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Issue No. 300 24 March 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Of Milestones and Millstones
Three hundred issues ago, in February 1999, Workers Online published its first edition, with the following promise: “to bring you news and views in the traditions of the workers press of yesteryear, but with our eyes firmly on the future.”

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

 Coonan Practises Her ABC

 Mr Andrews Decrees

 Year Zero Set for Monday

 Secret Police Visit Workers

 PacNat Back On Track

 Print Bosses Finger the Bush

 Whinger Draws Fire

 National IT Win

 RailCorp Shtum On Asbestos Stations

 Deaf Bank Pinged $145,000

 Phantom AWA of the Opera

 Crane Company Hooks Workers

 Umpire: Dump Contractors Now

 Lift Companies Promote Falls

 Activists 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
 Bully for Us
 Onya, Pete!
 Blind Johnny
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Whinger Draws Fire


John Howard has labelled two courageous Sydney Mums “whingers”.

The Prime Minister claimed, last week, that the only only Australian who needed to worry about his Government's decision to remove unfair dismissal rights was the office whinger.

Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, called the comment 'offensive and trivialising", to people who had had the courage to stand up for their rights.

Over recent years, he said, the following workers had used these laws to overturn unfair behaviour.

- A western Sydney mum, sacked by Another World 4 Kids Kindergarten-Pre-school after telling the boss she wanted to take maternity leave to have her first baby.

In the case NSW IRC Commissioner, Ian Cambridge, said the injustice of the sacking provided a "case study for the protection provided by unfair dismissal laws." (June 2005)

- The director of a Cronulla child care centre, sacked while on holidays, for refusing to sack staff when the business changed hands.

- A University of NSW librarian, sacked for signing a union petition

The magnitutde of injustice in the first example provoked IRC Commissioner, Ian Cambridge, to describe it as 'a case study' for the protection of unfair dismissal laws.

"The Prime Minister's comments trivialise what is a serious attack on the rights of working Australians," Mr Robertson said.

"Many of those who make use of these legal protections are working women - for whom job security is vital in their efforts to balance the demands of work and family.

"That's why unions are part of a broad community campaign against these changes and will work over the coming 18 months to hold the government to account for its actions."


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