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Issue No. 308 26 May 2006  

If the Answer is Nuclear ….
At least George Dubya still has some influence. Not in his own country, certainly not in Europe, not even in the former dominions of Latin America.


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


 Death Site Under Wraps

 Lets Get Physical, Building Bosses

 Retailers Spotlight Wage Cuts

 Sparkie Vote Will Go To the Wire

 More Front Than Meyer

 Nine Vanish in Melbourne Triangle

 Black is White, Andrews

 Kev Nicks from Kids

 Toothless Tiger Squeals

 High Standard Bugs Boss

 Labor Roots In Graft Allegations

 Security Posted

 ALP Urged to Front Up

 On the Road Again

 Activists 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.

 Spotlight on WorkChoices
 Noll On
 Riders on the Strom
 No Gerry Can
 Insight Fires Up
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Black is White, Andrews

Kevin Andrews is playing semantics with workers' lives, according to mining union secretary, Tony Maher.

The CFMEU Mines Division rep called Andrews after the Minister again tried to argue WorkChoices did not prevent health and safety training.

"The Minister is splitting hairs and he knows it," Maher said, "while workers are losing their lives all around Australia.

"Trade unions provide the bulk of health and safety training because it wouldn't be done otherwise.

"It is widespread and effective because industrial instruments require employers to give workers leave to be trained.

"Kevin Andrews legislation makes that illegal and nothing he can say or do alters that fact.

"He wants employers to have the choice about whether their people undergo health and safety training and that means the worst employers will simply opt out, with his blessing."

A rash of workplace deaths have embarrassed the Minister into again claiming regulations that forbid the inclusion of health and safety training in agreements, do not prevent health and safety training.

"The provisions in the new Workplace Relations Regulations do not prevent a trade union or anyone else from providing OH&S training," Andrews said. "Nor do they prevent employers granting leave to their employees to attend OH&S training, or any other training."

Andrews' regulations label a series of matters "prohibited content". These cannot be included in any collective agreement, even if the parties agree.

Further, it is unlawful to even ask for them and any worker who does can be fined thousands of dollars.

His regulations are listed on the legal database austlii, under the heading Commonwealth Consolidated Regulations.

"A term of a workplace agreement is prohibited content to the extent that it deals with the following ..." they read.

" (c) employees bound by the agreement receiving leave to attend training (however described) provided by a trade union"

Unions NSW officer, Mary Yaager said unions in that state provided OH&S training for 10,000 workers every year.


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