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Issue No. 277 19 August 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Weasel Words
We are living in an era where words are not always as they seem, and where language is used to shape the world rather than just describe it.

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

 AWAs Bully the Sisters

 Busted: Howard's 14 Percent Furphy

 Top End of Town to Write IR Laws

 New Laws Make Green Bans History

 Hardies Dodges Responsibility

 Blokes Wouldn’t Cop Child Care Wages

 MPs Duck As Unions Hit the Road

 Profits Do Not Mean Security

 Dodgy Wagons Rolling In

 Telstra: Death By 1,000 Cuts

 Andrews Shafts Employee Safety

 Indon Rail Workers Roll Paycut Plan

 Activist's What's 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
 Capital Terror
 Think of the Kids
 Let’s Talk
 Stupid Sale
 The Meal
 Stand Your Ground
 Convenient Flagellation
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Dodgy Wagons Rolling In


Sub-standard railway rolling stock is being imported into New South Wales, threatening jobs, skills and ignoring ALP policy on local manufacturing content.

The revelation came as the NSW Government released local content guidelines that tag assembled imported rolling stock as locally made.

"We continue to be dismayed by a lack of commitment to coherent manufacturing policy," says Paul Bastian from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. "Now the state government has released local content guidelines that will see an entire fleet of trains manufactured overseas.

"It's an absolute joke and a farce."

"They came up with a 20% local content figure which they just plucked out of the air. It's not rocket science. One side wanted 40% local content, the other side wanted zero, so they come up with this 20% figure in the middle.

Ambiguity in the new content guidelines means goods manufactured overseas but assembled in Australia are considered Australian made.

Imported Chinese wagons are undergoing rectification work to bring them up to standard for operation on Australian rail.

The latest round of tenders for rolling stock to be purchased by the NSW government would allow for all components to be imported under Public Private Partnership arrangements.

"We remain committed to maintaining Australia's skills base, ensuring Australian content and jobs in the Hunter," says Bastian.

Bastian said that AMWU members in the Hunter would not forget who cost their jobs.


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