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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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Howard Mines Pockets

Australiaís $13.5 billion coal industry could be shut down if the Howard Government presses ahead with plans to rob coal miners of thousands of dollars in long-service leave.

Coal miners stand to lose up to $100,000 in entitlements when the Government strips long service leave provisions out of federal awards.

This will force Australia's 25,000 coal miners onto state awards, which are less generous than their current federal award, and do not allow the portability of long service leave.

CFMEU Mining and Energy President Tony Maher says the CFMEU has a mandate to "shut down the industry on this".

Since 1949, coal miners have been able to accrue long service leave while moving from company to company under a federal industry-funded scheme.

Miners are also entitled to 13 weeks leave after eight years of service under the federal award.

This would be reduced in all jurisdictions under a state award. For instance in New South Wales they would have to work 10 years for 8.6 weeks leave.

"It's not uncommon for coal miners to get only two out of 14 weeks off and the extra long service leave allows miners to spend more time with family," Maher said.

The CFMEU also rejected the idea of a two-tiered system - keeping current workers on existing arrangements and having new workers under the new system.

Maher said such a system would "lead to a riot - and if they want a riot in the coal mining industry, we'll give them one."

Maher says employers and workers are happy with the current arrangements and don't need the bungling of a third party.

"The Government obviously hasn't thought this through," he said.

"Employers don't want this. They are crying out for labour, but guys are not wanting to move to different sites or start on new mines because by doing so they're slashing their long service because portability isn't protected."


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