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Issue No. 303 21 April 2006  

Brand Spanking
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.

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.

 Say No To Optus
 Lying Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them II
 What Tax Cuts?
 Belly Says It’s Time
 A Word Of Warning Stop
 Mexican Revolution
 Well That Clears That Up Then
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TWU Boss Gaoled

A New York transport union boss is in the slammer and his union has been fined $US2.5 million ($A3.4 million) because of a law which bans strikes.

Transport Workers Union Local President Roger Toussint has been sentenced to a 10-days in lockup following a rail strike for better wages in December.

It was the second time a union has been fined under the controversial Taylor Law, which makes it illegal for New York State public servants to strike.

Political activist Jesse Jackson said the outrageous fine and sentencing threw light on an unjust law.

"We have to challenge unjust and oppressive laws," Jackson said.

"Slavery was once a law, denying women the right to vote was once a law, the Montgomery Bus Boycott challenged an unjust law."

Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers went on strike for two and a half days when talks on the retirement age and wage increases broke down.

A NY1 television network poll found 54 per cent of New Yorkers polled agreed with the unions demands during the strike.

Back home, individual unionists can be fined up to $33,000 under the Howard Government's WorkChoices laws for breaking strict conditions on strikes.

The Minister of Workplace relations can call strikes off, even before they starts, on a range of grounds, including they would "adversely affect the employer".

Meanwhile, five American janitors on a hunger-strike for a living wage have been rushed to hospital.

A group of University of Miami janitors have been on a hunger strike since April 3, calling for a living wage, health care and union representation.

The largely migrant workers are paid less than $US7 ($A9.50) an hour, $US6 ($A8.12) less than the rate at other universities.


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