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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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Libs Laugh At Sacked Mum

Howard backers taunted a sacked Mum with cries of “get a job” when she took her case to federal parliament.

While their leader refused to make eye contact with the dumped childcare worker, last week, Liberal MPs left little doubt where their sympathies lay.

Emily O'Connor accused John Howard of dishonesty and cowardice, after he played the Sergeant Schultz card, in response to questions about her dismissal.

Howard told Parliament he neither knew, nor could be expected to know, of the highly-publicised case in which a Canberra employer boasted WorkChoices meant she didn't have to advance a reason for O'Connor's sacking.

According to bewildered parents, Blinky Bill child care centre manager, Anna Maria French, told them she had taken "full advantage" of the new industrial relations laws in dismissing O'Connor.

"He pretended he didn't know," said O'Connor, who was in the gallery when the Prime Minister was asked if he could "look Emily O'Connor in the eye?"

"He knew exactly who I was. Doesn't he watch TV or read the papers?

"He just dodged the issue. Any decent person would find this situation shocking. I think he has lost sight of what the Australian people want. It was a gutless thing to do."

O'Connor was shocked at the reaction of Liberal politicians when her case was raised in parliament. With Andrew Laming, Liberal member for Bowman, waving a paper at her and telling her to "find a new job".

"I felt like they were going 'look at this girl, she's nothing, she's nobody'," O'Connor said.

O'Connor says she came forward because of the large number of people being affected by the new laws who were too scared to speak up. She has been buoyed by the support from her community and the LHMU.

"It's important people speak up. Just because it's legal doesn't make it right," she said.


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