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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
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Tesltra Cuts Get Poor Reception


Telstra labour-hire workers walked off the job for 24-hours last week after moves to cut their pay up to $9 an hour.

About 800 BDS Recruit workers voted to go on strike after learning the firm and its client Telstra were cutting their wages up to 12 per cent.

Electrical Trades Union telecommunications organiser Garry Rogers said neither company would claim responsibility for the cut.

"Telstra say 'it's not our problem' and BDS Recruit say they have been negotiating with the union in good faith," Rogers said.

BDS Recruit is the largest of four labour hire companies providing casual workers to Telstra for work on its general phone network infrastructure, mobile phone towers and broadband infrastructure.

Rogers said industrial action would continue until the workers wages were restored.

"We want Telstra pay for Telstra work," Rogers said.

"Is it any wonder Telstra is recording record profits when it and its contractors treat working people like this?"

Telstra recorded a $2.3 billion half year profit in the six months up to December.


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