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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.

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Sutton Wants Middle Men Probed

The CFMEU has called on the Howard Government to launch an inquiry into immigration agents bringing guest workers into Australia.

CFMEU Construction secretary John Sutton says the explosion in workers entering Australia on short term visas - up from 100,000 in 1996 to more than 700,000 today - had created a growing and largely unregulated industry.

Sutton says the inquiry needed to look at the following issues:

- reports that agents were charging fees of up to $15,000 to recruit foreign workers, with these fees being passed directly onto the workers. This is a form of indentured labour not seen in this country for more than 100 years.

- the prevalence of former Department of Immigration officials working as immigration agents. While former public servants should be entitled to earn a living, there should be clear and transparent processes in place to ensure they do not abuse information gained in their public employment.

- whether legal requirements that Australian workers are not available for a job are actually being met before workers are bought in from overseas.

- the responsibility of immigration agents to ensure that workers bought into the country are employed on legal wages and conditions and not some of the exploitative arrangements that have come to public attention in recent months.

Mr Sutton says that the federal government, having opened the floodgates to guest workers, had a responsibility that the system is not corrupted.

"Where there is a legitimate skills shortage in some sections of the economy we need to have a fair and transparent system in place," Sutton says.

"Proper controls would make it harder for employers to set up 'sham' shortages merely to bring in temporary foreign workers who are having the effect of undercutting local wages and conditions."


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