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Issue No. 311 16 June 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Big Target
Well, he’s finally done it. Opposition leader Kim Beazley has wrestled with his internal doubters and staked his future, and one suspects the next election, on workers rights.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Esselte Occasioning Workplace Harm

 Andrews Backs State Laws

 Death Sentence for BHP

 Unions Deliver: Freehills

 No Job is Safe: AIRC

 Klan Backs Jan

 Village People Clean Up

 Dad Heads for Blacktown

 Indonesian Guards Occupy Office

 Qantas Passes the Bucks

 IR Laws a Loser: Lib

 Business Bombs Beazley

 OECD Undercuts Howard

 Leafy Council Rewards Choppers

 High Price Of A Low Wage

 Actvist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

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.

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

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

L E T T E R S
 Lost in the Supermarket
 Career Opportunities
 A Nuclear Error
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Qantas Passes the Bucks


Workchoices forced Qantas to fly away with $32,000 of employees' money, according to the airline.

Qantas said John Howard's legislation left it with no choice after 99 baggage handlers held an urgent safety discussion when bolts started falling from overhead construction work at Sydney Airport.

But the Transport Workers Union will contest the deductions in the Chief Industrial Magistrate's Court.

"These men were placed in extremely dangerous situations, with scissor lifts operating above their heads," TWU secretary, Tony Sheldon, said.

"During their meeting, employees raised 19 serious questions about safety in their workplace.

"Qantas management informed them they would each be docked four hours pay which is the minimum penalty allowed under Howard's workplace changes.

"The TWU will not sit back and allow this to happen."

Federal Workchoices legislation instructs employers to dock a minimum of four hours wages for any industrial stop work meeting.

The only exception is where workers can prove they faced "imminent risk".

Sheldon said that's exactly what baggage handlers had been exposed to.

Qantas was an strong supporter of the Prime Mininster's workplace regime that has already been used to strip conditions, lower earnings, and deny collective bargaining rights.

Company CEO, Geoff Dixon, is a key player in the pro-WorkChoices Business Council of Australia.

Sheldon said the TWU launched legal action after Qantas failed to reply to a request to return the workers' money.


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