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Issue No. 302 07 April 2006  

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.


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.


 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!


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

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 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.

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.

 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
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Uber Bosses Clean Up

Australia's top 10 bosses are gouging more than $100 million out of shareholders while a new study reveals employment no longer shields their compatriots from poverty.

Latest figures, from the Australian Council of Super Investors, confirm the median pay of CEOs at top 100 companies leapt by 34 percent between 2003 and 2004.

The figures endorse claims made in Workers Online, last year, that those CEO's are now trousering 90 times more than the average fulltime worker.

The Super Investors report, released last week, said the increases were driven by short-term bonus schemes and their size.

News Corp boss, Rupert Murdoch, headed the ACSI list, with $29.7 million for the year, while, for the first time, the annual earnings of the top 10 CEOs crashed through the $100 million barrier.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted ACSI spokesman, Phillip Spathis, as describing the short-term bonus component of those earnings, which are not voted on by shareholders, as "worrying".

Spathis reiterated the core criticism of the practice, levelled by Unions NSW secretary John Robertson, that this element of executive remuneration was not linked to either the performance of the company or the recipient.

ACSI represents Super funds with more than $150 billion under investment.

Its report found found that part-time company directors had hiked their average remuneration to $143,973 a year, while part-time chairmen were knocking off more than $341,000.

The same day, Professor Barbara Pocock revealed that a survey sponsored by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the LHMU and state union bodies, showed work no longer guaranteed Australians against poverty.

The first stage of the survey, into the lives of workers earning less than $14 an hour, studied the situations of cleaners and childcare workers.

Doctor John Buchanan, form the University of Sydney, warned that economic growth did not necessarily mean the low-paid would be better off.

He said that the 1990 had seen the strongest US growth figures in a decade but, over that period, workers who could support a family of four on a 40-hour income dropped from 28 to 24 percent.

Critics of the federal government have accused John Howard have taking Australia down the American economic path.


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