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Issue No. 296 24 February 2006  

Sad Sacks
It has been a sad spectacle watching a Labor Government run down public servants, as they have in NSW this week.


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.


 Taskforce Shrugs Bashed Teen Worker

 Abattoir Blues

 Car Plant Puts Pedal to Metal

 Call Me Now: Rev Kev

 Fat Boss Sings

 Unions Back After This Break

 Public Cuts Must Be Last

 Apprentices Grow Up

 ‘Castle Win Keeps Trains On Track

 Chicken Worker Stuffed

 ‘Revolving Gangplank' at Sydney Ferries

 NSW Councils Short $21 billion

 Activists What's On!


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.

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

 Lest We Forget
 For Whom the Toll Bells
 Unfinished Business
 Labor Sells Hydro
 Stop the Hordes
 Packer Whacker
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Taskforce Shrugs Bashed Teen Worker

The Building Industry Taskforce has brushed a teenager who was allegedly bashed in the face by his boss with a claw hammer, leaving him with horrific injuries.

The anti-union watchdog is washing its hands of the attack of the Cook Islander who was being paid just $50 per month.

Samuel Kautai was working 12-hour days a day, six days a week for Manuel Puruto, who engaged young workers from the Cook Islands under individual contracts.

"I had a good opportunity to come to Australia because I heard it was good money," said Kautai. "The guy I was working for didn't treat me well. He gave me a lot of damage on my body."

Kautai had his skull smashed, his jaw and teeth broken, has lost his sight in one eye and is also looking at surgery on the second eye, where he has loss of vision.

Puroto was charged on last week by Green Valley police with two counts of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm, with further charges expected to be laid.

Other young workers from the Cook Islands working for Puruto's business, Freliesma Guttering, have made similar allegations to Kautai of ill treatment.

"The Government has established a special $100 million Taskforce - the Australia Building & Construction Industry Taskforce - to 'police' building sites.

However, this Taskforce has refused to investigate or help Samuel Kautai," said CFMEU secretary Andrew Ferguson. "Unfortunately, under John Howard's 'Workchoices', this type of exploitation and abuse is becoming more widespread."

The CFMEU estimates that Kautai is now owed over $90,000.00 in back pay

Kautai's mother Atirua, a shop assistant in the Cook Islands, has now come to Australia with her husband to be with her severely injured son.

"The government should be coming in and helping the young ones like my son," said Atirua Kautai. "It is terrible what this man has done to us.

"At least I know the union will help the young people that are coming over here."

The incident has left Kautai with thousands of dollars worth of medical expenses.

Half brother of the accused and former champion boxer Piri Puruto said from the Cook Islands that it was a good job that the police were involved.

The CFMEU is co-ordinating donations for the family. To donate call (02) 9749 0400.


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