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Issue No. 281 16 September 2005  

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.


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.


 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!


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.

 Dinosaurs Bite Back
 Killer Culture
 Who Cares?
 Do the Bus Stop
 A Touch of Honesty
 Boss Made Me Sick
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Drama Queen Applies Gloss

The Building Industry Task Force has released a taxpayer funded report that distorts facts, omits its failures and passes off police work as its own.

CFMEU assistant secretary Dave Noonan has labelled Task Force boss Nigel Hadgkiss a 'drama queen' and challenged him to release a full transcript of a conversation selectively quoted in the report.

The report 'Upholding the Law' included a heavily edited transcript of a building site conversation involving Noonan, without disclosing that the incident did not lead to any Task Force action.

It's just one of a series of case studies that seem calculated to harm building unions rather than paint a fair picture of Task Force operations.

For example:

- the report recounts actities in the manufacturing industry, which have no relevance to the construction industry.

- it recounts an attack on a union official's home, without disclosing that the Task Force never dealt with the matter.

- and it publishes a series of un-attributed quotes, purported to be from members of the public, clearly designed to damage the union

CFMEU construction secretary John Sutton dismissed the report as a piece of taxpayer-funded propaganda that glossed over significant failings by a federal government agency.

Sutton says the report doesn't detail:

- 20 per cent of cases that have been thrown out of court in the past year

- critical comments made by judges in dismissing Taskforce proceedings, including one judge branding its tactics as 'authoritarian'.

- and the tactics used to collect evidence including secret tapping of phones

"The Task Force seems more interested in being a union-buster than playing a constructive role in the industry," Sutton says.

"If the Task Force wants any semblance of credibility it should stop being a cheer squad for extremist elements in the Howard Government and begin to act with a degree of integrity."


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