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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

Howard Steamroller Hits Building Sites


John Howard’s first move on industrial relations indicates he will use his Senate majority to steamroll hardline changes through Parliament.

The Prime Minister surprised Canberra watchers by ditching revamped building industry legislation in favour of the hardline 2003 package that had been rejected by the votes of crossbench Senators.

The original bill, based on recommendations of the discredited Cole Commission and drafted by Liberal Party headkicker, Tony Abbott, will greet the new Senate in its first week.

The changes curtail building workers' bargaining rights, strip back awards, place severe limitations on the ability of unions to visit worksites.

"There is nothing moderate or reasonable about it," CFMEU assistant national secretary, Dave Noonan, said.

"We will now see whether new Senators are serious about making sure ordinary Australians aren't trampled on, or whether they will just let this legislation sail through.

The bill comes hard on the heels of legislation that gives government officials the right to compel building workers to submit to interrogations about industrial issues or face prison.

The Government's Building Industry Taskforce, a special organisation set up to harass workers and their unions, has secretely recorded workers on a number of occasions.

Noonan said the anti-building worker laws were a warning of what was coming for all employees.

"This government will go to any lengths to destroy Australian trade unions and these laws are the bottom line in its anti-worker approach," Noonan said.


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