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Issue No. 288 04 November 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Terror Laws
It was poetic really, the WorkChoices legislation, all 1,000 plus pages of it, introduced into Federal Parliament this week under the cloak of terror.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Public Defender
The CPSU's Stephen Jones has confronted the Howard Government's IR agenda at close quarters.

Legal: Craig's Story
An inquest in western NSW is a cautionary tale of the use of AWAs, writes Ian Latham

Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
The WorkChoice legislation sends Australia down the wrong economic road by smashing the instittutions that have made it strong, argues Greg Combet.

Industrial: WhatChoice?
The Howard Government has shown itself to be the master of illusion, writes Dr Anthony Forsyth

Politics: Queue Jumping
The changes to industrial laws, betray a new vision of Australian society, writes James Gallaway.

History: Iron Heel
Conservative governments using laws to take away basic civil rights. It's nothing new, writes Rowan Cahill

Economics: Waging War
When was the last time you heard an Australian politician talk about incomes policy, asks Matt Thistlethwaite

International: Under Pressure
The push for UN intervention in Burma is intensifying, following a report by Vaclav Havel and Bishop Desmond Tutu into slave labour.

Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
More and more people are meeting Billy, the hero of page 15 of the WorkChoices booklet, including our resident bard, David Peetz

Review: A Pertinent Proposition
Nick Cave's "Australian western" touches on some themes still relevant today, Julianne Taverner writes.

N E W S

 D-Day For Political Rights

 Bosses In Sack Race

 “Choice” By Decree

 Howard Barges Into Workplace

 Della Grounds Boeing

 Wal-Mart Sees the Light

 Libs Chicken Out

 Shame Ships Filch Fish

 Multis Line Up to Cheer

 Feds in Dock

 Santoro Waves Red Rag

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Men and Women of Australia
What makes a perfect speech? Michael Fullilove has scoured Australian history to find out.

The Locker Room
The Hungry Years
Phil Doyle gets the feeling we’ve been here before

Culture
From Little Things
Paul Kelly's song about the battle for land rights misses one important character, writes Graham Ring

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at Public Private Partnerships, and wonders if we should all just drink rum…

L E T T E R S
 We're Next
 Australia, 2005
 Truth in Advertising
 Investment Advice
 What a Woman!
 It's Not Pretty
 Screwed
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Feds in Dock


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is hearing a case against the Howard Government over alleged breaches of international obligations under workplace laws

Sitting in Geneva, Switzerland, the ILO is considering whether the Australian Government's current workplace laws breach international human rights obligations to protect the right for workers to collectively bargain.

The ILO has already strongly criticised the Australian Government, when in June this year, the ILO's special Committee on the Application of Standards found the Government was not meeting its international obligations to protect the rights of workers to collective bargaining.

The ACTU believes the new WorkChoices legislation introduced into Parliament this week will worsen the human rights situation for Australian workers with many legitimate union activities to be made illegal by the new laws.

Under the Government's proposed laws, union officials and employees will be fined up to $33,000 simply for asking an employer to include in an enterprise agreement provision for:

* Protection from unfair dismissal

* Union involvement in dispute resolution

* Allowing employees to attend trade union training

* Committing the employer to future collective bargaining

* Protecting job security in the event that people are replaced by labour hire or contractors

* Any other claim the Minister decides should be illegal.

The ILO 'Committee on the Freedom of Association' will hear the complaint with the findings of the Committee due to be considered by the ILO's Governing Body meeting next week.


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