||Issue No. 312||23 June 2006|
Striking Out Rights
Interview: Rock Solid
Industrial: Eight Simple Rules for Employing My Teenage Daughter
Politics: The Johnnie Code
Energy: Fission Fantasies
History: All The Way With Clarrie O'Shea
International: Closer to Home
Economics: Taking the Fizz
Unions: Stronger Together
Review: Montezuma's Revenge
Poetry: Fair Go Gone
The Locker Room
Stoner's Cognitive Faculties Functioning
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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