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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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Killer Bosses Swoop on Croweaters

A wave of industrial carnage is sweeping South Australia in the wake of Kevin Andrews efforts to strip safety training from workplace agreements.

Hundreds of angry South Aussie workers have demanded action after a blast at a South Australian munitions factory killed three and seriously injured two others.

The blast at the Gladstone munitions factory rocked nearby farmhouses, levelled the brick factory and scattered debris across an area the size of a football field.

In one month six South Australian workers have lost their lives, another three have been seriously injured - two with burns and shrapnel wounds, and another is a paraplegic.

"At this rate we're losing more than one life a week while others may never work again due to their terrible injuries," says SA Unions secretary Janet Giles. "This has to stop."

Hundreds attended a rally in Adelaide last week, calling on the state government to strengthen Occupational Health and Safety laws to protect workers.

"The federal industrial laws have made it harder to maintain safe work standards," says Giles. "Workers are reluctant to stand up for safety because they can be sacked.

"Because the federal laws don't promote safety - in fact they specifically prevent employers being liable for industrial manslaughter - it means there's a greater responsibility on the state government to act."

South Australian workers have called on the state government to:

- Significantly increased penalties for negligent employers

- More action by workplace inspectors

- Permission for union officials to enter workplaces for health and safety issues

- Protection from victimisation, and increased training for health and safety officers

- Guaranteed protection for workers who refuse to do unsafe work

- Faster and more thorough investigations of incidents

TV Show Shows Workplace Safety Reality

Meanwhile in New Zealand a new reality television series gives viewers the chance to experience the work that goes on behind the scenes of workplace accidents and investigations.

Special Investigators follows workplace health and safety inspectors for the Department of Labour, Civil Aviation Authority and Maritime New Zealand going about their daily business, and showcases the variety of hazards people can encounter in the workplace.


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