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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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Cleaners Mop Up

Cleaners took their case to the top end of town last week, chanting “we will, we will, mop you” outside the headquarters of corporate giants such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and John Fairfax.

About 100 cleaners marched from LHMU offices in Haymarket to the three-tower Darling Park in Sussex St, last Friday, where they called on owners, tenants and office workers to look at cleaning practices introduced by contractor Baytons.

The amount of time cleaners have to keep the offices in shape has been slashed by 116 hours a week, in a contract agreed to by Baytons.

"Our research indicates that these practices do not just hurt the nearly 100 cleaners who work in the 73 floor 132,000 square metre complex," says Mark Boyd from the LHMU Cleaners Union. "We believe they hurt the workers in these offices.

"It is our view that the consumers of this service, as well as the cleaners who provide this service, are both being unfairly treated by the contract cleaning company Baytons,"

Friday's noisy rally is part of the continuing Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners campaign that was launched last month.

More than 1500 cleaners and their supporters - including leading religious and community figures - attended the Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners launch across the country in April.

Since then additional successful protests have been held in Adelaide, Brisbane and New Zealand.

The Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners campaign was launched because of concern that the radical and harsh new workplace laws introduced by the Federal Government will hit hardest the more than 90,000 low-paid cleaners employed by outsourced contractors around Australia - most of whom are women or recent immigrants.

"Australia's low-paid cleaners know they deserve to be treated with more respect and decency - and they are ready to have their voices heard," Mark Boyd said.


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