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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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Cameron Gets ‘Fair Dinkum’

Doug Cameron is challenging the Prime Minister to divert his $20 million IR propaganda spend into job creation.

The AMWU national secretary made the proposal while backing farmers' demands for clear food labeling at a rally in Sydney.

"The AMWU is calling on the federal government to fund a $20 million campaign to promote Australian grown food, over three years," Cameron said.

"The government is spending $20 million in six months trying to brainwash Australians about industrial relations changes that will cost conditions and wages. Why can't they spend that much helping keep Australian farmers and workers in good, honest-paying jobs?"

Cameron congratulated farmers on their Fair Dinkum Food campaign - designed to force supermarket giants to accurately label products on their shelves.

Farmers are objecting to the companies importing product, and materials for generic brands, and hiding the fact behind incomplete labeling.

The Australian food industry supports over 600,000 jobs and boasts a $10 billion trade surplus.

That situation is under threat, however, with McDonalds sourcing chips from overseas and supermarkets agitating for watered-down labeling requirements.

Cameron told farmers their industries were under threat because politicians had capitulated to the "madness" of free trade.

He said they had picked a "David and Goliath" fight in which they would have to confront corporate giants like McDonalds, Coles and Woolworths.

"These companies are greedy, arrogant and uncaring," Cameron said.

"Woolworths profit is in at just over $440 million, and that's just for half the year. It's CEO, Roger Corbett, makes more than $4 million a year.

"Coles profit is $576.5 million and it pays CEO John Fletcher $4.7 million.

"How much profit is enough for these people?"

Cameron called for an enquiry into the Coles-Woolworths supermarket duopoly, and a code of conduct for Australian food companies that would protect farmers and workers.

The code, he said, should include ...

- a requirement that "home brands" be 100 percent Australian

- that "cost downs" on suppliers must be fair and not at the expense of jobs

- a fair allocation of supermarket shelf space for Australian products

- a labour standards test for suppliers

- clear country of origin labeling to allow Australian consumers to make informed choices


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