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Issue No. 275 05 August 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

Parliament
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.

International
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

Postcard
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.

L E T T E R S
 Back To The Past
 AFL-CIO Not The Only War
 Be Afraid
 Frame Up
 We Love Morris
 ANew Development
 A Readers Suggestion
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Thousands in Super Rort


Over seventeen thousand bosses stole workers retirement funds, last year, as the Howard Government moved to undermine the country’s best-performed super schemes.

Independent figures show that union backed industry superannuation delivered double-digit returns last year.

Nine of the top 10 superannuation funds over the last five years were industry funds, according to the latest figures from independent analyst SuperRatings.

It is a figure backed up by rival researcher, Rainmaker Information. Its research shows that seven of the top 10 funds were not-for-profit industry plans.

The Financial Review described the not-for-profit industry funds as "stars of the show".

Michael Rice from independent actuary Rice Walker told the Fin: "It is remarkable how industry funds, statistically, have always been good performers since they started in 1985.

"When the stockmarket has been down, they have tended not to have very big downturns. They have also been prepared to take punts like reducing exposure to international shares. And so far they have been pretty right. I think, given the record, you'd have to say that it is good management rather than luck."

Rice says industry funds can charge fees that are as much as one per cent a year lower than commercial rivals.

Industry funds now control $104 billion of the nation's retirement savings.

The government's "super choice" campaign allows employers to shift their employees' superannuation into the fund of the bosses' choice unless workers specify otherwise.

More than 17,000 small businesses diddled employees of their superannuation last financial year, the Australian Taxation Office reported, last week.

One of the key reasons the federal government has advanced for sweeping workplace change is to limit the rules small business has to abide by.


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