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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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Teenager Hit With Shrapnel

Eighty people protested outside a Geelong fish and chip shop that paid a 16-year-old schoolgirl with 1196 five cent pieces.

Geelong football identity, Mick Atkins, turned catty when Dharnae Kern insisted on being paid for 12 hours work in his greasy parlour.

Atkins withheld half her earnings in tax, leaving Kern with less than $60 - at $4.98 an hour - for her work.

"I thought it was ridiculous - just really petty," Kern said.

The dux of her year at Sacred Heart College took the job for extra money during school holidays, but quit when Atkins demanded she worked weekends because it clashed with another job.

"He [Atkins] knew I worked Sundays there [at the other job]," Kern said.

Kern said when she asked for payment for the hours she had worked, Atkins told her he didn't have to pay because she "mucked him around".

When her father, Walter, called to ask for payment - on the advice of Government service WageLine - Atkins responded with small change.

After Kern's father approached the local Trades Hall, more than 80 people protested outside Gilligan's Fish and Chips to demand an apology.

"[The Trades Hall] were my only avenue [available]," Walter Kern said.

Geelong Trades Hall Secretary Tim Gooden said light needed to be thrown on cases where bosses were being difficult.

"There's a lot of good employers around, but bad bosses will force them to drive their conditions down," Gooden said.

Walter Kern, an AMWU member, said he was proud of his daughter.

"She's good at that - she doesn't stand for injustice," he said.

He said all he wanted was for his daughter to get paid, but the five cent coins and the high tax rate had got him "really cheesed off".

"It's really terrible this attitude of adults, throwing their weight around against young people."


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