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Issue No. 301 31 March 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

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

 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

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
 Sing-a-Long Unions
 The Earl Speaks
 Market's Blind
 Hi Guys!
 Let Us Rejoice
 Tom's Bit
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Voters Desert Howard


Federal Labor will score an own goal if it ignores polling showing one in five Coalition voters switching sides on WorkChoices, according to Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson.

The survey shows the Howard Government’s industrial relations changes could produce a record swing to Labor, with Coalition voters abandoning the Tories in droves.

But 23.6 per cent of Labor voters say internal divisions within the party would make them less likely to vote for the ALP.

Robertson said the message was clear for federal Labor.

"The Labor Party should stop focusing on its internal divisions and start campaigning on industrial relations from here until the next federal election," he said.

"Together, on this issue, we can shift the vote."

Robertson said as WorkChoices takes hold of people's lives he expects the level of dissatisfaction of Coalition workers to climb.

"As Australians find their family life compromised by the changes to their working lives that these laws will bring, their resentment of the Howard Government is only going to grow."

Meanwhile, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show union membership has grown by four per cent in a year.

The ABS recorded 70,000 workers joining unions in the 12 months to August 2005.

"These figures show that working Australians are voting with their feet and turning to unions to help them protect their job security, wages and basic entitlements in the face of the Howard Government's industrial relations changes," ACTU President Sharan Burrow said.

The ABS data shows union members earn an average $118 more per week than non-union workers.


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