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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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Rio Sets Up Own Goal

The company that sacked an Aussie soccer rep for not signing an AWA rose from the ashes of union-busting at a Hunter Valley mine.

Labour hire outfit Mining and Earthmoving Services supplied workers to Coal and Allied after it used John Howard's first round of IR reforms to punt 190 direct employees.

Lorissa Stevens, 21, a Young Matildas defender, was sacked for refusing to sign an AWA that allowed MES to fine her $200 if she was suddenly taken ill.

The non-negotiable individual contract required 12 hours notification of any sickness to avoid the penalty.

Legal firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman will challenge the dismissal in the Federal Court and Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Senior associate, Lisa Doust, said Rio Tinto-controlled Coal and Allied's arrangement with MES placed a layer of contractual relationships between the real employer and the employee, to avoid award obligations.

Doust said MES's involvement in employee relationships was virtually non-existent.

She said Stevens' training was performed by Coal and Allied and she was to work on a full time permanent roster alongside Coal and Allied staff.

"The extent of the relationship so far as MES was concerned was to sign her up, hand her the AWA and tell her where to turn up," Doust said.

The CFMEU will assert Coal and Allied is the real employer of MES workers in the Federal Court and will argue its "employees" should attract the same wages and conditions as others doing the same job.

CFMEU mining's Keenon Endacott said it was part of the industry's mission to undermine award terms and conditions.

Rio Tinto coughed up $25 million to get rid of direct employees after the CFMEU won an unfair dismissal settlement. The global resources giant held up the process with a string of appeals.

Maurice Blackburn Cashman has lodged a claim with the Federal Court, which alleges Stevens was bullied, harassed and threatened with dismissal if she did not sign the AWA.

Stevens says a senior manager threatened she would never work in a Hunter Valley Mine again.

Related proceedings filed in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission allege Stevens was dismissed because of her refusal to sign the AWA.

"This is an important case which will test whether there are real protections in the new workplace relations legislation for employees who want to have a say about their terms and conditions of employment," Doust said.

"This was one of the most punitive employment documents I have ever seen, and it is remarkable that this young woman was able to withstand the pressure heaped upon her."

Apart from the $200 sick leave penalty, the AWA contained a 50 to 60 hour working week and forced Stevens to pay for her own induction.

The Federal Court action is expected to take at least six months.


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