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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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Bless This Bus

A Bathurst preacher is so outraged by Telstraís treatment of its call centre staff that he has cut a radio advertisement promoting the Rights at Work bus as it begins the second leg of its NSW tour.

Father Adrian Horgan has endorsed the tour and will be on hand to welcome the bus when it hits Bathurst, along with workers who can no longer access sick leave without permission from managers under a new AWA.

The workers, members of the CPSU, have a litany of examples of where the discretionary sick leave policy has been misused, including one female employee who turned up for work after being denied sick leave, only to collapse on the job.

In his advertisement, which will play on Bathurst radio next week, Father Adrian says the Telstra policy "just isn't right". "We need to protect the quality of jobs in Bathurst- for our families and our children," he says..

The Rights at Work bus is touring the state to raise awareness about the changes to federal industrial relations and hear the concerns of rural communities.

The full western itinerary is:

Wagga Wagga - Public Meeting - Wagga Commercial Club, Monday September 5 at 12.30pm

Albury - Public Meeting - Albury Sailors, Soldiers and Airmens Club, Monday September 5 at 7.00pm

Leeton - Visiting Sunrise Rice Mill workers at Leeton, Tuesday September 6 at 12.30pm

Griffith - Public Meeting - Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club Tuesday September 6 at 7.00pm

West Wyalong - Workplace Visit - Wednesday September 7, Time and location to be advised

Parkes - Public Meeting - Parkes Leagues Club Wednesday September 7 at 7.00pm

Dubbo - Workplace Visit - Western Plains Zoo, Thursday September 8 at 12.30pm

Orange - Public Meeting - Kenna Hall, Hill Street Orange Thursday September 8 at 6.30pm

Bathurst - Public Meeting - Charles Sturt University Friday September 9 at 12.30pm


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