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Issue No. 301 31 March 2006  

Deep Impact
No the sky didnít fall in, but there were an awful lot of acorns falling on Australian workers this week as John Howardís 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 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.


 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 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

 Sing-a-Long Unions
 The Earl Speaks
 Market's Blind
 Hi Guys!
 Let Us Rejoice
 Tom's Bit
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Letters to the Editor

The Earl Speaks

Dear Mr Howard

Does your WhatChoice industrial law overrule equal opportunity law? What is to stop an employer who employs less than a hundred employees and finds out that some of his employees belong to groups he doesn't like and finds out he is saddled with twenty people that he wants to get rid of but can't. The twenty people consist of four lesbians, four homosexual men, four Muslims, four Torres Strait Islanders and four immigrants.

Prior to your WhatChoice legislation he was stuck with them once he hired them. To sack any one of them would bring down a fire storm of equal opportunity law, he could be sued out of existence in a series of one sided equal opportunity cases, now thanks to your WhatChoice law he does not have to explain his actions to any one and that includes the equal opportunity commission. He may hate Lesbians, Homosexuals, Muslims, Torres Strait Islanders and immigrants; now he can unfairly dismiss and not mention a word about his real reasons, religious intolerance, homophobia and racism. He would be free and clear and you have helped him.

My questions to you Mr. Howard are: Have you finally abandoned equal opportunity? If religious intolerance, homophobia and racism are allowed to flourish under your WhatChoice laws, why have equal opportunity? What are you going to do to stop this? Why is it that a small employer does not have to answer questions, but a large employer does? Why does an employer who employs less than one hundred employees be immune from unfair dismissal, but an employer with one hundred an one employees not?

Do you think that your whatchoice laws will encourage religious intolerance, homophobia and racism among employers?

If an employer can sack people with no excuse then it follows that he does not have to hire these people he hates and still offer no excuse.


The AWB was giving bribes before, during and after a the war in Iraq. Why haven't they been branded and treated as war criminals?

Widen the inquiry to include yourself and your ministers. Being the prime minister you are going to be held responsible in any case.


How about a bit of action on the legislation you are stalling that would enable Dick Pratt to get the justice he deserves.

Earl Downing.


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