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Issue No. 309 02 June 2006  

When the Truth Hurts
Some rare moments of candour this week have vindicated all we�ve been saying about WorkChoices and more.


Interview: Rock Solid
Bill Shorten gives the inside story on the Australian Workers Union's involvement in the Beaconsfield rescue.

Industrial: Eight Simple Rules for Employing My Teenage Daughter
Phil Oswald bought up his kids to believe in their rights; so when his 16-year old daughter was told to cop a pay cut she was never going to take it quietly.

Politics: The Johnnie Code
WorkChoices is encrypted deep in the PM's political DNA, writes Evan Jones

Energy: Fission Fantasies
Adam Ma�anit looks at the big business push behind the 'clean nuclear' debate that is sweeping the globe.

History: All The Way With Clarrie O'Shea
The WorkChoices Penal Powers are the latest in a long line of penal sanctions against trade unions, writes Neale Towart

International: Closer to Home
If Australia can forgive its debt to Iraq, why not to Indonesia and the Philippines, write Luke Fletcher and Karen Iles

Economics: Taking the Fizz
While the Treasurer has been popping the post-Budget champers, Frank Stilwell gives a more sober assessment.

Unions: Stronger Together
Amanada Tattersall looks at the possibilities of strengthening alliances between unions, environmental and community organisations

Review: Montezuma's Revenge
Tommy Lee Jones directs and stars in a film about racism and retribution, writes James Gallaway.

Poetry: Fair Go Gone
Employers in the land rejoice, for we are girt by greed.


 Howard's Advocate Fesses Up

 Cowra - Work Slaughter Legal

 You're Killing Us - BHP Charged Again

 Revealed: Beaconsfield Led AWA Charge

 Warehouse Pushes the Envelope

 Independent Schools Push Class Warfare

 Spotlight on Howard�s Porkies

 PM Backs Visa Buster

 Sutton Wants Middle Men Probed

 ATO Recruiting for WorkChoices

 Taxpayers to Fund Ad Orgy

 New Deal on Canberra Menu

 Appeal for East Timor

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
The Beaconsfield Declaration
As the Prime Minister feted Brant Webb and Todd Russell, their colleagues were outside with a message to the rest of Australia.

The Locker Room
Run Like You Stole Something
Phil Doyle observes that there are some tough bastards out there.

The Westie Wing
That fun-loving friend of the workers, Ian West, reports from the red leather of the Bear Pit.

Class Action
Phil Bradley draws the lines between education funding and the current skills crisis.

 Free Kick
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Howard's Advocate Fesses Up

John Howard's workplace point-man is green-lighting AWAs that deny Aussies overtime, penalty rates and public holidays, sight unseen.

Employment Advocate, Peter McIlwain, told Senate Estimates he had registered more than 6000 individual contracts, in the first month of WorkChoices, without checking their content.

The confession came in the wake of his Office refusing to register a collective agreement, negotiated by the CFMEU and a Queensland coal company, because it contained time off to attend union health and safety training.

McIlwain told Senators the rules for employer-driven AWAs were different.

He said he did not check AWAs to ensure they met new Fair Pay minimums.

"I stick to the functions I have been given by the parliament," he said.

Once registered, without being checked, he said, AWAs would be "operational" whether they met minimum standards or not.

McIlwain told the Senate Committee his Office had "analysed" 250 of the 6263 individual contracts it had registered.

That analysis showed that not one document included all six "protected award conditions" touted by the federal government in its $55 million WorkChoices advertising blitz.

McIlwain said ...

- 64 percent of AWAs removed leave loadings

- 63 percent did away with penalty rates

- 52 percent removed shift work loadings

- 16 percent excluded all award conditions

The Employment Advocate revealed declared public holidays had disappeared from some AWAs, and others pared back annual holidays to less than two weeks a year.

Protected, apparently, can become unprotected with a stroke of an employer's pen.

McIlwain said a "single clause" was sufficient to remove entitlements to all "protected" award conditions.

The revelations are a serious blow to the Prime Minister's credibility.

Howard personally aligned himself with last year's television, radio and newspaper campaign that assured Australians core conditions would be "protected by law".

The words were stamped in red across the covers of millions of copies of WorkChoices booklets.

The wall-to-wall advertising offensive was launched to counter union claims that workers would lose holidays, penalty rates and other basic award conditions, under Howard's legislation.


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