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Issue No. 301 31 March 2006  

Deep Impact
No the sky didn’t fall in, but there were an awful lot of acorns falling on Australian workers this week as John Howard’s dream of a workplace without rights became a reality.


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.


 Doctors Orders - Take a Walke

 Teens Changing the Landscape

 Voters Desert Howard

 Electrical Boss Zaps Safety

 Buggers in Office

 Pub With No Beer

 Telstra's Townsville Shocker

 ABCC: Safety a Gas

 Rough Night Pays Off

 Game, Set, Match Building Workers

 Feds AWA Offers No Choice


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

 Sing-a-Long Unions
 The Earl Speaks
 Market's Blind
 Hi Guys!
 Let Us Rejoice
 Tom's Bit
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Tool Shed

Road Rage

Wilson “Ironbar” Tuckey takes his brilliant legal mind into the Tool Shed this week.


Wilson Tuckey is off his medication again.

The man who believes that getting the sack is good for you showed us he also possesses a brilliant legal mind this week with a stunning observation regarding the efficacy of the government's new Workchoices legislation.

You see, Ironbar is a firm believer in laws, well, sometimes.

"When they change the speed limits on the roads, the police don't wait a month to go and catch you do they? They are out there the next day," said old Ironbar, who showed that not only is he a complete dropkick; he is a paranoid dropkick at that.

After all, Wilson should know all about the road laws. This is the same bloke who used his ministerial letterhead, as you do, to castigate the South Australian police minister after his son was pinched by the South Australian highway patrol.

The fearless crusader for the rights of underprivileged members of his own family was seeking a more appropriate penalty, such as getting off.

No doubt this is a consolation to Tuckey the elder should he ever be given the chance to apply this brilliant logic to the WorkChoices legislation, such as if his son is unfairly sacked.

Such commitment to family values is to be applauded, after all this is the man who, a while back, tried to get some tax concessions up for a business that owed his son a few quid.

Tuckey is chuffed that the full penalty of the law can now be thrown at those slaves who run away, which runs in stark contrast to his colleague, Brother Andrews, who believes that, when it comes to something trivial like employee safety, the law is a load of old tosh and these things are better addressed over a few cognacs down at the club.

The man who told us that a lot of bushfires are caused by trees burning, getting the sack is good for you and that James Hardie is a misunderstood victim of a wild left wing conspiracy, waded into the WorkChoices debate this week.

"People only dismiss workers if they have no employment for them," said Tuckey, who has obviously cancelled the newspaper subscriptions and had the TV turned off all week.

The sad fact is that clowns like Ironbar wouldn't know what work was if it fell on them, which is increasingly likely under the laws he supports, and his understanding of the modern workplace is right up there with his grasp of multi dimensional physics.

Tuckey said that people won't have to wait long for a job, and he's right. Many were offered their own jobs back as casuals on less money than they were before.

No doubt we await Tuckey's next contribution to the public debate, where he can inform us as to how impoverishing the population is good for the country. In the meantime, who can argue with the utterances of Wilson Tuckey QC:

"A law is a law is a law," says Tuckey.

And a tool is a tool is a tool.


Don't forget to order your Deck Of Tools, to be launched this Thursday Night in the Unions NSW Trades Hall Atrium from 6.45pm. Only $10. register your interest at [email protected]


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

View our Gallery of Tools

Nominate a Tool!

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