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Issue No. 293 20 December 2005  

Waves of Destruction
2005 was the year book-ended by two waves of destruction - the first causing untold suffering across the Indian Ocean; the second reawakening our darker angels on beaches closer to home.


Interview: Back to the Future
James Gallaway collars Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, on threats, challenges and opportunities.

Unions: A Real Page Turner
Jim Marr glances through Workers Online’s 2005 news stories and finds there is more one way to skin a Rat

Industrial: The Pin-Striped Union
Rachael Osman-Chin profiles a white collar union that is having some almighty blues.

International: Around The World In 365 Days
It was a year of online activism, as LabourStart's Eric Lee reports

Legends: Terrific, Tommy
Jim Marr tackles a champion.

Your Rights At Work: Worth Fighting For
The Your Rights At Work campaign has been a big part of this year and, as Phil Doyle reports, it is making a difference.

Politics: The Year That Was
Frank Stillwell looks at year that saw the politics of fear; and finds many reasons to be very afraid.

Economics: Master and Servant Revisited
Evan Jones asks if the Neo Liberals are taking us back to the future

Culture: 2005: The Year of Living Repetitively
Nathan Brown ignores Oasis and decides to look back in anger after all

Bad Boss: The Bottom Ten
Nathan Brown digs through his voluminous dirt files and comes up with the top 10 grubs of the year.

Religion: Hymns from a Different Song Sheet
James Gallaway on the Way, the Truth and life according to Brian.


 Melbourne Burns AWAs

 Corporates Defend Costello

 Speaker Won't Talk

 Bank Pays on Dodgy Contracts

 Plan to Save Jobs

 Harper's Bizarre Excuse for Failure

 It's Not Fair: Business

 Workers Walk As Warnings Wiped

 Teenager Hit With Shrapnel

 Pay Day “Unlawful”

 Tassie Rail Win

 Professionals Fear for Their Kids

 Boss Pings Rorters Charter

 New Ways to Take a Share

 An Hour of Need

 Boeing Steals Christmas

 Trouble at the Mill

 Activists What's On


The Crystal Ball
Workers Online consults a raft of leading psychics to find out what readers can look forward to in 2006.

The Soapbox
The Things People Say
It was a year of quotable quotes, reports Phil Doyle.

The Westie Wing
Ian West checks the rear vision mirror on 2005, and plants his foot down

The Locker Room
The 2005 Workers Online Sports Awards
After years of being overlooked by selectors at club, representative and national levels, Phil Doyle and Jim Marr, agreed to hand out our 2005 sports gongs.

Postcard from East Timor
In East Timor entertainment also spreads an important message into the community

 Pension Pinching
 Free to Rat
 Tax Cuts and Cockroaches
 Proportion, Not Distortion
 Corp That!
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Letters to the Editor

Tax Cuts and Cockroaches

2005 has been great! 2006 also promises to be action-packed.

Telstra's credit rating has been downgraded, casting further doubt over next year's anticipated sale (not to mention thousands of employees face being axed). Sol and his team will no doubt get what they want - no regulatory relief, no sale. Or, sale with no regulatory relief at a bargain basement price.

It also seems likely there has been more than just one cockroach in Saddam's kitchen, and we have to question whether AWB were alone, and so incredibly naive, in what may be one of the biggest scandal's the Howard Government

has ever faced.

Add to the fray, workers being stripped of their rights to accommodate 'big business aspirations', as well as attempts to gag dissenters of all varieties is that sedition or sedation?). This is sure to present some major headaches for the coalition.

We are only now being made aware of just how timid our Government have been with our Indonesian neighbours as evidenced by their response to the East Timor crisis back in 99. This too, may be further scrutinised a little

more deeply than Mr Howard would like.


It seems to me that the PM senses that 2006 is not going to be a pleasant one for his government, so why not start now by promising generous tax cuts.

As 2005 closes, the Prime Minister has promised the next round of tax cuts would be "for all Australians", a day after Nationals leader Mark Vaile called for tax relief for lower-income workers

However, Mr Costello remains at odds with the PM and cautioned that the minerals boom, which has underpinned the Government's finances, will not last forever. He has again emphasised the need for strong budget surpluses in the years ahead, warning that billions of dollars could be stripped from company tax receipts when the commodity boom ends.

Oh! and Pete won't be challenging the PM for the top job - that could actually be a blessing in disguise for the Treasurer.

This is all pure speculation of course, however, if the PM can make a career out of it, so can I?

Kind regards

John McPhilbin, NSW


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