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Issue No. 285 14 October 2005  

Howard’s Secret War
There are two wars being waged against Australian workers right now.


Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement – and explains why Australians have nothing to fear from the SEIU.

Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Wal King, Allan Moss, Roger Corbett, Chip Goodyear, Michael Chaney and David Murray have lots in common, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: Un-Australian
Labour lawyer Clive Thompson argues the changes to IR are fundamentally at odds with the national tradition of consesensus.

Economics: The Common Wealth
As the policy wonks debate the future of our cities, Neale Towart mounts a simple argument: It’s the real people in a society, stupid

History: Walking for Justice
The Eight Hour Day, a very Australian celebration, had its origins in New Zealand it seems, writes Neale Towart.

International: Deja Vu
A group of trade unions have walked away from America's peak council, again. Labourstart's Eric Lee was there.

Legal: The Rights Stuff
Terror laws have sparked a fresh debate on a Bill of Rights - and workers have a bigger stake than ever before, writes Rachael Osman-Chin.

Review: That Cinderella Fella
Russell trades the phone for mitts in an inspiring cinematic slug-fest. Nathan Brown is ringside

Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
Mel Cheal asks who Howard thinks he is kidding to the tune of the ‘Dad’s Army’ theme song.


 Call Centre Dials Up Future

 Greenfields Become Cotton Fields

 PM Endorses Billy Boy Tactics

 Stats Go Missing

 Paper Tiger in Protection Racket

 Thugs Are Go!

 Usual Suspects Bite Employers

 Pay Boss Opposed Living Wage

 Tele Enlists Boss’ Family

 Entitlements Go AWAy

 State Employees in Limbo

 Activist’s What’s On!


The Soapbox
No Place For A Woman!
Doreen Borrow spoke to the Public Service Association’s women’s conference in September about her experiences of working life that span seven decades.

North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Locker Room
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West MLC, gets all casual in his latest missive from the Bear Pit.

 JWH's Inspiration
 Hooray for Robots
 Government's Dream
 Come Clean
 Good Guy Done Bad
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Usual Suspects Bite Employers

Australia's richest men are putting the bite on their employers for millions of dollars so they can advertise their support for government's radical workplace program.

The Business Council of Australia, headed by a group of multi-millionaires, confirmed, last week, it had asked member companies to cough-up, so it could counter the ACTU's $8 million advertising campaign.

The Business Council ads will run in support of federal government's $100 million publicity spend.

The BCA is an aggressive backer of individual contracts; award stripping; removing unfair dismissal rights and taking minimum wage claims away from the AIRC - all core planks in Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews', program.

High-profile members of the BCA include Wesfarmers boss Michael Chaney, Qantas chief, Geoff Dixon, BHP head Chip Goodyear, Leightons CEO, Wal King, Macquarie Bank's Allan Moss and his Commonwealth Bank counterpart, David Murray.

Their latest reported annual incomes were $6.12 million, $3.022 million, $6.4 million, $35 million, $18.5 million and $5.5 million, respectively.

While average fulltime Australian incomes have moved 26 percent since 1998, the Business Council elite have helped themselves to average 129 percent hikes, over the same period.

If new Howard Government laws succeed in holding down workers' incomes, as similar moves did in New Zealand, Business Council members can expect substantial increases in their "earnings".

Most collect sizeable bonuses on top of seven-figure base salaries.

King, for example, collects a $23 million bonus, this year, while Commonwealth Bank shareholders supplied Murray with a $17 million retirement package.

A Business Council spokesman said, once workplace change was achieved, the organisation would launch a campaign for lower tax rates on business and high-income earners.


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