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Issue No. 319 11 August 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Good Versus Evil
So it's come to this - working women's groups that alert clients to union activities will be denied federal government funding and, effectively, forced to close.

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

 Sprung: Light on Day

 Mal Content to Challenge King

 More Standover Tactics in WA

 Qantas Holidays Delayed 150 Years

 Hockey Wields Stick

 We Have Ways of Cutting Your Pay

 Jihad Johnny Targets Women

 Council Workers Talk The Walk

 Trujillo Slices Millions Off Bottom Line

 Vehicle Jobs on Skids

 Teachers Suspend Selves

 Bishop Damns WorkChoices

 Workers Rights On The Road

 ACTU Backs Business, Germans

 Activist's 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
 Pimps and Prostitutes
 The Cruellest Cut
 Poll On
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Council Workers Talk The Walk


Workers are walking off the job this week because their employer asked them to ‘buy back’ entitlements they already have.

Mackay Council employees gave the thumbs down to a non-union agreement that stripped existing conditions, with 94 percent of employees voting to take industrial action over a new EBA.

The Australian Services Union has slammed the council, saying the industrial action is a "wake up call".

With senior staff currently receiving five weeks leave, Mackay Council is pushing to reduce that to four and make employees 'buy' their extra week by making a salary sacrifice.

In addition the council is trying to reduce penalty rates, increase the spread of hours and 'cash out' any accrued leave for nearly 200 administration officers, supervisors and professional employees at the Mackay City Council.

"Mackay council has a 30 percent turnover because there's better jobs available in the area," says David Earl from the ASU. "They've got to be paying the going rate, that's why they have staff retention problems."

Earl says the deal on offer from the council is an attack on 'family friendly' conditions, and will see workers spending less time with their families.

The Council's non-union agreement was overwhelmingly rejected, leading to the ASU seeking the ballot to take industrial action.

Workers have voted for overtime bans as well as holding a stop work meeting in conjunction with this Wednesday's council meeting.

Given strong wages growth in the region, the ASU says Mackay Council should be improving pay and conditions, not undercutting them.

ASU members are seeking a five per cent annual pay rise and the maintenance of current award and agreement conditions.


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