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Issue No. 281 16 September 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Marked Territory
If the mountain of pre-publicity is indicative of its content, the Latham Diaries will read a little bit like a sausage cookbook; full of grisley details about the makings of something we would rather take on face value.

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

 Flexibility - Bush Rates Slashed

 Seamen Marooned on Tassie

 Families Win Refuge in Tamworth

 Catholics Nail Andrews' Heresy

 IR Changes a Beach

 Drama Queen Applies Gloss

 Peace a Security Threat

 OEA Flicks Fraud Case

 Auto Workers Drive Union Win

 Bush Adds Insult to Injuries

 Job Vandals Cash In

 Lib Heads Witch Hunt

 Sydney Water Damned

 Super Blue Warms Up

 Activist's What's 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
 Dinosaurs Bite Back
 Killer Culture
 Who Cares?
 Do the Bus Stop
 A Touch of Honesty
 Boss Made Me Sick
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Catholics Nail Andrews' Heresy


A Roman Catholic Commission has refuted Kevin Andrews' claim that his radical workplace agenda fits with church philosophy.

A damning report from the Australian Catholic Commission on Employment Relations says the most vulnerable employees would bear the burden of cut wages and conditions.

The report questions central planks in the Government's policy, including:

* changing pay fixation by introducing a minimum wage "fixed by reference to the single adult employee";

* abolishing unfair dismissal rights for employees of corporations employing fewer than 100 employees; and

* removing the no disadvantage test.

Andrews, who is a devout Catholic, told ABC's Radio National earlier this year the radical workplace reforms fitted with Catholic philosophy because they would reduce unemployment.

But the ACCER report says there is no credible evidence removing unfair dismissal will create more jobs, rather it is "a fundamental departure" from the current system, which provides for a fair go.

The report also stresses the importance Catholic teaching places on adequate employment conditions, not just reduced unemployment.

"Catholic Social Teaching on work starts from the nature and dignity of humanity and work and the role of employees in the continuing process of creation," it says.

"Economic systems and economic philosophies are not the starting point."

It says workers should expect to be able to raise a family no matter what their income, which is uncertain under the proposal to fix wages with reference to a single adult employee.

The report also throws its weight behind the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, saying removing its role in wage setting places the "poor and vulnerable" at most risk.


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