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Issue No. 282 23 September 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

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 wont 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 Timors 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

 AWA Threat - Soy You Later

 'Drama Queen' Court Out ... Again

 Work Law Refugee Turns On Howard

 Police Force Choice

 Low Blow in d 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 Whats 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
 Fair Play
 Latham Lament
 Missed the Mark
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Low Blow in d Wars


Union-busting lawyers Freehills have flagged a new industrial tactic by seeking orders for a unions to spend half a million dollars in advertising to call off strike action.

The gambit, part of an increasingly nasty battle being waged on the Pacific National work force, only failed when it was explained to the judge that it was impossible to organise advertisements in the time period given.

TAggro Ads New Industrial Weapons

The orders were sought after RTBU members endorsed a 24 hour industrial stoppage over Pacific Nationals ongoing failure to negotiate a decent agreement.

While the action was taking place in the legally protected bargaining period, Pacific National lawyers invoked the controversial high Court Electrolux decision to argue the action was illegal.

On achieving this ruing, the company upped the ante, successfully seeking orders that the RTBU issue advertisements on all national and regional newspapers and radio stations to communicate the decision to the 2300 members.

RTBU national secretary Bob Hayden said the tactic was clearly aimed at doing the union financially.

"We have sophisticated communication networks of delegates and members - and the idea we need a half million advertising buy to get information across is laughable,_ Mr Hayden said.

"Ultimately the orders pertaining to the advertising were reversed when we advised the Commission that it would be impossible to produce and place ads in the time frame given, - but the fact the orders were sought shows that the big legal firms are cooking up new ways to hurt unions._

The advertising play followed a decision by Pacific National to sue the RTBU and seek damages for a 24-hour strike held in August.

"At the end of the day the only way to resolve the issue is for Pacific National to suit down and negotiate a fair agreement with its workforce."


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