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Issue No. 294 10 February 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Total Impact
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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
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.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West is mistakenly sent an advance copy of John Winston Howard’s Little Blue Book of Australian History…

L E T T E R S
 The Best for the Best
 Belated Merry Whatmas?
 The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
 I Think Therefore I Scam
 A Taxing Answer
 Leslie John Turner
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Slave Contractors Sprung


The Federal Government is turning a blind eye to the use of illegal cheap labour by two of its contractors in immigration detention centres.

In a case currently before the Supreme court, Alan Clifton, a former operations manager at Woomera detention centre, gave evidence of Australasian Correctional Management paying detainees the equivalent of $1 an hour to work in the kitchens, despite being contracted to supply enough properly paid staff of ots own.

The revelation follows confirmation by the Department of Immigration that around 20 detainees in Villawood detention centre were being used as cheap and possibly illegal labour by Delaware North Australia.

Both companies have contracts with the Commonwealth Government to provide enough staff to carry out such services. Using detainees to undertake such work is a possible breach of the Immigration Act.

"The Department knows detainees work in the Villawood kitchens and food halls under the supervision of Delaware North Companies and are paid in cigarettes and telephone cards, " said Unions NSW deputy assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou.

"But it refuses to acknowledge Delaware North's opportunity to make enormous profits from the situation at the taxpayers' expense."

Mr Christodoulou received a letter from Villawood detainee Motahar Hussein complaining about his and other detainees' working conditions. Based on information provided by Mr Hussein and by the Department, Unions NSW believe Delaware North could be pocketing upward of $500,000 a year in saved wages for catering services alone.

Mr Clifton's evidence is part of an action by a 10-year-old former Woomera and Villawood detainee who is suing the Federal Government for damages after suffering serious and ongoing psychological damage while in detention.


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