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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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Jihad Johnny Targets Perth

A Perth building worker, facing the loss of his first home, is calling on Aussies to stand up for workmates facing millions of dollars in fines.

The experienced rigger was one of 107 individuals targeted for fines of up to $28,000 as the Howard Government unleashed the biggest political witch hunt in Australian history.

"It's time to stand up or shut up," the father and husband said in an exclusive interview with Workers Online.

"I am hoping Aussies will step up and tell this government, enough is enough. These attacks on our democratic rights have got to stop."

Last Thursday night, agents for the Australian Building and Construction Industry Commission raided homes across Perth.

They delivered dozens of writs to building workers who had struck in response to Leightons' sacking of their job delegate Peter Ballard.

Workers Online's contact said he hadn't received a writ "because the bastards don't know where I live" but that his name appeared on a list of over 100 colleagues that had been delivered to the site.

Writs, seen by Workers Online, were all signed by controversial former federal policeman, Nigel Hadgkiss, who aggressively targeted union members as head of the now-defunct Building Industry Taskforce.

Commission boss, John Lloyd, told Perth media his organisation intended charging another 22 former Perth-Mandura project employees.

That would see the federal government chasing more than $3.8 million in fines from Perth workers.

Our contact said many of his workmates were in a state of shock.

"You hear about these attacks overseas but nobody expected them in Australia in 2006," he said.

"I'm typical, I don't know what to do. There's no way I could pay a $28,000 fine. They are talking about seizing assets. What assets?

"My wife and I are trying to buy our first home, it's been a hard road but we're nearly there. Now it looks like, if we get it we will have to sell it to pay John Howard.

"Mate, I don't know if I am coming or going. I feel like just getting on the piss and forgetting the whole thing.

"What saves me is my wife. She's the strong one. She will be mighty disappointed if we lose this house but she is more determined to fight than I am."

The man spoke from the Perth-Mandura rail project on condition of anonymity.

He said Leightons had followed the raids by "culling" employees and it would be "next to impossible" for anyone publicly associated with the project to find alternative employment in WA.

The Leightons-Kumaigi joint venture has been plagued with problems since it began. Shortly before the pivotal sacking of the CFMEU delegate a union safety inspection identified more than 80 shortcomings.

A WA government department promised an investigation but nothing has been heard since.

Howard in Denial

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Howard has denied any link with charges laid by an agency he established, using laws his government rammed through federal parliament to chase fines he wrote into law.

"This action has been taken by an independent body, the Government didn't decide to prosecute these people, the Government didn't take the decision and the Government has no power to intervene," Mr Howard told the Nine Network.

The establishment of the Building Industry Commission to police the Building Improvement Bill came after years of Coalition rhetoric against construction workers and their union.

In Perth, last week, Leightons suggested the prosecutions would be unhelpful in completing the project.

"Over the last few months, we have been getting good productivity and there was a good feeling on the job," company spoksman, Ashley Mason, told the Australian newspaper.

"Put yourself in these guys' positions and the idea of being dragged into the Federal Court and fined."

But Lloyd said the prosecutions would serve as a lesson to other workers.

CFMEU national secretary, John Sutton, said they were a product of the Howard Government's "mad class hatred".


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