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Issue No. 286 21 October 2005  

Lord of the Lobster Legs
It was probably only shame that prompted the Prime Minister to drag himself away from a $250 per head fundraiser to meet with a group of emergency workers in Wollongong this week. But, this in itself may be a development.


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.


 Family Grieves an Enterprise Worker

 All Quiet in Dandenong

 Hotline Gets Wires Crossed

 High Flyer Crashes Families

 Bolt Strikes Lecturer

 Good Heavens - Della Plays Santa

 Maori Take Challenge to Canberra

 Drips Fail Water Test

 Hardie Shuts the Door

 Hadgkiss Threatens Protesters

 Army Fires Salvo

 The Munro Doctrine

 IR Sparks Emergency Call

 Tassie Jobs Hit By Truck

 Canberra Coy on Promised Statements

 Inquiry to Speak No Evil

 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.

 Sacking For Dummies
 DIY Tool
 Thus Spake Sydney Uni
 Morgan’s Way
 Vote 1 Dictator
 Howard’s Choice
 Buying peace Of Mind
 Coolies Bullish
 Unfair ads
 Rev Kev Speaks
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Hadgkiss Threatens Protesters

Building workers will not be coerced out of exercising their democratic rights by massive fines, according to CFMEU assistant secretary, Brian Parker.

He said thousands of members would defy threats issued by construction industry secret policeman, Nigel Hadgkiss, to attend national ACTU protests on November 15.

Hadgkiss, last week, warned building workers he could prosecute them for "unlawful action" if they chose to join nurses, teachers and others at rallies across Australia.

Rank and file members face $22,000 fines if they leave work to protest against the federal government's radical workplace agenda, while officials, and their organisation, can be slugged up to $110,000 each.

Under new building industry laws, they can be charged with "aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring" a contravention of the Act.

The laws, forced through the Senate by Howard using his newly-acquired majority, are so broad that they can also be applied to members of a range of other unions, including the ETU, AWU and AMWU.

"This is too important an issue to be intimidated by someone who is playing politics on behalf of the Liberal Party," Parker said. "Our people will be there.

"Nigel Hadgkiss will be looked after by his political friends but the majority of Australians have to look after one another. Building workers have always done that.

"Is he going to impose $22,000 fines on hundreds of thousands of people or is he just going to discriminate on the basis of union membership?

"Is he going to fine people who are legitimately sick?

"How's he going to carry out these threats without making an ass of himself?" Parker asked.

The ACTU is organising the national day of action. It is expected to unite hundered of thousands of people across Australia, who will be linked in a satellite broadcast.

Hadgkiss said building workers who got written permission from their employers would not be in breach of the Act.


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