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Issue No. 287 28 October 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

A Sick Set of Laws
The Howard Government’s inexorable push to strip workers’ rights continues; despite the warnings of unions, churches, community groups, labour market economists and now, epidemiologists.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Howard's Fatal Laws

 Saving Private Buy-In

 PM Scoffs at Wollongong

 Commo Bank in Denial

 Family Values

 Johnny Fails Comprehension Test

 Dole Bludgeoning - Andrews Comes Clean

 Jason Turns Leave into Leave!

 Halfback Puts the Boot In

 Business, As Usual

 Terror Laws Strike Fear

 Asbestos Giants Claw Back Compo

 Staff Told to Take a Hike

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

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.

Postcard
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
Disaster
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

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

L E T T E R S
 Rung Out
 PM's Fatal Flush
 Sign of the Times
 Labor's Love Lost
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Sign of the Times


In spite of a weak showing through massive advertising spending designed to butter up workers, the message remains the same, prepare to 'sign or join the unemployment line'. It's all about cutting costs for big business and attracting foreign investment. That is what is really meant by 'the best thing for all Australians is a strong economy.'

Take their major push to introduce PPP's, add to that the threat of major job losses at Telstra and Qantas. Other big business supporters include Woolworths, Coles, and the Macquarie bank are no doubt also eagerly awaiting in the wings for the opportunity to pounce on foreign investment opportunities.

It's as though Mr Howard is committed and has no other option rather than press for the changes his mates have been pressing for for so long now.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that these changes were originally presented as a solution for small business owners and operators. In my opinion, this was never the case and the PM needs to justify his position.

How can anybody not be insulted by his moves, here we are - we pay money into superannuation funds that in turn invest in big business who pay their executives obscene amounts of money to cut jobs. And, get this, Telstra confirm my opinion, by putting shareholder dividends ahead of jobs in order to pay for essential upgrades that were ignored by the Federal Government and the previous managements.

No doubt some debt stricken state governments are secretly desperate to see these changes implemented, however, they would never admit it.

Nice try, FAIL!

Kind regards

John McPhilbin


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