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Issue No. 316 21 July 2006  

Call Security
There's a bloke, a pollster, prowling the country with a tale for the centre-left about messages and constituencies.


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.


 Hendification Blurs WorkChoices ll

 Visa Rorts Minister Urged to Quit

 Organiser On Front Line

 Fire Brigade Chokes on Tests

 Union Backs Man of Steel

 $3 Billion Dollar Chalkies

 Lib Pans Telstra Job Cuts

 James Hardie Joins AWA Crusade

 Job Network Unravels

 Andrews Discovers Irony

 Big Business Bashes Bush

 Howard Pinches Pay

 Tilers Spark Korean Protest

 Activists 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

 Balancing Act
 Sick of Ants
 Swimming Uphill
 Praise from Belly
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Hendification Blurs WorkChoices ll

Big business has a secret agenda to junk leave provisions remaining under WorkChoices.

Proposals to do away with entitlements to annual, sick, shift and bereavement leave were listed for a hush-hush get-together between the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, on July 12.

ACCI boss, and former Peter Reith staffer, Peter Hendy, has denied the meeting took place but his agenda is clearly laid out in a leaked internal document.

It reveals that business wants Andrews to green light AWAs that supersede all minimum employment standards.

One ACCI constituent says most of its concerns would "be resolved if the government allowed AWAs to override the Standard".

Specifically, bosses are calling for:

- the ability to "completely cash out annual leave", effectively leaving Australians with no guaranteed annual leave at all

- the right to halve the WorkChoices entitlement to 10 days parental or sick leave a year through the use of take-it or leave-it AWAs

- a cap on entitlements to "paid compassionate leave".

- a block on the ability of NSW employees to utilise recently won casual conversion provisions. They describe the Secure Employment Test Case that delivered them as "draconian".

- get out provisions that would allow people to be employed for more than 38 hours a week without payment of overtime

- limitations on shift worker access to a fifth week of annual leave

The ACCI denial, co-signed by Hendy and Communications Director Brett Hogan, is illuminating.

It skites that "key measures" in government's WorkChoices package "directly accord with the policies of Australian employers, and are precisely the approaches we endorse as the way forward".

It denies employers had "sought to be able to have all annual leave cashed out" or "sought any changes to overtime pay, nor to change the 38 hour working week".

Yet each of those claims is outlined in a document that tells recipients they are "confidential items that ACCI will be raising with the Minister on 12 July 2006 in respect to potential amendments to the Workplace Relations Act".

ACTU secretary, Greg Combet, said the leaked documents were evidence the government planned another assault on working Australians.

In March, Finance Minister Nick Minchin told supporters at the HR Nicholls Society there was much for the government still to do on workplace reform, although he conceded, most Australians "most Australians violently disagree with what we are proposing".


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