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Issue No. 291 25 November 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

International Relations
Globalisation drags up all sorts of contradictions, none the least the attitude of nation states to international law, as show by events in Australia this week.

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

 Senators Back Rorters' Charter

 Families Last in WorkChoices

 Howard Loses Poll Position

 Printers Stamp on Low Paid

 Tough Men Back CFMEU

 Kiwis Fly into Starbucks

 Vale John Ducker

 Iemma Drives Hardie Bargain

 Memberships on the increase

 Uni Union Shown The Door

 In a Flap Over Flu

 Job Cuts Threaten CBA's Bottom Line

 Blackouts as Bosses Cut Deep

 Barnaby's Choice

 Wal-Mart Exposed

 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
 Demonise the Laws
 Name and Shame
 Unite and Fight
 The Worker's Best Friend
 What Choices?
 Stop the Corporate Rot
 The Telemarketeers
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Printers Stamp on Low Paid


Printing companies are holding out on a $30 a week win for low skilled workers in anticipation of the Federal Government's industrial relations changes.

The Printing Industries Association is appealing an Australian Industrial Relations Commission decision on a skills based classification, which would boost pay for an employee's on-the-job skills.

AMWU printing secretary Steve Walsh said it was a "bloody-minded" move, cynically devised to hold out for the Howard Government's industrial relations reforms.

He said if the award was not upgraded before the reforms, the ability to introduce a skills-based classification structure into enterprise agreements would be reduced.

"We're very disappointed at the Printing Industries Association after such a long period of time trying to secure this result," Walsh said.

The AIRC's Senior Deputy President Marsh handed down the decision last month to re-classify printing workers on points earned through on-the-job skills. Previously, only formal qualifications were recognised.

The classification structure would see an extra $20 to $30 a week in the pockets of low-skilled printing workers.

It would encourage workers do develop their skills at work, as bonuses would be gained through acquiring skills across all tasks in the industry.

The Australian Industry Group backed the initiative, arguing before the AIRC it provided more precision for classifying employees.

Walsh said it was important to have the classification structure in place before the Howard Government took its razor to awards.

"It would give workers some degree of security," Walsh said.

"The Printing Industries Association is simply engaged in tactics to delay this important decision."


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