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Issue No. 279 02 September 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

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.

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

Postcard
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.

L E T T E R S
 Care Confusion
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News

Families Water Win


Plans by Sydney Water to introduce new shift rosters have been shelved after workers walked off the job last week in support of more staff and better resources.

More than 500 maintenance workers met at Parramatta Leagues Club to discuss Sydney Water's plans to allow contract labour to blindly respond to leaks in the city's water pipes, many of which are unmapped.

Workers spoke at the meeting about the impact the new shift work system is having on their families.

They returned to work following a first round victory in the Industrial Relation Commission (IRC), which resulted in Sydney Water deferring introducing a planned new roster system.

Sydney Water must negotiate any new shift work plans through the IRC.

"The Commission's direction to Sydney Water, while not yet a final determination, is encouraging news to maintenance workers as many have been at their wits end trying to manage the huge strain the new rosters have placed on families," says Australian Services Union Secretary Sally McManus. "However, this is just a first round victory. We will continue to campaign for more staff and better resources to improve Sydney's water infrastructure and save water.

"Sydney Water maintenance workers have unique knowledge of the pipeline system underneath the city, which is largely unmapped and are the only people who know where critical valves are in the event of a leak in any of the 'black spot' areas of Sydney."

Sydney Water maintenance workers have unique knowledge of the pipeline system underneath the city, which is largely unmapped and are the only people who know where critical valves are in the event of a leak in any of the 'black spot' areas of Sydney.

A 'flying squad' of maintenance workers will be established to respond to any leaks in the pipe system.


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