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Issue No. 276 12 August 2005  

The Power of One
The power has now shifted. John Howard has control of the Senate by a solitary vote and no matter where your politics lie, the earth has definitely moved.


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


 “Disgusting” AWAs Court Out

 Andrews Agenda Rolled in DEWR

 Sick Days Get Hadgkiss Sniffing

 Fun Guy Skips Work, Docks Staff

 Nurse Launches Neighbourhood Alert

 Security Staff Bush Whacked

 Commo Bank Staff Force Smiles

 Cameron Gets ‘Fair Dinkum’

 Feds: Inconsistency “Not Inconsistent”

 Telstra Dials Up Cash Grab

 Howard Votes Family Last

 PacNat Troops Won't Be Railroaded

 All Aboard Vic Safety Train

 Activist's What's 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.

 Farmers’ Best Friend
 Govt Has No Case
 Logon to IR
 Ears and Minds
 Howard on the Couch
 Which Bank?
 Kevin the Tool Man
 Tom On Safety
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Bad Boss

Fun Guy Skips Work, Docks Staff

Seventy mushroom pickers have lost a day's pay because their employer lacked the courage to front a union protest over its misuse of individual contracts.

Imperial Mushrooms locked their workers out when it learned of the protest by supporters of Carmen Walacz Vel Walewska, sacked after questioning the terms of an AWA that cut her take-home pay.

Instead, it lined up Employers First head-kicker Garry Brack to front breakfast TV to accuse Carmen of poor performance - claims that have been refuted by Carmen's workmates.

More than 100 supporters attended the picket outside the Londonderry mushroom farm, calling for a consumer boycott of Imperial Mushrooms until she is reinstated.

Channel Nine's 'Today show carried a live cross, where Carmen was attacked live on air by Brack, who claimed she had received a complaint by another staff member.

Australian Workers Union organiser Nick Allan says that worker has now contacted the union, claiming there was no problem with Carmen's performance.

And more details are emerging about poor treatment of staff at Imperial Mushrooms with one woman contacting the AWU claiming the employer had refused her request to reduce her shifts on the grounds she was pregnant,

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Imperial Mushroom AWAs have never been formally registered, meaning they can be challenged in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

Unions NSW secretary John Robertson sasy the whole saga shows how AWAs can turn workplaces ionto a 'dog's breakfast'."Noone can seriously argue that these AWAs were offered in a spirit of cooperation - they were imposed on a take it or leave it basis. And the employer did not even bother to register them."

As for Carmen, all she wants is to clear her name and get her job back. "I just want to walk in the door and show my fellow workers that it's OK to stand up for your rights at work.


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