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Issue No. 313 30 June 2006  

Spin Cycle
As another successful Week of Action comes to an end, we have again been exposed to the Howard Government’s defence of its IR laws, perhaps the flimsiest in Australian political history.


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.


 Bold Post Spy at Rally

 NRL Throws Tradition a Dummy

 Ballarat Derails AWA Push

 Graphic Glimpse Behind the Veil

 Biz Blows Cover

 John Howard Vs God (0:1)

 Andrews A Bit Rich on Wages

 Sydney Backs Booze Deliverers

 Record Numbers in Blacktown

 Hardie Busted Over Burn Victim

 Sacked Mum Has Last Laugh

 Unions: Book Dodgy AWA Bosses

 Jobs War Gathers Pace

 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.

 Man-Goat Love Drug Link
 Dare To Dream
 Better Get A Lawyer
 The Last Laugh
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Bold Post Spy at Rally

Australia Post sent a spy to Blacktown's anti-WorkChoices rally while stripping $100 a week out of low paid employees wages, according to the CEPU.

The union claims the company's Nepean manager, John Bold, harassed Post employees at the Blacktown rally, taking photos and recording names of protesters.

The CEPU has sent a "please explain" to Post, demanding a clarification of its position on the snooping.

"He's got the wrong name. This man is not bold at all - he is a coward," NSW CEPU secretary Jim Metcher said.

Dozens of defiant posties, who were not rostered to work, turned up to the Blacktown rally, after colleagues were ordered to stay away by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

"Postal workers are not only contesting the WorkChoices law but the giving of orders to deny them the democratic right to protest," Metcher said.

Australia Post has come under fire for taking an aggressively stance against workers who wanted to attend June 28 rallies.

It won IRC orders preventing employees from attending rallies anywhere in Australia.

Metcher said posties had intended being a visible part of the protests, using bikes and vans to illustrate their anger.

Australia Post has unilaterally changed shift rosters to deny new starters and posties who transfer between sites allowances that boosted their wages by around $100 a week.

Metcher said that, over time, those allowances had been factored into ordinary earnings. The Post decision cuts core wages from $37,000 to $32,000 a year.

"For a lot of people that can be the difference between meeting the mortgage payments and losing the family home," Metcher said.

"This isn't about being competitive, it's just petty penny pinching and meaness. It's no wonder they were worried about people protesting the free hand John Howard has given to employers."

Metcher said Post was aware the impact its moves to deny workers early morning penalty rates were having on morale.

The CEPU wants to know if Bold's absence from the Nepean Centre was authorised by Australia Post and, if not, whether he will be docked the four hours wages compulsory under WorkChoices.

Australia Post was the first winner of Workers Online's Bad Boss competition.


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