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Issue No. 282 23 September 2005  

Highway To Help
After five weeks, five and half thousand kilometres, and 40 regional town meetings attended by thousands of regional workers, the bright orange Rights at Work bus has finally come to rest.


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.


 AWA Threat - Soy You Later

 'Drama Queen' Court Out ... Again

 Work Law Refugee Turns On Howard

 Police Force Choice

 Low Blow in Ňd Wars

 Free Lunches to Cost Wal-Mart

 Robbo in Swan Song

 Howard Mines Pockets

 Star Chamber Faces Eclipse

 Mums Teach School a Lesson

 Sleepless In Seattle

 Safety Blitz After Accident

 Mushroom Mum Gets Satisfaction

 Builders Skirt Apprentice Claim

 Howard Threatens Wage Umpire

 Gunns Trained on Free Speech

 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.

 Fair Play
 Latham Lament
 Missed the Mark
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Work Law Refugee Turns On Howard

A Coffs Harbour teacher who moved Down Under to escape Reaganomics in the US will become an Australian citizen so she can vote against John Howard's workplace laws.

She was just one of the many voices from regional New South Wales who spoke up at forums held as part of the Your Rights At Work tour across the north of the state last week.

Kim Connolly, who grew up in Canada, moved to Australia 19 years ago because she was impressed by the principles of mateship and the security of workplace laws.

"It's all about the bottom line and the average working person gets crushed in the wake of it," says Connolly of her experiences of working in the United States. "It's a dog eat dog world that sets employee against employee. There is no mateship."

Connolly told an evening forum of around a hundred workers at Coffs Harbour of the perils of the US system, and of her desire to take out Australian Citizenship so that she could vote against Howard at the next election.

She said she would be campaigning for other permanent residents to take out citizenship so that they could do the same.

Coffs Harbour was one of eight communities across northern NSW visited by the bright orange Unions NSW 'Your Rights At Work' tour bus last week.

Lismore and Tamworth also featured well-attended evening forums, while lunchtime crowds gathered in Macksville, Armidale and Newcastle.

Grafton and Glen Innes were also visited, along with workplaces in Maclean and Byron Bay.

In Lismore Big Brother contestant Tim Brunero promoted the Your Rights At Work campaign, being mobbed by over 400 screaming fans at a shopping mall in the process.

The tour explained the impact of proposed changes to workplace laws, which are set to radically affect working conditions across the country.

"The federal government's changes to industrial relations will reduce people's rights at work with penalty rates, annual leave, minimum wages, unfair dismissal and more all up for grabs," said Unions NSW secretary John Robertson.


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