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Issue No. 306 12 May 2006  

Good Times
Hands up who watched Kim Beazley’s budget in reply last night? None of you? Thought so.


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


 Howard Hunts Heroes

 Workplace Cop Shrugs Shoulders

 Gerry Built Apartments Fall Behind

 NFF Axe Over Childcare

 Ballarat Suffers Maxi-Rort

 Hunter Collects on Jobs

 Company Doctors Terminal

 Killer Bosses Swoop on Croweaters

 US: Thousands Fired For Joining Unions

 Cozzies Skills Skid

 Howard’s Unpaid Photo Op

 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.

 Immigration Department Strikes Again
 Budget Dividend
 The Real Truth About Independent Contractors
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Hunter Collects on Jobs

Seven months of AMWU campaigning has secured 3500 Hunter Valley jobs as part of a $2.2 billion manufacturing windfall.

The figures were confirmed when the NSW Government announced major rolling stock contracts would be awarded to either Goninans or EDI Rail, in an about-face that removed the prospect of off-shoring the giant rail deals.

AMWU state secretary, Paul Bastian, called the decision a "great win for Newcastle and the Hunter Valley".

"The decision to keep this contract in NSW marks a significant change in the direction of public policy. It recognises the importance of keeping high skill jobs in the state," Bastiain said.

He was responding to Premier Morris Iemma's announcement, last week, that work on 72 new trains and 600 carriages would be done at Hunter Valley heavy engineering shops.

Last year, the state government released a short-list of four tenderers for a PPP contract to design, build and maintain its new rail fleet.

Two of the contenders were likely to have their grunt work done on the cheap at overseas workshops.

The AMWU swung into action, arguing offshoring would cost jobs, skills and opportunities in a region still trying to adjust to the loss of BHP's giant steelworks.

The Union took its message to state MPs, the Treasurer, Newcastle's Lord Mayor, and the community, through local media and centrally-located billboards.

Stop work meetings, rallies and leafleting of shopping centres and transport hubs backed the message.

Bastian said last week's decision would mean at least 2000 high skilled jobs on the frontline, and a minimum of 1500 more in companies directly servicing the successful bidder.

The consortia short-listed last week were Star Alliance (United Goninan and Mitsubishi Electric) and Reliance Rail (Downer EDI, ABN-Amro, Itachi and AMP Capital).


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