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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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Boycott Hangs Over Hardie

Unions have warned James Hardie it will face another round of boycotts if it doesn’t deliver on its promises to dying Australians.

AMWU assistant secretary, Tim Ayres, delivered the ultimatum as the former industrial blue chip announced a half-year net profit of $141 million, last week.

"If this is not settled, and James Hardie walks away from negotiations, there will be an unrelenting community campaign," Ayres promised.

Unions drove James Hardie to the negotiating table after it misled the Supreme Court and asbestos victims to relocate to the Netherlands in a bid to evade compensation owed to Australian sufferers of asbestos-related diseases.

Sixteen months ago, its chair Meredith Hellicar, announced an agreement with the ACTU and NSW Government that would see it pay billions of dollars from profits, over coming decades, to people whose lives had been wrecked by contact with its products.

Trade unions lifted boycotts and bans but, James Hardie is still to formalise the arrangement.

Workers Online understands it is wrangling with the state government in an effort to have taxpayers subsidise its commitments.

Concerns have been deepened by reports that some US-based directors want to cut and run to Delaware where rogue companies face a minimalist regulatory regime.

About 40 trade unionists and asbestos disease sufferers rallied outside the profit announcement venue in Sydney.

Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia representative, Barry Robson, said members had died while the company dragged out final negotiations.

"We don't mind them making a profit but we want them to put some of it into that fund for victims," Robson said.

"James Hardie keep hoping we will go away and the victims will disappear. I am here to say, that is not going to happen."


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