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Issue No. 297 03 March 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Howard's Decayed
Geoff Dixon is shorthand for the Howard decade.

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

 Mum Rains on Howard's Parade

 Aussie Rorts on Korean Tele

 Hardcorp Romp: All the Goss

 Holiday Win for Thousands

 Della Exposes Rip-Offs

 Robbo Heffered

 Commission Plugs Job Cuts

 Sweatshop Workers Hit the Catwalk

 Libs Beg For Worker's Dosh

 Skills Base Up In The Air

 Bakers Deal Short On Bread

 Captain Cook Runs Away

 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
 Belly Tells It Like It Is
 What's Going On?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Commission Plugs Job Cuts


Eight Sydney Water workers have won their jobs back after the NSW Industrial Relations Commission ordered the company withdraw forced redundancy letters.

In the face of threats to jobs across the state public sector, the IRC found that Sydney Water was in breach of its legal requirements under the award.

"This is an employer that thought they could sack hard working, long term employees for no reason," ASU Deputy Secretary Naomi Arrowsmith said.

"Sanity has returned to Sydney Water thanks to the NSW industrial relations system."

Arrowsmith said the IRC decision had reigned in an out-of-control management at Sydney Water.

"This employer thought they were operating under the Federal Government's WorkChoices laws. If this were the case, workers would have had no choice but to take widespread industrial action that would have inconvenienced the wider community.

"This is a victory for all public sector workers and a reminder to the government that if it cuts jobs, it cuts services."

Arrowsmith said the NSW Government must sit now sit down with unions and negotiate a way forward that doesn't cut key public services.

The eight workers were handed forced redundancy notices earlier this week even though they were not part of any displaced list and had been working fulltime for as long as 14 years in jobs that relied on their expertise.


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