Activists Whats On!


The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, goes away for a couple of weeks and look what happens…

The Soapbox
The Last Weekend
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson's speech to the Last Weekend - how the Howard government laws will undermine the Ausrtalian way of life.

The Locker Room
A Concept Is Born
In which Phil Doyle helps the proponents of the vision thing across the road.

Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

London Post
During his recent stay in London IEU industrial officer John Shapiro was living only a few hundred metres from the site of one of the bomb blasts.

 Back To The Past
 AFL-CIO Not The Only War
 Be Afraid
 Frame Up
 We Love Morris
 ANew Development
 A Readers Suggestion
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Discriminating Centrelink on Charges

One of the federal agencies carrying the ball for the Liberal Party's radical IR agenda faces court action for discriminating against a union delegate.

The CPSU has filed Federal Court papers against Centrelink, alleging it blocked a $1000 wage increase for Adelaide call centre staffer, Paul Willson, because he defended a workmate and forwarded an “all-staff” email to the union for advice.

Centrelink ticked off on Willson's work performance but rejected a salary advance after its local manager claimed his actions, on behalf of workmates, lacked integrity.

CPSU spokesperson, Paul Ingwersen, said the agency's attempt to determine what a delegate could and couldn't do was "worrying".

"Paul provides information, advice and support to workmates who ask," Ingwersen said. "He does it in his own time because he cares.

"Union delegates, like volunteer firefighters, lifesavers and charity workers should be celebrated, not penalised.

"Paul has worked there for five years and his work record is beyond reproach but management won't pay his increase because of his union activity.

"Centrelink's action gives us an insight into what all workplace will be like under the Government's hard-line industrial laws.'

The action against Willson came as Centrelink joined the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations in forcing new starters onto AWAs.

Centrelink has been holding out on a new enterprise bargaining for months, while using AWAs to strip conditions that are part of its agreement with the CPSU.

Last month, for the first time, Centrelink advertised positions on the basis of staff having to sign AWAs.

The aggressive use of secret, individual contracts comes as the Prime Minister and Workplace Relations Minister continue to insist, publicly, that they are a matter of choice.


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