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Issue No. 290 18 November 2005  

The Long March
Half a million Australian workers turn out for the largest industrial protests the nation has ever seen, an old style symbol of resistance linked by new world technology, opposing laws from another galaxy.


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.


 Aussies Shrug Off Threats

 PM Executes Back Flip

 National Rally Boosts Local Action

 Restaurateurs Do a Runner

 St Hilliers No Angels

 Penalties Frozen on Sundaes

 Slammer Threat for Operators

 Sunday Light on IR Shadows

 Sol Dials Up 12,000 Scalps

 Boss Likes Women 'Work-Hardened'

 Bread Winner on $9 an Hour

 King Goes the Gouge

 Jo Jacks Up

 Currawong Funds for IR Battle

 Howard Joins IR Rogues

 Arnie Terminated

 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…

 Driven to despair
 What lucky country
 Swimming with Sharks
 Save Our Culture
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Penalties Frozen on Sundaes

A 15-year-old ice cream parlour worker had her shifts taken away for refusing to sign an AWA that lowered her wage and took away penalty rates.

Year 9 student Isobella Buda told by a manager at Manly's Gelatissimo in August that she had “decided” she was not working there any more by not signing an AWA.

The AWA took away Saturday loading and Sunday rates and replaced them with an hourly rate $0.36 less than the award's ordinary rate, leaving her more than $40 a week worse off.

After Isobella refused to sign, she was removed from the roster, which the employer later claimed was because there was no "operational requirements" for her to work.

"My daughter's experience, which has somewhat soured my confidence in a fair and just society, appears to reflect exactly the type of employment arrangements that the government is now encouraging under this proposed legislation," Isobella's mother, Kate Lester, writes in a submission to the WorkChoices Senate Inquiry.

Prime Minister John Howard has consistently rejected suggestions workers can be forced to sign AWAs.

It was only after Isobella's case was taken to the State Industrial Relations Commission - which will be removed under the WorkChoices system - the matter was settled.

Prior to the settlement, Lester told Workers Online she was disappointed the inquiry was too short to hear stories such as hers.

"Definitely I think the inquiry was manipulated by the government to only hear from expert witnesses, so it didn't have to hear the real stories," Lester said.

"What I object to is that a 15-year-old doesn't have enough life experience to have the ability to make a decision like that."


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