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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

Howard Stands By His Men


Federal Government has delivered for its friends at Independent Contractors Australia with a bill that will make it easier for big business to shaft contractors and employees.

The proposed law, introduced to parliament last week, opens up the possibility of workers being pushed onto sham "contracts" where they would have to pay for their own holidays, sick leave, super and insurance.

It offers no protections to contractors who wish to negotiate collectively with the big end of town.

According to the ACTU, the central problem in the Independent Contractors Bill, is that it fails to define the difference between genuine contractors and employees.

ACTU president, Sharan Burrow, described that as a "fundamental flaw".

"It will see employers contracting out their workforces and put the onus on individual workers to go through lengthy and expensive court processes to protect their entitlements," she said.

The Independent Contractors Bill delivers a wishlist to the ICA, a right wing front organisation pretending to represent independent contractors.

Workers Online lifted the lid on the ICA, last week, revealing it was supported by 0.01 percent of its potential membership, at best.

While ICA executive director, Ken Phillips, refuses to divulge membership numbers, he told Senate Estimates he had the support of a "couple of hundred" people.

According to the ICA's own propoganda, there are more than 1.9 million independent contractors in Australia.

Unions have panned the contractors legislation as part of a sustained assault on living standards and workplace rights, spearheaded by WorkChoices.

Phillips told the Senate his ICA fully supported Canberra's contractors law.

Phillips and ICA founder, Bob Day, have strong links with the anti-worker, HR Nicholls Society, founded by Peter Costello.

Day combines his advocacy for independent contractors with his job as head of the Housing Industry Association, an industry body whose members employ thousands of contractors.


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