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Issue No. 302 07 April 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

The Cowra Clause
The plight of the Cowra meatworkers is a fitting illustration of the way the new industrial laws will fundamentally shift the balance of relations in the Australian workplace.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Head On
John Buchanan has been warning that WorkChoices would be a car crash. Now he surveys the damage.

Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
CFMEU Mining national secretary Tony Maher lets fly at the new industrial laws.

Industrial: Vital Signs
In his new book, Craig Emerson argues that destroying unionism will not be in Australia's long term interests.

Economics: Taxing Times
Frank Stilwell argues that there are progressive alternatives to the slash and burn approach to tax reform.

Environment: It Ainít Necessarily So
Don't let anyone tell you that jobs and the environment are opposities, argues Neale Towart.

History: Melbourneís Hours
Neale Towart reluctantly pays homage to Victoria's celebration of the eight hour day.

Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
John Howard is deciding more and more foreign workers should come into this country - without the rights of citizenship, writes John Sutton,

Review: Pollie Fiction
For someone barely 25 years Sarah Doyle has an enviable track record in theatre behind her.

Poetry: The Cabal
Poetry returns to Workers Online with this rollicking ode to employer power.

N E W S

 Abattoir Boss Slaughters Andrews

 More Slaughter in South Australia

 Pickets Won't Face Cannon

 Teens Win Thousands

 Praise the Laws

 Where The Bloody Hell Is Our Contract?

 Building Crusade Raids Pockets

 Workers Shows Its Hand

 It's All Yellow, Mine Barons

 Lismore Nine Breaks Ranks

 Uber Bosses Clean Up

 Howard's Skills Solution: Sack Apprentices

 Spineless Companies Block Safety

 Boxall in Sickie Backflip

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

Politics
Democracy in Action
Former NSW Premier Neville Wran's speech to commemorate 150 years of responsible government.

Politics
The Westie Wing
There has been activity aplenty in the NSW Parliament this month, reports Ian West.

The Soapbox
From Chaver to Cobber
John Robertson, Unions NSW Secretary, hosting Passover at Sydney Trades Hall discovers the first comrades followed a bloke called Moses.

Postcard
Postcard from New Orleans
Mark Brenner surveys the long-term impact of Hurricane Katrina on the regions workers.

The Locker Room
My Country Right Or In Lane Five
Phil Doyle observes the golden shower at the recent Commonwealth Games, and asks what it means for the last great unpredictable drama.

Obituary
Vale Bill Hartley
Unlike some of his comrades, Bill Hartley never departed from his position as a radical nor did he die rich in assets, writes Bob Scates.

L E T T E R S
 Crap TV
 Social Action
 French revolution
 Fan Mail
 Belly Spreads The Word
 All Out!
 Lying Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
 Help Wanted
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Building Crusade Raids Pockets


The Howard Government's jihad against building workers will rip at least $150 a week off hundreds of Sydney families.

Construction company Multiplex has turned its back on a site award for a job at Long Bay gaol, citing a national construction code which blackmails companies from completing project awards.

The code bars companies from tendering for any Federal Government work, if any of its agreement don't comply with its anti-union requirements.

The code bars agreements which limit subcontractors', restricts individual agreements or commits parties to collective labour deals.

Such agreements have been a mainstay of the NSW construction industry in recent times and have seen jobs like Olympic Park completed on time.

Unions NSW deputy assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou said not having a site award would see workers miss out on a $150 a week site allowance, and a number of other conditions that had become standard on Sydney projects.

Christodoulou warned the NSW Industrial Relations Commission of the repercussions if the "co-ordinated industrial relations approach" in the construction industry was to break down.

"...we cannot be held responsible for any negative outcomes that might occur with respect to workers' morale, productivity or indeed the incidents of lawful action that might take place," he said.

In directing Multiplex and Unions to undertake further discussions, Commission Vice-President Walton noted site agreements had produced "relatively stable and harmonious industrial relations" and prosperity for developers and builders.

Walton said if the matter did not settle it would be the first NSW construction project in the modern era where a site award had failed.

Parties were directed to report back on May 22.


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