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Issue No. 304 28 April 2006  

Canaries in the Coalmine
It was one of the defining symbols of the industrial era and the tenuous nature of working life – the bird in the cage whose expiration was a miner’s early warning that things were not OK.


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.


 Hit Run Mum Bats For Son

 Revealed: Bosses Told To Blame Howard

 Amber Light for Pay Cuts

 Andrews Backs Armed Hold Ups

 New Front on High Court Attack

 Homer Takes Rights to India

 Tunnel Vision a “Disgrace”

 Mining Vigil at Day of Mourning

 Dad's Death Revisited

 Canberra Confidential, Andrews on the Run

 Rock Solid Tony For Sale

 SA Boss Not Trusted With Kids

 Army Declares War On Workers

 Unions Take On Space Invaders

 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.

 Win in the Post
 Belly Battles
 Answer is Easy
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Letters to the Editor

Win in the Post

I've worked for Australia Post for almost 8 years as a part time employee. Being nominated for a union rep back in March 2005 was a big job for me as all parcel centres around Sydney, NSW had all merged into one huge Parcel Facilty down in Chullora.

Having been a union member and being active I worked with a particular CEPU P&T official that we started a full time campaign last October 2005. During those times it was difficult to mention who was in the Campaign as Australia Post would try to monitor and make our lives very difficult at our workplace.

We made circulars for all staff at Sydney West Letter Facility (SWLF) and Sydney Parcel Facility (SPF) to fill out and return so an opinion can be found. We tallied the numbers, researched and contact Australia Post HR for numbers of vacant full time positions at both facilities.

Friday 3rd March 2006 was when Australia Post finally offered 23 Full-time postions at SPF.

Tuesday 18th April 2006 was when 13 Part-time staff including myself, was converted from part time to Full-Time after waiting 7yrs.

I still feel that an achievement had been done as this all happened under the "Workchoice" and yet Australia Post has a current EBA6 in place til it expires at the end of 2006.

It was a sad reminder that all part time employees were able to be offered full time jobs but it came at a cost for me and a win for the CEPU. I couldn't have done this Full-Time Jobs Campaign (FT JCC) without the help of two people, particularly my union official and another union rep from another work facility. We gave up a lot of time to get this campaign running and have Australia Post HR wake up and realize that a shake up was going on the floor. I won't mention names but if my staff and colleagues read this, I want to thank them for their help as it couldn't have been achieved without their help.

Thanks to Gil and Suzanne for being there.

Elizabeth Lam


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