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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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Meat Man Steaks Claim

The millionaire owner of Cowra Abattoir blames workers for the slaughter of his business, despite claims he transferred $2 million from the abattoir to his private company.

Northern Beaches resident David Mulligan said while he regretted the loss of jobs, tworkers were not "flexible" enough to keep his company afloat.

"Cowra Abattoir needed and expected flexibility from the unions to ensure its business and most jobs would survive the challenges of the drought and the increased cost of transport," he said.

However, according to administrators, Mulligan had his own ideas about flexibility.

"Records of the company show an amount of $1,775,358 owed by [Mulligan's other company] PD Mulligan," the report said.

The closure has left a question mark over the workers entitlements, estimated to be worth $2.8 million.

The ACTU has called for an investigation into potential breaches of corporate law, and has taken a swipe at the Federal Government's Office of Workplace Services.

"[Mulligan] sacked the 27 workers and offered 20 of them a job back with a 30 per cent pay cut, and the Office of Workplace Services was sent in to have a look at the circumstances and duly found that it was all legal and ridgy didge, under the IR laws of course, to sack people and offer 'em their job back with a pay cut," ACTU secretary Greg Combet said.

"But of course there's a bigger picture to this, and the bigger picture we now see potentially involves breaches of the Corporations Law."

An Office of Workplace Services report leaked to a the Daily Telegraph in July found Cowra's attempt to sack the workforce and re-hire them on lower wages was legal.

Prime Minister John Howard deflected questions over Cowra's finances, saying it was a matter for Australia's corporate watchdog, ASIC.

So far, ASIC has said it is not investigating the matter.


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