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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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Activist's What's On!

Day for the Family

National Day of Community Protest on Tuesday 15 November.

The Coalition government is planning to radically change Australia's industrial relations system. In the coming weeks, the Coalition wants to push through new laws which will unfairly curtail your rights at work, cut the amount of time you can spend with family, and erode your job security.

At a time when many working families are struggling to keep their heads above water, existing pay and conditions will not be protected.

Australians will be worse off under the Government's 'like it or lump it' proposals, where:

* Companies that employ under 100 workers will be exempt from unfair dismissal laws, leaving 3.6 million Australians unprotected;

* Any worker can be put on an AWA individual contract at any time that removes conditions and cuts take home pay;

* No Australian worker will have any legally enforceable right to bargain collectively with their employer; and

* Work will unfairly intrude on family life when employers can demand greater flexibility from workers with little or no improvement in pay and conditions.

For more information go to:

Union Postcard from America

Amanda Tattersall is currently in North America doing research on community unionism. She will be back in Australia soon for a brief visit and is keen to share what she has learned and observed in the last few months visiting many different organisations doing very interesting work.

Unions NSW is pleased to host a seminar with Amanda between 3.30pm and 5pm on Friday, 4th November, in the Ground Floor Training Room, 377 Sussex St, Sydney.

This will be a very timely discussion as the Australian Union Movement gears up for the second phase of its campaign opposing the Federal Government's workplace changes. We need to develop sustainable opposition in workplaces and the community that build real power for ordinary working people and their families. Amanda will talk about different union and community based campaigns she has observed, what worked, what didn't and the implications for the current Australian context.

She will briefly share her experiences of the fracturing of the American labor movement (she attended both the AFL-CIO Convention and the Change to Win Conventions). She will also address the issue of union recognition ballots and how that election system for union recognition operates in America.

There will be plenty of time for discussion and for those interested we can continue that discussion over a drink at a nearby hotel.

Please RSVP by the 2nd November to Alison Peters at Unions NSW on 0425 231 814 or by email [email protected]


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