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Issue No. 320 18 August 2006  

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.


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.


 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!


The Locker Room
Ruled Out
Phil Doyle plays by the rules

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

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

 Love Me Slender
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Privacy Goes East

Westpac customers’ information, including child support and dishonoured cheques, could be headed to India under a plan to outsource jobs.

The move threatens almost 500 jobs from the Concord Service Centre, which has already seen 90 jobs disappear this year.

Employees have been working until 10 o'clock at night, as well as weekends, to cover positions already cut, and have reacted angrily to the news jobs could be outsourced to an offshore operation.

"We have done everything in our power to ensure we have done the right thing by Westpac," says Financial Sector Union delegate Carmel Bourke. "It's a slap in the face because even after everything we've done it's not good enough."

"I don't think they can do anything better, it's just cheaper.

"People are very worried. They have lives. They have children and mortgages to think of."

According to Bourke the targeted Transactions and Unsecured Lending unit (TULO) at the Concord centre provides "enormous" support to branches and is important for IT skills development.

The unit handles sensitive information including dishonoured cheques, deceased estates, subpoenas, electronic payrolls and some electronic and internet banking operations

If the proposal goes ahead, information stored in India would not be protected by privacy laws

FSU members are launching a campaign to pressure Westpac into abandoning its proposal, and for the introductiuon of laws that would disclose where customer's information was processed and to ensure banks had customer's permission before they could process information offshore.


Bourke says she fears that in, in the future, even more jobs could be targeted for offshore outsourcing.


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