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Issue No. 299 17 March 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

For Queen and Country
There’s nothing like a Commonwealth Games – and one on home turf to boot – to get one thinking about Australia’s relationship with Britain and the monarch who still reigns over us.

F E A T U R E S

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 Post’s dodgy Faculty Nominated Doctor system is leaving sick workers feeling worse.

History: Right Turn, Clyde
Bob Gould believes news of Clyde Cameron’s 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: Howard’s 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 ‘cultural museum’.

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.

N E W S

 Fleas Bite Back

 Visa Boss Restrained

 Howard's Holiday Secrets

 Picket Buster Carpeted

 No Ticket No Start For Asbestos

 On The Road Again

 WorkChoices Goes Mental

 United Cuts Hit Turbulence

 Bad News for Bullies

 Vegie Contracts Poisonous

 Mac Attack

 Work Choices Canned

 Work Pressure Kills: Judge

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Australian Fascism
Rowan Cahill critiques Gerard Henderson’s unique take on history

Parliament
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

L E T T E R S
 Revelations of St John
 Save Frost
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

United Cuts Hit Turbulence


United Airlines has been threatened with widespread industrial action if it fails to meet a Tuesday deadline to withdraw plans to sack 150 staff in Sydney and Melbourne.

United Airlines plans to hire two non-union contractors to handle reservation calls and airport work in Australia. It also plans to outsource call centre services to TeleTech Holdings Inc. of Englewood, Colorado, to provide the call center services starting in June and Millers Point, Australia-based Patrick Corp. to provide bag handling and other airport ramp work, UAL said in a statement yesterday.

The plan is part of the move to cut $7 billion in annual costs by 2010. The airline, based in Elk Grove, Illinois, only exited bankruptcy last year.

The Australian Services Union Assistant National Secretary Linda White issued a list of demands to management at United Airlines and gave them until midday, Tuesday to withdraw its plans.

The ASU's Michael Flinn said United's plan would see only 20 current workers remain employed.

Workers want guarantees that there will be no limits on redundancy entitlements for those who leave, and that current working conditions will be kept for those who stay, he said.

Mr Flinn said the workers will consider strike action if the conditions are not met by Tuesday, and they will also be refusing to do overtime until then.

"What that means is that if they reach the end of their shift and passengers have not been checked-in, then they will not proceed to check the rest of that flight in," he said.


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