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Issue No. 287 28 October 2005  

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.


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.


 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!


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.

 Rung Out
 PM's Fatal Flush
 Sign of the Times
 Labor's Love Lost
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Family Values

Unions NSW will fill the void left by the Federal Government's failure to release a promised family impact statement for its proposed industrial relations legislation.

Secretary, John Robertson, has asked foundation Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Don Edgar, to compile the report on the likely impact on families before the legislation is voted on by the Senate.

Speaking at a launch of an issues paper written for Unions NSW by Dr Marian Baird in Sydney's west, Mr Robertson said, "The Government promised Family First Senator Steve Fielding that it would produce a Family Impact Statement on each piece of proposed new legislation, but it has reneged on that promise,"

"If the government won't look at what its changes will do for Australian families, then we will do the job for them," he said.

The Family Impact Statement assesses the likely - and, later, the actual - impact the industrial relations changes will have on a range of different types of families by looking at the impacts on work conditions and worker's quality of life.

It will look at family relationships and the worker's ability to meet family responsibilities, as a parent, as a carer, as well as the worker's capacity to contribute to the community as a volunteer.

"All sorts of families in different circumstances will be examined - single earner; single Mums; dual income; low vs. high income; and families with and without children." Mr Robertson said.

Dr Baird, who also spoke at the launch said that it was time governments realized that the labor market was different to other markets, "it's not like the commodities market or the televisions market. It's made up of people who have working lives, relationships and families"

Dr. Don Edgar was the foundation Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, and is the author of a new book 'The War Over Work: the future of work and family' (Melbourne University Press 2005)


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