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Issue No. 298 10 March 2006  

Home Truths
The truth has been breaking out in all sorts of strange places this week.


Interview: Organising In Cyberspace
Workers Online speaks to the ACTU's Union Organiser of the Year, Greg Harvey from the RTBU, who has been using cutting edge ways to communicate with a blue-collar workforce spread across five states.

Industrial: How Low Is Low
Neale Towart looks at the much hyped link between minimum wages and employment

Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Govwernment has begun rolling out workshops to inform employers on how to use WorkChoices. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.

Unions: Bad Medicine
Nathan Brown reports on how Australia Postís dodgy Faculty Nominated Doctor system is leaving sick workers feeling worse.

History: Right Turn, Clyde
Bob Gould believes news of Clyde Cameronís demise may be premature

Economics: Long Division
Kenneth Davidson looks at a successful political strategy

International: Union Proud
A University of California librarian calls for union labels to increase worker visibility

Politics: Howardís Sick Joke
Phil Doyle looks at an attack on one of the great achievements of the union movement

Indigenous: The year of living dangerously
That mob in parliament house seems to be hopelessly out of touch with Indigenous Australia. So much so, that Graham Ring wonders if the House on the Hill is becoming a Ďcultural museumí.

Review: Lights, Camera, Strike!
Mandrake the Electrician has been down to the video store over the summer and rounded up the Top Ten Union Movies of all time.

Culture: News Front
If the owners are selling off papers, perhaps the unions should buy them says Mark Dobbie.


 Wipeout: Minchin Surfs New Wave

 Scoop-idity: How The Truth Was Nicked

 Howard's Bastard Under Lock and Key

 Bank Shops Skilled Workers

 Debnam Dogs on Libs

 Jacko: "I'm Bad"

 Computer Strike Could Crash System

 Builders' Cleavage Strikes Gold

 Andrews Cops Legal Buffeting

 Brough Love for Women

 CFMEU Aids Escape

 Hunt on for Asbestos Crims

 Unions Counsel Queen

 Guests Get Pizza Topping

 Download a Pollie

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Australian Fascism
Rowan Cahill critiques Gerard Hendersonís unique take on history

Westie Wing
Will Westie's Wings be clipped, or will the Hills Angels repent and deliver?

The Locker Room
The Heart Of The Matter
Phil Doyle rolls up the red carpet and celebrates the death of an old foe

 Howard, My Part In His Downfall
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Debnam Dogs on Libs

Workers are celebrating after NSW Liberal leader, Peter Debnam, ratted on Work Choices.

Unions NSW secretary John Robertson said Debnam's support for moves to protect public servants from the legislation showed unions were winning the war against Howard's IR laws.

"Debnam is so rattled by the polls he wouldn't support stated Liberal party policy to shift IR laws to the Commonwealth," says Robertson. "If we can rattle state Liberal politicians we can rattle Federal politicians."

"We're on the right track."

Debnam's move is an about-face from the stance of his predecessor, John Brogden. But it leaves him in a tricky situation as he is still backing Work Choices to cover private sector workers in the state.

Last month, Debnam unveiled plans for the mass sackings of NSW public servants that will be more difficult and more expensive outside Work Choices.

Debnam has supported Iemma Government legislation that moves its employees from statutory corporations to the Crown.

Now employees of State Owned Corporations (SOCs) are calling on the Iemma government to extend protection to cover workers at businesses such as RailCorp, Delta electricity and Sydney Water.

Employees of SOCs are not considered public servants, but instead are deemed to be employees of individual corporations that happened to be owned by the state. It is a fine distinction, but it leaves SOCs workers without the protection granted to public servants under the NSW laws.

In Queensland the Beattie Government has directed management of SOCs in that state, such as Queensland Rail, not to use WorkChoices against workers.

The news came as the Queensland Council of Unions announced it would join Unions NSW in a high court challenge against the laws, which has been set down for May 4.

Robertson also revealed that ACTU TV ads promoting the Your Rights At Work campaign would return to TV screens at the end of this month.


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