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Issue No. 318 03 August 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Don't Bank on Costello's Oil Shocker
Did the economy slip on a banana skin or an oil slick?

F E A T U R E S

Interview: A Life And Death Matter
Macquarie Street and Canberra are squaring off over safety in the workplace, NSW Minister for Industrial relations, John Della Bosca, explains what's at stake.

Unions: Fighting Back
When John Howard's building industry enforcer started threatening people's homes, one couple hit the road. Jim Marr met them in Sydney.

Industrial: What Cowra Means
The ruling on the Cowra abattoir case highlights the implications of the new IR rules, according to John Howe and Jill Murray

Environment: Scrambling for Energy Security
Howard Government hypocrisy is showcased in its climate change manoeuvring, Stuart Rosewarne writes:

Politics: Page Turner
A new book leaves no doubt about whether the faction came before the ego, Nathan Brown writes.

Economics: The State of Labour
The capacity of the state to shape the political economy and thus improve the social lives of the people must be reasserted, argues Geoff Dow.

International: Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

History: Liberty in Spain
Worker Self-Management is good management. The proof in Spain was in Catalania, Andalusia and continues in the Basque Country, as Neale Towart explains.

Review: Go Roys, Make A Noise
Phil Doyle thought he'd find nostalgia, but instead Vulgar Press' new book, Maroon & Blue is a penetrating insight into the suburban mind under stress.

N E W S

 Ah, Sol

 Telstra Contractors in Bush Raid

 Spooks Go “Nuclear”

 Drivers Under Attack

 Stacks on the Hill

 Advertising Works

 29 Face Secret Interrogations

 Bureaucrats Sit on Wages

 Blue Mountains Fit Through Loophole

 G Spot for Rally

 Chalkies Give WorkChoices An F

 Howard Base Shaky

 Deaf Workers Lose Voice

 Canberra Scratches WorkChoices Handicap

 MUA Hungry for Change

 Vanny Changes Story

 Activists What's On

C O L U M N S

The Locker Room
Ruled Out
Phil Doyle plays by the rules

Fiction
Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter One - Tommy and "The Boy"

Politics
Westie Wing
Ian West wonders what might happen if the NSW Coalition actually did win power next March at the State elections.

L E T T E R S
 Bussies Are Tops
 What Was He On About?
 Belly On Balance
 Help Wanted
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Canberra Scratches WorkChoices Handicap


Canberra workers are punting on Melbourne Cup Day after WorkChoices made picnic days illegal.

The ACT government is looking at the first Tuesday in November to and save the traditional holidays.

Industrial Relations Minister, Andrew Barr, has flagged a round of consultation to settle on the new public holiday, and is also looking at other arrangements to compensate workers who would lose picnic days.

""The family picnic days put on by Unions ACT are well patronised," says Matt McCann from the Electrical trades Union's Canberra office. "The kids have memories from these days that they take with them through life."

The building trades hold a social golf day on their picnic day that attracts over 200 participants and allows employers and employees to socialise outside work.

"This creates a strong sense of community in the industry," says McCann.

"It is a tribute to the workers who fought for conditions such as union picnic days that the ALP government is moving to enshrine these conditions in legislation."

Barr said options to protect the union picnic days included:

o An additional public holiday for the ACT, possibly on Melbourne Cup Day;

o A declared holiday for workers covered by specified awards, specified agreements or in specified industries; or

o Other forms of compensation for effected workers.

The ACT government is calling for submissions, which close by 18 August 2006.


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