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Issue No. 279 02 September 2005  

Middle Australia
The Prime Minister rarely responds directly to criticism, so when he rushed out a media release rebutting an ACIRRT analysis of wages data this week, it was clear that they had a hit a raw nerve.


Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws wonít be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timorís young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Trucks Run Down Mums

 Boom! Biff! Itís Howard Unplugged

 Fun Guy Spreads Fertiliser

 Doors Close on Battered Mums

 Bing Lee Peddles Rubbish

 Bless This Bus

 High Court: Ads Do Kremlin Proud

 Families Water Win

 Tesltra Cuts Get Poor Reception

 Vegetable Campaign Sprouts

 Check Work/Family Balance Here

 Tim Wins For Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA

 Activists Whatís On!


The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.

 Care Confusion
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Trucks Run Down Mums

Female workers on a peaceful picket line say they are being harassed after they had to dive for cover when a truck reversed at them.

Auto component manufacturer National Parts has been slammed for its heavy-handed tactics on the lawful and peaceful picket line.

The workers at the Smithfield plant are on as low as $14 an hour $17.50 surprised at the tactics of their employer as they stand up for wage justice.

"It is a peaceful picket, a legal picket, and the workers at National Parts have a right to strive for a better outcome from their employer,' says Derrick Belan, NSW State Secretary of the NUW. "With the Industrial Relations changes around the corner many employers are champing at the bit to attack their workers."

There is concern for the safety of workers after the reckless actions of the company.

"Last night a group of female workers had to dive for cover after a truck reversed at the picket line," says National Union Of Workers NSW Branch Organiser Justin Cody. "Additionally, we are aware that warehouse equipment has been dangerously modified to speed up productivity."

Workers are also puzzled as to why the company has deployed local police to disrupt a peaceful picket line.

Cody said that National Parts is basically using local police as private security. "This picket is a protected action under the Workplace Relations Act. Workers are doing nothing illegal. They are acting within their rights as workers and as citizens."

Local police have been given a delivery schedule by National Parts so they can escort each delivery with two police vehicles into the company's premises

The NUW members on the picket line are refusing to disband until the management of National Parts agrees to negotiate a fair outcome.

National Parts is an automotive parts distribution company, which also has its own franchise network of automotive retail stores under the name Autopro.


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