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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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Buy Gum and Masticate on "Associates"

American gum giant, Wrigleys, is using WorkChoices to try to chew up the living standards of nearly 100 Sydney families.

The multi-national abandoned negotiations when it couldn't get its own way on clawbacks, and hit employees with AWAs.

The documents were delivered to 15 maintenance trades people at the company's Asquith plant, last Tuesday.

Currently, Wrigleys operates under two collective agreements, with around 80 process workers still to begin negotiations.

AMWU official, Michelle Burgess, said staff were "stunned" because the strategy was a major change in approach from a company that had traditionally sought co-operation.

"They were an old-style American company that spoke of staff as associates rather than workers or employees," she said.

"They had a culture of co-operation but that's gone out the window under the new workplace laws.

"It's a huge weapon in the employers' arsenal. They demand cutbacks and, if people don't agree, they use AWAs to force the issue and that's what John Howard designed them for.

Wrigleys produced the AWAs after three months of negotiations at which it didn't deviate from its clawback agenda.

"They say they need to reduce costs to say competitive but they don't have any competitors in Australia - they control the market," Burgess said.

Maintenance workers are meeting with the union to finalise their response.


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