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Issue No. 293 20 December 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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

C O L U M N S

Predictions
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.

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

L E T T E R S
 Pension Pinching
 Free to Rat
 Tax Cuts and Cockroaches
 Proportion, Not Distortion
 Corp That!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Boeing Steals Christmas


Boeing won't explain its preference for individual agreements, as its refusal to negotiate a collective agreement condemns Newcastle employees to Christmas on the picket line.

Australian Workers Union Newcastle Secretary Kevin Maher said three Boeing managers were caught off guard in an Industrial Relations Commission hearing when pushed on why collective agreements would be detrimental to the company's interests.

"It was crystal clear that it's not for any other reason than a philosophical one," Maher said.

The dispute has seen workers spend more than 200 days camped outside Boeing's site at Williamtown, just outside Newcastle.

"We didn't expect to be here at Christmas, but we didn't expect to be here 203 days either," striking worker Adam Burgoyne said.

"It's just plain arrogance."

He said the onus was on John Howard or Kevin Andrews to end the dispute by "making a phone call" to put the matter to arbitration.

Burgoyne said the workers were in "high spirits" and would stay on the line for another 200 days if they had to.

"Our motto has always been one day longer than Boeing and it will continue to be," Burgoyne said.

AWU National Secretary Bill Shorten said Boeing's workers at Newcastle were paid about $20,000 less than people with the same skills in other parts of Australia.

"Through our current enterprise bargaining negotiations with Qantas, we know that Qantas aircraft maintenance engineers are paid $20,000 more than our members at Boeing Williamtown, and equivalent employees at Hawker De Havilland are earning roughly the same as at Qantas," Shorten said.

To make a donation to the Boeing boys contact the AWU's Newcastle office on (02) 4967 1155.


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