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Issue No. 323 08 September 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

Legends
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.

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

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

L E T T E R S
 Wicked Ways
 Catch a Tube
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Medibank Sale Looking Crook


As the Government's plans to privatise Medibank Private unravel, public servants have been threatened with the sack for reading e-mails about the proposed sale.

This week staff in Centrelink were warned that they faced disciplinary action if they distributed information from the Save Medibank alliance.

According to a Centrelink management e-mail, staff who "...circulate comments of a political nature...such as sending comments criticising government policy...would be in breach of the Australian Public Service code of conduct."

The code, which carries a maximum penalty of termination, can also result in fines and demotions.

The heavy handed move to silence staff follows a parliamentary report last week that questioned the legal basis of the sale.

The report questioned whether the Government was legally entitled to sell Medibank at all, claiming a case could be made that the health insurer actually belonged its three million members.

Talkback host Alan Jones joined a growing chorus of media critics describing the treatment of policy holders as "financially unjust."

"Why are we privatising?" he asked.

Community opposition to the sale is growing, according to CPSU National Secretary and Save Medibank spokesperson Stephen Jones.

"More than a thousand people have completed our survey about the Medibank sale in the past week and the results indicate there is deep opposition to privatisation and real anger about the lack of consultation," Jones said.

"96% of people we have surveyed no not think the Government has not made an adequate case for the selling of Medibank," he said.

The final litmus test could come at the ballot box, Jones predicted. "So far 84% of respondents say that any sale of Medibank would affect their vote in a Federal election."

Find out more on the campaign to save Medibank by visiting http://www.savemedibank.net.au


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