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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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Judge Lashes Building Laws

John Howard's Building Industry laws are so out of whack with community standards that successful convictions could undermine respect for the law, a Federal Court judge has suggested.

Justice Tony North lashed sections of Howard's Building Industry legislation while tossing out another batch of prosecutions served up by the Prime Minister's controversial Building Industry Commission.

He dismissed charges against two CFMEU officials and builder B&P Caelli, arising from the 2003 death of a Shepparton building worker.

The Building Industry Commission launched its prosecutions in response to long-standing Victorian building industry policy that sees colleagues stop work to raise funds for bereaved families, and carry out safety inspections, following workplace deaths.

The Commission labelled the response to the 2003 death an illegal strike. It charged B&P Caelli with paying strike pay, and the unionists with demanding it.

"If penalties are imposed on employers who pay workers for stoppages which reasonable people would see as understandable and justified ... the law itself will be seen to be out of step with reasonable community expectations," Justice North said.

CFMEU legal officer, Jesse Madisson, hailed North's decision as a victory for decency.

"The judge said what any decent human being would say in these circumstances," Madisson said. "That where there is a death in an industry, other people would show their concern.

"Basically, he said fines in that situation would bring the law into disrepute.

"It is a strange view of justice, to spend taxpayers' money on QCs to chase convictions against people who raise money for widows and kids."


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