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Issue No. 299 17 March 2006  

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.


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.


 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!


The Soapbox
Australian Fascism
Rowan Cahill critiques Gerard Henderson’s 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

 Revelations of St John
 Save Frost
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Mac Attack

New Zealand McDonalds workers are celebrating with a “Big Pay Out” featuring some big names in Kiwi music after the fast food chain was forced to back pay unionists new minimum wage rates.

McDonald's workers will be joining a protest at Britomart at 1pm this Saturday that will march up to Myers Park to join the "Big Pay Out" free concert. The concert includes 8 Foot Sativa, Stylus, Olmecha Supreme, Shona Laing and Geneva.

Fast food workers campaign group,, has pressured McDonald's into paying all workers the new minimum wage three weeks early despite previous threats that it would only pay it to non-union members, a move the workers union, Unite, claimed was intended to break the union.

McDonald's reversed its position after Unite filed legal papers before the Employment Relations Authority two weeks ago claiming McDonald's was actively acting in bad faith during negotiations.

McDonald's has since backed down, saying they are now "committed to treating all crew on a similar basis" and would give union members the same pay increase that it had given to non-union members.

"McDonald's says they are paying union members now because they don't want to discriminate against workers - but that is a bunch of lies," said Hene Moeke, 18, shift supervisor from Pt Chevalier McDonalds, who had served the company with the legal documents on behalf of her workmates two weeks ago. "Why did it take them so long? They are only going to pay us now because they are scared of us - a bunch of low paid workers who have decided to stand up for ourselves.

The pay rise is separate to ongoing wage negotiations, which were called off after the McDonald's advocate, Mr. Tony Teasdale, allegedly assaulted an Australian journalist who was filming in the foyer of the Teasdale Associates.

Mr McCarten said that without provocation or warning Mr. Teesdale rushed into the foyer and physically attacked the journalist and wrestled her camera off her resulting on lacerations to her fingers.

"Despite several requests for the return of the equipment Mr. Teesdale refused. Therefore the meeting was abandoned. The camera was later returned without the film," he said.

A complaint will be lodged with the police and the union is taking legal advice about whether to pursue this matter. The journalist does not work for the union.

An international email campaign to get McDonalds to pay decent wages in New Zealand has been launched by international union website, labourStart. For more information click here:


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