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Issue No. 296 24 February 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

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

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

 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!

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
 Lest We Forget
 For Whom the Toll Bells
 Unfinished Business
 Labor Sells Hydro
 Stop the Hordes
 Packer Whacker
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Abattoir Blues


A South Australian abattoir has called in Chinese guest workers to replace locked out meatworkers trying to hold onto their Australia Day holiday.

About 20 workers at the Packer family-backed Teys Brother's abattoir at Naracoorte refused to sign Australian Workplace Agreements, which stripped workers of the Australia Day holiday, other public holidays and whittled down penalty rates.

The Industrial Relations Commission last week allowed workers back in the gates.

SA Meatworker Union Secretary Graham Smith said he understood the guest workers conditions were that of the AWAs and were performing unskilled work.

He said they were brought over for skilled tasks such as "slaughtering, boning and slicing", but instead were performing tasks such as packing.

Guest worker visas are only allowed for skilled workers and then only when the skills cannot be found in Australia.

Smith said there was also doubt on whether they were being paid above $39,000 a year, the minimum rate for guest workers.

Also in South Australia, reports have emerged of 200 Chinese guest workers at an T and R Pastoral abattoir in Murray Bridge.

"We don't have 200 skilled positions in the place," Smith said.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said the situation was further proof the Federal Government's temporary overseas worker program was out of control.

"Australians are being denied job opportunities and overseas workers are being exposed to exploitation," Burrow said.

The Department of Immigration is investigating the guest workers' visas.


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