It took the Easter Bunny, a couple of diplomatic crises and a bit of classic Howard wedge politics to shift industrial relations off the front pages, but if you think the story is over, forget it.
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 Ain’t Necessarily So
Don't let anyone tell you that jobs and the environment are opposities, argues Neale Towart.
History: Melbourne’s 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.
Costello Plans Super Swindle
Control Freak Turns Hand to AWAs
‘Clean Start’ Sweeps Into Action
Fleas Leave Andrews Scratching
The $130 Question: What is He On?
Howard Stings Liberal Mum
Apprentices Assume Missionary Position
$80,000 for Friendly Act
David Phoenix Rises Again
Rights At Work Worth Playing For
Qantas Sackings Grounded
Eight Hours Play
TWU Boss Gaoled
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.
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.
Say No To Optus
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.
Lying Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them II
What Tax Cuts?
Belly Says It’s Time
A Word Of Warning Stop
Well That Clears That Up Then
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Control Freak Turns Hand to AWAs
A Melbourne boss who sacked a worker for “smirking”, has celebrated his new-found “control of the workforce” by dropping handwritten AWAs on anyone left standing.
Finlay Engineering owner, Jim Sutton, punted the company's union delegate for defending the “smirker”, and put sub-standard AWAs to the rest of the workforce, the following day.
Sutton's non-negotiated employment contracts, green lighted by the federal government to supersede awards and collective agreements, contain 126 words on a single sheet of paper, 40 of them handwritten.
They propose cutting the base rate of pay for process workers at the plant in Waterdale Rd, West Heidelberg, and make no mention of overtime or other allowances.
AMWU state secretary, Dave Oliver, said the Sutton proposal would leave process workers at least $1.50 an hour below the going rate.
Oliver confirmed the AMWU would pursue unlawful discrimination claims against the company.
He said the sacking of two union activists was "undoubtedly" linked to the following day's production of hastily drawn-up AWAs.
Around 40 Melbourne workers turned up outside the company gates, last Friday, for a solidarity breakfast with the sacked workers and those facing earnings cuts.
Sutton told ABC radio, last week, that John Howard's new industrial laws had made it easier to "control the workforce".
"Up until these new industrial laws, it was very hard to take any action against anyone," he said.
He denied he had sacked anyone for smirking but did concede he had taken exception to the "facial expression" of a worker, after a meeting at which he had proposed wage reductions.
"What I said was the government have now given us a much better chance of controlling our workforce, and if you people are not prepared to make the production rates that we require then your services won't be required," Sutton said.
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