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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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PacNat Troops Won't Be Railroaded

Over 2,000 rail workers employed by waterfront warrior Chris Corrigan walked off the job last Friday in the face of attempts to shut their union out of negotiations on a new collective agreement.

There were large turnouts at peaceful assemblies at rail depots from Perth to Port Kembla workers at Pacific National - a joint venture between Corrigan's Patrick Corp and road transport giant Toll Holdings.

"This is something we have to do," said the Rail Tram and Bus Union's Greg Harvey from the gates of the Sydney Freight terminal at Chullora. "And we are prepared to do it again if we have to."

Truck drivers for TOLL and other independent operators refused to enter freight terminals where peaceful assemblies had been established. Members of the Transport Workers Union and the Maritime Union of Australia, who fought off attempts by Patrick to de-unionise their stevedoring operation on 1998, joined RTBU members at the peaceful assemblies.

In the lead up to the stoppage Pacific National had told employees the protected action was illegal, a move the RTBU says was designed to put fear into the workforce.

The management strategy backfired with 70 rail workers joining the union in the week leading up to Friday's action.

RTBU national secretary Bob Hayden described the turn out as "fantastic".

"RTBU members showed their solidarity with each other and their desire for a single union collective agreement.

"Workers have delivered productivity and profits under the current collective agreement. But the return for their loyalty and dedication must not be job insecurity, erosion of conditions and wages and the contracting out of current collective agreement jobs,

"The decision has not been taken lightly, members are giving up a day's pay because they care about their job security."

The RTBU members have been negotiating with Pacific National for five months in an effort to secure a collective agreement.

Pacific National recently announced a nine-month net after tax profit of $78 million, a 39 per cent increase from the previous nine months.


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