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Issue No. 326 29 September 2006  
E D I T O R I A L
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

 Death Sites Under Construction

 Bank Pledge - Safe as Houses

 Brush Big Business: Keating

 Sydney the New Mumbai

 CFMEU Blocks Vets Sale

 Workers Go Cattle Class

 Pay for Work Scheme Floated

 Howard Blesses His Brethren

 Uni Flunks AWA Test

 Minchin Takes Back Door Route

 Solid Group Goes Grassroots

 Shrinking Act

 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
 Seditious Intention
 Botched Surgery
 Values Call
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Howard Blesses His Brethren


New Zealand will change laws that allow Exclusive Brethren businesses to bar unions from their premises, while John Howard caters to his supporters in the fundamentalist sect.

Unions have welcomed a statement by NZ's Labour Minister Ruth Dyson that the government will review the Brethren's exemption from laws allowing unions into workplaces.

Businesses owned by Exclusive Brethren in New Zealand have special status in regard to union access on the grounds they "conscientiously object" to unionism.

But the law was outdated and employees had a right to receive information, regardless of the religion of their employers, said Andrew Little, national secretary of the NZ Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

In 2004, the union clashed with an Exclusive Brethren business which threatened to sack workers who spoke in their native languages in the tea-room.

That business then barred access to union officials who tried to contact the workers, Little said.

In Australia, the Howard Government has introduced special laws to allow Exclusive Brethren businesses to ban unions from their businesses.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that since 2002 every one of the more than 30 employers who claimed a "conscientious objection" exemption to union access belonged to the Exclusive Brethren.

The sect, which has 40,000 members based mostly in New Zealand and Australia, doesn't allow its members to access media, vote or wear shorts. But it has been linked with dirty campaigns here and across the Tasman against left-wing political parties.

Prime Minster John Howard has admitted to meeting with members of the sect, which has been accused of running smear campaigns against the Greens, and was recently implicated in malicious rumour-mongering against New Zealand's Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark and her husband.


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