The long hot summer, the calm before the storm, is finally passed; and as March 1 approaches the new world of work is looming and the extent of the attack on organised labour is becoming clear.
Interview: Court's in Session
As the silks line up to challenge WorkChoices, Jeff Shaw is fighting for his own legacy - the NSW IR system.
Industrial: Whose Choices?
The Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation has been dissected by lawyers and the commentariat; now it's the turn of political economists.
Politics: Peter's Principles
Forget John Howard. The force behind WorkChoices is Peter Costello. The Prime Minister-in-waiting has devoted a lifetime to undermining the security and living standards of Australian families, Jim Marr reports.
Environment: TINA or Greener?
What does the greenhouse effect and legislation to control workers have in common, asks Neale Towart
History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
Power. They have it, we want it. Friendly societies tried to keep it for working people, writes Neale Towart
International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
The US Government has refused to allow France's most famous farmer Jose Bove into the country to address a conference
Education: No AWA - No Job
The Howard Government has given the Australian community its first view of the future by forcing new staff at Ballarat University to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement if they want a job, writes Jenny Macklin.
Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
The writings of a Middle Eastern theologian may provide guidance to those grappling with indigenous issues, writes Graham Ring
Review: Charlie the Serf
Nathan Brown takes the sledgehammer (and sickle) to Mr Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
Capital Punishment on the Menu
Della Builds Fortress NSW
Unfair Sackings Face Challenge
Slave Contractors Sprung
Holden's Bad Deal for Adelaide
ACCI Never Sleeps
STOP PRESS: Guest Worker Plan Goes to Water
Taking a Punt on Melbourne Cup
Backlash on Job Cuts
Howard Coy on Ad Orgy
Newcastle Rails Against Contracts
Union Man Eyes Cuts
Free Enterprise Kills Hundreds
Aussie Icon Moves to China
Activist's What's On!
Hitler in Bowral
Political censorship has made its wasy to the sleepy Southern Highlands, wrties Rowan Cahill.
The Locker Room
No Laughing Matter
Phil Doyle tries to take Australian sportspeople seriously, and fails.
The Best for the Best
The Westie Wing
Ian West is mistakenly sent an advance copy of John Winston Howard’s Little Blue Book of Australian History…
Belated Merry Whatmas?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
I Think Therefore I Scam
A Taxing Answer
Leslie John Turner
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Unfair Sackings Face Challenge
The NSW Industrial Relations Commission is challenging John Howard's plan to strip Australians of the right to contest unfair dismissals.
In a shock ruling, the full IRC bench has found that under Section 137 of the NSW Industrial Relatons Act it can order the reinstatement or re-employment of employees covered by federal awards or agreements.
The full bench ruled it had the power to hear the case of a Carter Holt Harvey employee sacked for refusing to name a fellow worker involved in a safety breach. The man contended that he had reasonable concerns for his, and his family's, safety if he did so.
The Commission found it had the power to reinstate the worker under a dispute order but that such a remedy would only be available in cases that involved some "collective element".
That part of the ruling ushers trade unions back into centre stage for employees wishing to have some protection against unfair sackings, throwing another spanner into the works of federal legislation that aims to sideline collective organisations.
CHH barrister Roderic Crow admitted the decision opened "a new avenue for reinstatement of federal employees".
Barrister Adam Searle, who ran the case for Unions NSW, said the ruling could provide state-based unions and their members with an alternative to the "severe emasculation" of the IR system envisaged by WorkChoices.
Former NSW Attorney General, Jeff Shaw, said the decision challenged WorkChoices because most workers could demonstrate a "collective element" to their cases if they were supported by their union, or workmates.
He said it could leave NSW employees with an alternative avenue for redress, even if constitutional challenges to WorkChoices failed.
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