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Issue No. 324 15 September 2006  

Democracy Rules
The hysterical response to the ACTU’s blueprint to restore industrial democracy to the Australian workplace only serves to underline what a brazen grab for employer privilege the Howard Government’s changes to IR really are.


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.


 Medibank Sale "Critical"

 Broken Down and Packaged for Export

 Child's Play: New Low for Spooks

 Judge Lashes Building Laws

 Buy Gum and Masticate on "Associates"

 Bosses on the Barbie

 No Secrets On Union Agenda

 OWS: Better Never Than Late

 Youth Workers Beat AWAs

 Kiwis Demand Shelf Respect

 Meat Man Steaks Claim

 Heinemann Chooses Its Laws

 Air Safety Crashes

 Super-Size Me

 Less is More for Dixon

 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.

 Tony Terrific
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Child's Play: New Low for Spooks

John Howard's Building Industry police are grilling kids and standing over employers to prevent people getting work.

The accusations were levelled by a Brisbane man who retaliated by forming a Workers Civil Rights Committee.

The committee's inaugural public meeting drew more than 500 supporters to the city's Irish Club, last Friday, to hear speakers denounce the Howard Government's assault on human rights.

Former corporate lawyer, Julian Burnside, CFMEU national secretary, Dave Noonan, and Griffith University Professor, David Peetz, addressed the rally.

The committee will provide solidarity to workers under attack from draconian new laws, organise "community pickets", and promote a civil rights agenda.

Bulders Labourers Union organiser, Bob Carnegie, was a driving force behind its establishment.

"The arrowhead of the attack on Australian civil rights is the Howard Government's campaign against trade union members," Carnegie said.

"That's why we have the support of lawyers and many people outside the organised labour movement.

"When workers are under these attacks our committee will run community protests on their behalf. They can sue us for all they want and they will get four fifths of bugger all."

Carnegie said "outrageous" Building Industry Commission behaviour highlighted the need for a broad response.

He accused Commission officers, in Brisbane, of grilling a six-year-old child about his father's union activities, and of standing over a sub-contractor to prevent a man getting a job.

Carnegies said the first incident occurred, last month, when a union activist took personal leave to care for his ill six-year-old.

Two male Commission officers arrived on the family's southern Brisbane doorstep the same afternoon and proceeded to quiz the youngster about his health and how long his father had been home.

"They put the questions to the kid before approaching our member," Carnegies said. "When they approached our member they were told he wanted union representation and show the door."

Carnegie said the other event involved him, personally, after a delegate asked if he knew of any work that might be available for a relation.

Carnegie said he approached a "reputable" sub-contractor and was stunned when the employer rang back to say he had been visited by Commission officers who wanted to know if he was being "stood over" to give employment to a union member.

"The subbie got spooked, understandably, and decided not to employ a decent human being who needed a job," Carnegie said.

Carnegie confronted the Commission, in person, about that incident and said they refused to offer a defence.


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