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Issue No. 323 08 September 2006  

Double Jeopardy
As more examples of the human misery that is WorkChoices comes to light, the Howard Government is constructing a devious defence strategy that further erodes the independence of the public service.


Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
The ACCC is the latest state agency to turn its guns on the construction union. National official, Dave Noonan, discusses the implications.

Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
With new laws looming for “independent contractors”, Foxtel subbies have had the carpet pulled from under their feet, writes Nathan Brown.

Unions: Industrial Wasteland
A group of inner-Sydney veterans appear to be working to strip their families of retirement incomes. Jim Marr records their desperation.

International: Two Bob's Worth
German and British workers are participating in business decisions while WorkChoices locks Australians out of the conversation, writes Anthony Forsyth.

Economics: National Interest
John Howard claimed that interest rates would always be lower under a Coalition government than under Labor, Neale Towart crunchess the numbers.

Environment: The Real Dinosaur
Economic ignorance remains at the top and the critics are oblivious says Sol Power

History: Only In Spain?
The experiences of self management during the Civil War have been the one positive factor to come from that tragic event, and the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation thrives today.

Review: Clerk Off
Nathan Brown draws solace from some fellow social misfits.


 All Work and No Pay

 Peking Ducks Safety Regs

 MPs Face Super Clean-Out

 Gas Man Won't Say What's Cooking

 Crane Boss Lifts Her Profile

 World Bank Hollers for Marshalls

 Pork Choices

 Medibank Sale Looking Crook

 Radio Rentals Off Air

 Finger Man Gives For Sale Sign

 Libs: Lay Off Our Oppressor

 Cleaners Mop Up a Big One

 15 Percent All Round - Super!

 Activist's What's On!


Westie Wing
MLC Ian West ventures beyond Macquarie St and into the desert of the eco rats.

The Soapbox
Testing Times
Former RLPA secretary and Newcastle Knights prop, Tony Butterfield, fires up over dawn raids.

Dare to Win
The union movement has lost an inspirational leader of working men and women, writes Jeana Vithoulkas

Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter Two - Tommy’s Tale.

 Wicked Ways
 Catch a Tube
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All Work and No Pay

John Howard says his 1996 workplace changes are responsible for a boss refusing to pay $33,000 in owed wages.

Defending WorkChoices, Howard revealed Heinemann Electrics' refusal to pay 54 employees for a week's completed work, stemmed from law changes he made a decade ago.

"I would make the point that this in no way arises from the operation of WorkChoices because there's been a prohibition on the payment of strike pay in the Australian law for 10 years," Howard told Parliament.

But employees of the South African company hadn't been on strike. They had each worked full 38-hour weeks but barred overtime as part of their WorkChoices-sanctioned campaign for a collective agreement.

Acting on the advice of anti-worker law firm Freehills, used by the Government to help draft WorkChoices, Heinemann Electrics, refused to pay for the completed.

It says it was advised that to pay its employees would have been illegal because they had engaged in industrial action.

General manager, Richard Ross, told the Sydney Morning Herald because the action blocked overtime at any hour, it could legally be seen as a continuous ban.

ACTU secretary, Greg Combet, challenged John Howard to stop playing "word games" and answer three straight questions.:

"Is Mr Howard saying that as far as he and his IR laws are concerned the 38 hours work these workers have completed was a 'strike' and therefore they should not be paid?

"Is Mr Howard saying he can wipe his hands of this injustice because the laws under which the company claims to be acting were passed by him in 1996 and not 2006?

"Is he denying he introduced new provisions in the 2006 WorkChoices laws that require workers to be docked a minimum of four hours pay for any industrial action - even if it only lasts for 15 minutes?"

At the time of publication, Howard had not answered of the questions.

Electrical Trades Union Victorian secretary said Dean Mighell said the company's actions meant only two forms of industrial action were left - indefinite strikes and lockouts by employers.

Unions will make a decision this week on challenging Heinemann's actions in the Federal Court.


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