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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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Stoner's Cognitive Faculties Functioning

Even Tories recognise Kevin Andrews is a “dickhead” for his treatment of Aussie workers.

NSW National Party leader, Andrew Stoner, made the admission during a meeting with North Coast worker representatives, last week.

Stoner's opinion of his Coalition colleague was revealed by Kempsey teacher, Grant Lee, who signed a statutory declaration after an extraordinarily frank meeting.

"During the meeting Mr Stoner repeatedly claimed the No Disadvantage Clause would protect workers on AWAs," Lee said.

"I pointed out that the Howard Government's new IR laws had abolished the no disadvantage clause. Mr Stoner said that his knowledge of industrial relations was not strong and that he would have to check his facts with federal colleagues.

"Mr Stoner said, 'if Kevin Andrews got rid of that, frankly, he's a dickhead."

Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported Stoner did not shy away from his inflammatory assessment of the Workplace Relations Minister when it interviewed him later in the week.

It said Stoner admitted the comments - and stood by them.

Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, said from the state's north coast, that Stoner's view was shared by National Party supporters in the region.

Robertson said his organisation's Your Rights at Work tour had unearthed "hundreds" of National voters who were put off by John Howard's radical IR agenda.

"These laws spell the end of any National Party MP who supports them, and the politicians know it," Robertson said.

"In rural NSW these laws mean a race to the bottom for wage and small business.

"If the Nationals continue to support WorkChoices they may as well fold their tent and join the Liberal Party, because their own supporters are going to turn on them."

Last week's Your Rights at Work bus tour held meeting and community forums at Forster, Taree, Port Macquarie, Grafton, Lismore, Tweed Heads, Coffs Harbour and Raymond Terrace.


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