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Issue No. 312 23 June 2006  

Striking Out Rights
As Australian trade unionist prepare for the latest National Week of Action, broader consequences of the IR changes are becoming apparent. And they are not good for democracy.


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.


 Tooheys Orders a Blue

 Safety Standards Go East

 Libs Laugh At Sacked Mum

 Stoner's Cognitive Faculties Functioning

 Rail Workers Gagged

 Post Delivers Threat

 Elderly Face WorkChoices Assault

 Good Yarn Hits Cyberspace

 Business Buckets WorkChoices

 Hands Off Our Vital Stats

 Telstra Plays Tag and Release

 Multi Yanks Howard's Chain

 Nurses Reject Low Road

 Micks Bone Up On WorkChoices

 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.

 More Proof
 Fire Up
 Big Dog
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Tool Shed

Responsible Government

Don Randall steps out of a Gondola in Venice into the waiting arms of the Tool Shed.


Don Randall is a man with the common touch.

The Federal Member for Canning is so impressed with his Perth electorate that he decided to spend a month in Italy getting to know it better.

He is abreast with the needs and aspirations of the ordinary folk in Florence, which is just as well, as the citizens of the southeastern suburbs of Perth will be less than impressed by their representative in Canberra.

Randall has had enough of his electorate being paid decent incomes.

In a rambling speech where he railed against safety laws and sick leave last November, our Tool Of The Week labelled WorkChoices as "an opportunity for future generations of Australians in terms of prosperity".

According to Don Randell union opposition to WorkChoices centred on workers wanting to go to work drunk and stoned.

Neatly sidestepping logic or reality, Randall was left desperately searching for a wedge when WorkChoices turned out to be as popular as ice blocks in July.

So it was that our fearless representative absconded to Perugia in central Italy to find out crueller and more bizarre ways to treat anyone who looks different to us.

Yes, the man who put WA in WASP, was learning the fine points of waterboarding and other fun and fashionable ways to deal with Asylum seekers as part of his month long sabbatical from a dreary Canberra winter.

Randall certainly honed his sophisticated political understanding while munching on tira misu, quaffing the vino and generally soaking up the Dolce & Gabbana and la Dolce Vita.

On his return, Randall was able to describe anyone to the left of Attila the Hun as an "Anarchist" AND keep a straight face.

It must have been that sophisticated renaissance culture back at the villa that inspired him.

Some uncharitable souls would suggest that the current Liberal Federal Government is little more than a whited sepulchre framed in the rabidly dissembling visage of Dear Leader Howard, and that behind him stand a flock of useless drones that couldn't run a tap, let alone the country.

Luckily Don Randall isn't one of them.

Our Tool Of The Week isn't anywhere up to that standard.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

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