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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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Unions Counsel Queen

A US Multinational using the Opera House as a backdrop to stand over its workforce has found itself in the middle of a right royal row, with workers set to take their case directly to Queen Elizabeth when she visits the iconic building on Monday.

Maintenance contractor United Services Group stands accused of intimidating workers to force them onto individual non-union contracts as well as blacklisting other workers because of previous injuries and union activism.

"We are not going to let this company stand over us and force us to sign away our basic rights at work or face the sack," said John Madureir, one of the Opera House workers who has been blackballed by United Services Group for his union activism.

Madureir and his fellow workers plan to take their case directly to the monarch when she attends a major media event set down for Opera House on Monday.

"We are demanding justice and we will keep fighting until we get justice," says Madureir. "Companies should not have the right to sack injured workers or to say to other workers that they must sign away several hundred dollars a week or look elsewhere for work.

"We are protesting on Monday to let the Queen know that the Australia she last visited, where workers had proper rights and protections, is under attack and that working people in Australia want her support as they battle for fairness in the workplace."

"It's very disappointing that the state government's own Trust has breached procurement guidelines," says Andrew Ferguson from the CFMEU, who lashed out at the anti-union practices of united Services Group.

"This isn't just about 13 workers, this is about a multinational company with thousands of workers being looked after by their mates in Canberra."

A protest against United Services Group is scheduled top coincide with the Queens visit on Monday 13th March at 10:30am.


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