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Issue No. 320 18 August 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Fixing the WorkChoices Mess
While the Rights at Work campaign has galvanised opposition to the Howard Government’s WorkChoices legislation, the debate about what sort of system should replace it is just hotting up.

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

 Spin Bowls Fair Pay

 “Battler” Liberal on Safety

 Radio Rentals Launches Hit

 Under the Pump

 Privacy Goes East

 Which Bank Tossed Out of Court

 Mum Lashes Feds

 Sack Boss a Loser

 Let's Fly AWA

 Star City Bangs Wages Drum

 Prof Offers AWA Lesson

 Howard Stands By His Men

 Wife Miscarries After Attack

 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
 Love Me Slender
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News

Under the Pump


An Adelaide gas station has hit a schoolboy with a $7 an hour AWA to make up for petrol theft by customers.

Bel Air BP suspended part-time teenager, Bill Schultze, for two weeks after he failed to capture the registration plate of a petrol thief, earlier this year.

With no security cameras, staff were required to write down the registration numbers on drive-off merchants.

Last week, staff were contacted in writing by BP Human Resources with notification that the formerly independent outlet would by acquired by a BP subsidiary called, No 1 Riverside Quay.

They were invited to attend an information session and told that continued employment would hinge on signing on a non-negotiable AWA that slashed base rates from $9.09 to $7.17 an hour.

BP said it was cutting the hourly rate to compensate for petrol stolen during 'drive offs'.

Bill's father, Adelaide policeman Peter Shultze, attended the information session and told Workers Online the company representative refused, point blank, to negotiate any feature of the AWA.

"We asked them if refusal to sign the contract in its current form would lead to the offer of employment being refused and they confirmed if Bill didn't sign there would be no job," his father said.

Given a week to consider the contract, Bill contacted his union, the AMWU and the family approached Adelaide MP Kate Ellis .

Ellis asked the Prime Minister, in Parliament, if he was aware of the position facing the 17 year-old schoolboy.

Peter Shultze said positive support from the general public had been fantastic and a big support to the whole family.

"The AMWU had a meeting with Bill and talked through some issues and helped make him feel better about his future and the whole situation.," he said.

"Bill's not going to sign the AWA and won't get the job, but he's getting something lined up in the hospitality industry. He certainly realised the value of union membership," he said.


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