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Issue No. 314 07 July 2006  

The Power of Ones
Lorissa Sevens is no shrinking violet; she had mown down attackers for her nation playing defence for the Matildas. But even this sort of toughness means nothing in the face of WorkChoices.


Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
When the mobs took over the streets of Dili it was the people of East Timor that bore the brunt. Elisabeth Lino de Araujo from Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA was there to witness what happened.

Unions: Staying Mum
Penrith mums, Linda Everingham and Jo Jacobson, are at the heart of a grassroots campaign to boot Jackie Kelly, out of federal parliament. Jim Marr caught up with one half of the sister act.

Economics: Precious Metals
There's a lot of spin around AWAs in the mining industry, but Tony Maher argues all that glitters is not gold.

Industrial: The Cold 100
The Iemma Government has come up with 100 reasons why WorkChoices is a dud, with 100 examples of ripped off workers

History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
This month's Blacktown Rally was not the first time workers had stood up for their rights in the region, writes Andrew Moore.

Legal: Free Agents
Is an independent contractor a small businessperson or a worker? The answer depends upon whether the contractor is genuinely �independent� or not, writes Even Jones.

Politics: Under The Influence
Bob Gould thinks Sonny Bill Williams is a hunk; he reveals all in a left wing view of The Bulletin�s 100 most influential Australians, questioning the relevance of some, and adding a few of his own.

International: How Swede It Was
Geoff Dow pays tribute to the passing of Rudolf Meidner, one of the architects of the Swedish model of capitalism.

Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
These punk rockers are out to KO WorkChoices. Nathan Brown joins the fray.


 Jihad Johnny Targets Perth

 Rio Sets Up Own Goal

 Telstra Fails to Snag Protest

 AWAs Bucket Queenslanders

 Kev Gives Aussies the Finger

 Movie Blue: Win-Win for Critics

 Wage Cut Scam Legal

 Hardie Boss Takes 60 Percent Rise

 The Stack Goes On

 Boss Opens Door For Thieves

 Hendy Banks on Mass Amnesia

 Eisteddfod Win: Your Rock At Work

 Airline Crashes Into Paypackets

 Canucks Can BHP

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Work Choice: US Military Style
John Howard has learnt a few lessons on workers rights from his Texan buddy, writes Rowan Cahill.

Westie Wing
As Pru Goward slams into the glass ceiling of the NSW Liberal Party, Ian West considers how women are faring under the Howard-Costello Government.

The Locker Room
A World Away
Phil Doyle is pleased that a display of subtle beauty and athletic grace has been overtaken by some good old-fashioned mindless violence

 Oz Hails Sun King
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The Power of Ones

Lorissa Sevens is no shrinking violet; she had mown down attackers for her nation playing defence for the Matildas. But even this sort of toughness means nothing in the face of WorkChoices.

Lorissa is the latest face of Rights at work campaign, denied her dream off a job in the mining industry because she refused to sign an AWA which would have penalised her $200 for calling in sick to work.

Perhaps it was the combination of grit and confidence that is part of being an elite athlete that prompted Lorissa to stare the bullies down, but she is one of a growing legion of ordinary Australians refusing to be cowed into submission by a government gone too far.

Next in line could well be the 107 building workers on the Perth to Mandurah rail project, all facing personal fines of $28,000 for walking off the job in support of their sacked delegates.

Were these guys angles? Probably not. They certainly defied an order from the Australian Industrial Relations Commission not to strike, seems they acted contrary to their union's advice too.

But does this mean they deserve to lose their homes? That's where the witch hunt against the construction union has taken us, working families losing their homes because the Howard government hates unions.

Even the employers wants to drop the issue, the project is back on t rack and there has been industrial piece for some time - but the government insists on punishing workers individually for standing up for what they believe.

These are not the powerful vested interests that the conservatives have for so long attempted to portray organised labour as; they are battlers, simple union members who always believed that if you work hard you get ahead.

These are the sort of Australians who have never seen a conflict between being a union member and voting for Howard, especially when Labor seemed to have been hijacked by minorities whose issues had nothing to do with their day to day realities.

One in three of them voted for Howard last time, concerned about interest rates, but comfortable with the Liberals' apparent ethos of rewarding effort and respecting individual rights.

How ironic that at the point of the Liberals' greatest power since Menzies, the pursuit of an ideological obsession has left the Liberal Party's original mission - the protection of individual rights - in tatters.

How fitting, that it is this excess that has driven the Labor Party back to its historic base, rendering its leader more focussed and cogent than many of us ever thought possible.

These are the dynamic now at play - a government adrift and an Opposition on song; but this is not to say the game is over,

It all comes down to the people - their courage to take stands; speak out, stare down abuse and, ultimately, make the most decisive contribution than have to make in their capacity as citizens - their vote.

Peter Lewis



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