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
|other LaborNET sites
Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
ACCI Never Sleeps
Australia's skills crisis hasn't stopped big business coming up with a proposal to slash hundreds of dollars a week off the rates for senior nurses and trades people.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry unveiled its plan to compress nine lead pay scales, across industry, into one minimum rate to the federal government's award review taskforce, last week.
In a bid to head off wage cut fears, the Chamber suggested grand fathering clauses to protect current employees from its proposed cuts.
But its submission makes it clear that slashing wage rates is what it is about.
"A savings clause will ensure nominal or minima based changes cannot translate into any reduction of wages payable to existing employees," it says.
ACTU president Sharan Burrow says the plan would affect the earnings of around 800,000 Australians with the highest skilled categories looking at cuts of up to $400 a week.
Groups affected would include nurses, emergency service personnel, skilled trades people, senior civil servants, experienced teachers, engineers, chemists and IT workers.
Burrow said it was a "ridiculous" proposal when the Australian economy was trying to come to grips with skills shortages.
"It is not only grossly unfair but would encourage the de-skilling of the workforce at a time of chronic skills shortages," she said.
The ACCI urges a "safety net approach" on the taskforce and urges against any award review process that results in wage increases.
Under current award procedure, Australians are paid on one of 14 levels, based on skill and experience. The ACCI, head by former Peter Reith staffer, Peter Hendy, wants that slashed back to four minimum rates.
The Award Review Taskforce was established by WorkChoices legislation. It is scheduled to give its recommendation to the federal government next month.
View entire issue - print all of the articles!
Issue 294 contents