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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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Cowra - Work Slaughter Legal

Cowra Abattoir has restarted its stalled bid to cleaver workers rights, armed with a government report that rules its tactic of sacking staff and telling them to reapply for lower paid jobs is legal.

Those talks have already stalled as the company, with Waterfront War mastermind Paul Houlihan in charge, attempts a radical overhaul of the tally system which will see workers paid an extra $1 per hour for killing hundreds of extra animals a day.

Meatworkers Union state secretary Charlie Donzow told Workers Online the workers had rejected the agreement - which retains a base rate of pay but requires an extra 40 per cent productivity.

"What the company is proposing is the unification of the two streams of

slaughtering - pigs and cattle." Donzow says. "As they put it, one pig is equal to a unit and cattle, because of their size, are two units.

"So, while in the past the slaughtermen processed 140 cattle in a shift, the

company now wants them to process 315 in the same time. For the pigs the

increase is from 280 to 630. If they agree, their base rate of pay increases

from $764 to $765 per week."

Donzow has revealed that both parties now have a copy of the Office of Workplace Services report into the April sackings - meaning the company has the power to sack workers who refuse to accept the new deal.

Melbourne's 'Age' newspaper this week reported the OWS had ruled the sackings for 'operational reasons' in order to reduce wages complied with WorkChoices.

The OWS began its investigation after 29 workers at the NSW abattoir were dismissed in March and told they could be rehired on different conditions that included a pay cut. The termination notices were withdrawn after the OWS stepped in.


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