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Issue No. 305 05 May 2006  

Contract With Australia
If WorkChoices is the legislative expression of the Howard Government’s ideological hatred of unions, the Independent Contractors Act is the product of an altogether more dangerous form of ideological zealotry.


Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Reverend Jim Wallis is leading a crusade to take the moral debate into the public arena.

Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Government has begun a series of workshops to sell its WorkChoice vsision. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.

Unions: Lockout!
Jim Comerford’s eyewitness account of the 15-month Lockout of 10,000 New South Wales miners in1929-1930 records the inside story of Australia’s most bloody and bitter industrial conflict

Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Professor Ron McCallum argues the WorkChoices laws are built on a fundamental fiction.

Politics: Labor Pains
Labor has dealt itself out of the crucial workplace relations debate by failing to articulate a credible policy alternative to Howard’s new WorkChoices legislation, argues Mark Heearn and Grant Michelson

Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Evan Jones pays tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith, a big man who never stopped arguing that economics should serve the public good, not create public squalor.

Corporate: House of Horrors
Anthony Keenan takes a tour of Sydney’s notorious, Asbestos House, courtesy of Gideon Haig.

History: Clash Of Cultures
Neale Towart with a new take on Mayday through the words of a punk icon

International: Childs Play
An ILO report into Child Labour shows some progress is being made to curb this gobal scurge .

Culture: Folk You Mate!
Phil Doyle dodges Morris Dancers to find signs of Working Life at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over the Easter Weekend.

Review: Last Holeproof Hero
Finally, a superhero who has worked out how to wear his underpants. Nathan Brown ogles V for Vendetta


 Andrews Axes Safety

 Plant Fission for Cost Savings

 Spotless Bosses Blame Howard

 Aussie Bushman Pronounced Dead

 Who's Smirking Now?

 Yellow Bosses See Red

 Amber Light on Howard's Way

 Secret Police Spook Mum

 Wally Pollies Set for Cracker

 Qantas to Parachute In Pilots

 Unmask the Puppeteers, Union Demands

 Cleaners Mop Up

 Cane Toads Hop Into Johnny

 King of Onkaparinga Cries Poor

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Albo's Meltdown
Labor's environment spokesman Antony Albanese argues that Chrernobyl is one reason why the ALP should stand firm on nuclear.

The Locker Room
A Sort Of Homecoming
Phil Doyle plays to the whistle.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West reports from Macquarie Street on some strange collective acction.

 Restaurant a Rip Off
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Who's Smirking Now?

Union and community pressure has forced a Melbourne boss who gloated about new-found “control of the workforce' to reinstate three AMWU members.

Finlay's engineering owner, Jim Sutton, caved after operations at his Heidelberg factory were disrupted by a community protest, last week.

Within 36 hours of residents and union supporters launching their action, Sutton agreed to reinstate shop stewards, Harry Rai and Vince Pascuzzi, along with another worker, punted while on sick leave.

AMWU state president, Chris Spindler, confirmed all three had returned to the job on pre-sacking wages and conditions.

"We are rapt that these guys have all gone back on their original terms, that's the most important thing," Spindler told Workers Online.

"There are issues to be resolved and we will be working our way through them with the company as part of the agreement."

The men were sacked, three weeks ago, after Sutton told a meeting of workers the federal government's new industrial laws gave him control over them and, if

"you people are not prepared to make the production rates that we require then your services won't be required".

After getting rid of the union reps, he dropped AWAs on the rest of the workforce.

One of the dismissed activists said Sutton alleged he had had a "smirk" on his face.

Sutton denied sacking anyone for smirking but, told ABC Radio, he had taken exception to the "facial expression" of one the workers.

He said Howard's laws had made it easier to "control the workforce".

Workers Online understands, Finlay Engineering has submitted AWA for rubber stamping by a federal government agency but that their validity is being checked out by the AMWU.

"We had nothing to do with the protest but it is worth recognising how effective the community can be," Spindler said.

"They did mobilise in support of those workers.'

Sutton was quoted in the Melbourne media as saying Finlay had not backed down.


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