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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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NRL Throws Tradition a Dummy

Rugby league's governing body has turned its back on a century of tradition, upraiding the Canberra Raiders for allowing a halftime demonstration against John Howard's anti-worker reforms.

The Canberra Raiders have been warned “political addresses, special awards or presentations” must have written approval from the National Rugby League.

The law was laid down by Liberal Party candidate and NRL chief operating officer, Graham Annesley.

"I've had an assurance from the [Raiders] CEO this morning that it won't be re-occurring," said the Liberal candidate for Miranda in next year's state election.

Hundreds of people spread across the field during half-time at the Raiders clash with the Roosters to draw attention to the work laws, which do away with penalty rates and make it easier for to be sacked.

Raiders players Simon Woolford and Clinton Schifcofske backed unions in pre-recorded videos on the ground's big screen.

"Get behind your union because you can bet your life your union will get behind you," Woolford said.

Woolford, president of the Rugby League Professionals' Association, said footy players needed the support of their union to get a better deal.

The public response to the groundbreaking action was mixed, with some saying they felt "disgusted" by mixing politics and sport, others saying the union had as much right to advertise as any other sponsor.

One caller to ABC radio suggested John Howard's appearance at major sporting events was political.

Rugby league started off as a working class breakaway from the rugby union in 1895.

Rugby league was born when the rugby union refused to pay compensation to injured players from working class clubs in Northern England.

According to the NRL website, rugby union's attitude was "if men couldn't afford to play, then they shouldn't play at all".

Australia's working class rugby players followed the English lead, with the formation of a rugby league competition in 1908.

For the past two seasons, the NRL, half-owned by News Ltd, has made a point of honouring its roots.

The half-time demonstration was organised by Unions ACT.

The Raiders defeated the Roosters 42-10 with Schifcofske playing his way into the Queensland team for this week's state of origin decider.


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