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Issue No. 289 11 November 2005  

The Great Repression
In a rare outbreak of candour in Federal Parliament this week we have seen the Prime Minister admit the five-day week is going out the door and his leader of business, Tony Abbott, blow kisses across the House.


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.


 Nobody Expects the Construction Inquisition

 Howard in Redundancy Raid

 States Sidestep Wage Hurdle

 Catholics Bless Day of Action

 PacNat Bids to Railroad Future

 Feds Authorise Invasion

 Howard Censors Workers

 Sol Plays Dumb Card

 Boycott Hangs Over Hardie

 Directile Dysfunction

 Pirates Face Kofi Break

 Miners Don’t Dig Safety Levy

 Keep the Spirit Alive

 Activist's What's On!


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

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

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

 Just AWBul
 Convict Costello
 We're Just Serfin'
 Take Warning
 Smells Familiar
 Howard's Gas
 Andrews' Operandi
 To the Shredder
 Stop Violence
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Catholics Bless Day of Action

The Catholic Church is practicing what it preaches by giving its flock the right to attend November 15 protests against John Howard's new workplace laws.

In contrast to employers such as the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and Qantas, the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations has announced employees have the right to stop work to attend Tuesday's rallies.

"Catholic employers will be advised to co-operate with those employees who wish to exercise their right to participate in the "National Day of Community Protest," the CCER says in a statement.

The CCER has taken this position despite one of the Catholic Church's largest group of employees, those who work for Catholic schools, not being directly affected by Howard's IR changes.

According to Dick Shearman, General Secretary of the Independent Education Union, Catholic systemic schools are not "constitutional corporations" and many Catholic independent schools are not trading or financial corporations, thereby escaping being caught by the new Act.

The CCER decision affects thousands of people, employed mainly in schools and welfare organisations.

Its move came as Qantas warned employees they could face legal sanctions if they left work to attend the Day of Action protests. Qantas pointed out, that under laws it is paying to advertise, such action would be unlawful.

"We reserve our right to take whatever legal action is required to ensure our customers are not inconvenienced," says Qantas executive Kevin Brown.

Similarly, it has emerged that agency heads within the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations have been advised to deny leave, including flex time, to staff who might use it to join the ACTU protest.

Capital city focal points for the November 15 day of action include:

Federation Square, Melbourne, 9am.

Martin Place and Belmore Park, Sydney, at 9am.

Turf Club, Fannie Bay, Darwin, 8.30.

Southbank, Brisbane, 9am.

Princes Wharf, Shed 1, Hobart, 8.30.

The Esplanade, Perth, 12 noon.

Elder Park, King William St, Adelaide, 8am.

Betting Hall, Canberra Racecourse, Canberra, 8.30.

For more details of the Day of Action go to


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