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Issue No. 290 18 November 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

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

 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!

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
 Driven to despair
 What lucky country
 Swimming with Sharks
 Save Our Culture
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Howard Joins IR Rogues


John Howard's IR laws risk pushing Australia into the ranks of fringe-dwelling world states, an international body has warned.

The International Centre for Trade Union Rights has told Australian politicians Australia risks expulsion from the International Labour Organisation, a punishment yet to be inflicted on IR rogues such as Cambodia, Colombia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Myanmar and Zimbabwe.

In a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the WorkChoices Bill, ICTUR says the new laws "will cause outrage within the ILO and other international institutions."

"Australia will be one of the most non-compliant western democracies of all of the ILO states," the submission says, adding the government's latest assault on workers' rights, combined with breaches of Australia's international obligations under the 1996 Workplace Relations Act, may mean Australia's expulsion from the organisation.

In the past the ICTUR has correctly predicted the reaction of the ILO to the current Workplace Relations Act.

The ILO Committee of Experts has repeatedly criticised Australia's current federal IR law, saying it contravene fundamental ILO Conventions on freedom of association and the right to collectively bargain.

According to ICTUR, once the new laws are enacted, these fundamental rights "will be either entirely extinguished or so severely prejudiced as to render them of little value."


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