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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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Professionals Fear for Their Kids

Professionals fear for the future of their children under the new IR laws, says the head of the Association of Professionals, Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia.

Following the release of a poll by Auspoll, which found that around 75 per cent of APESMA members surveyed were concerned or very concerned about major parts of the Government's new IR laws, APESMA head John Vines says that despite the respondents' high incomes, they were worried about how the changes will affect their kids once they entered the workforce.

"People believe the new system is inherently unfair," says Vines, adding the belief that young people will be worse off, despite whatever tertiary qualifications they may have, is widespread.

Besides the view that individual contracts and the demolition of awards will mean worse working conditions for low skilled jobs many students hold while completing their studies, Vines says his members fear such problems will also apply to when their children begin their careers.

"Things might be OK for those working in large firms where there are appropriate HR practices, but young graduates in small to medium enterprises are much more likely to be subject to the law of the jungle," says Vines, adding that small and medium firms make up the lion's share of employment for APESMA members.

The poll, which was commissioned by APESMA, found the overwhelming majority of those surveyed were deeply disturbed by the reduction of influence of awards and enterprise agreements, the reduction of the powers of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and the removal of the no-disadvantage test for Australian Workplace Agreements as compared to awards or enterprise agreements under the new laws.

Just under 30 percent said they were likely or very likely to change their vote at the next federal election based on the IR issue. This was despite the fact that over 35 per cent of those surveyed voted Liberal at the last election, that over half of them earn between $60,000 and $100,000 a year and 26 per cent earn over $100,000 a year. APESMA has around 42,000 members, including architects, IT, pharmacists and veterinarians.


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