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Issue No. 327 06 October 2006  

The Road to Bangalore
A funny thing is happening as the major corporations plan their latest heist on the Australian public � the off shoring of an estimated two million white collar jobs to low cost countries like India.


Interview: Cowboys and Indians
Finance Sector Union national secretary Paul Schroder is standing between the big banks and a bucket of money.

Industrial: Seven Deadly Sins
Chris Christodoulou gives seven reasons why WorkChoices is bad for business

Unions: The IT Factor
The future of Australian IT looks grim as big companies lead the rush to India and China, writes Jackie Woods.

Politics: Bargain Basement
Simple principles of democracy underpin the ACTU's collective bargaining proposal, insists ACTU Secrteary Greg Combet.

Environment: An Inconvenient Hoax
Al Gore may be warning of climate breakdown, but what hope the truth when he's up against such a well-oiled machine? asks Paul Sheridan

Corporate: Two Sides
Bilateral trade agreements are a good idea � just ask the US multinationals. The rest of us should strongly disagree says Pat Ranald

International: Unfair Dismissals
Nearly 10,000 workers were fired for their trade union activities in 2005, an annual trade union survey shows.

History: A Stitch in Time
Neale Towart takes some lessons from female textile workers while considering the case for recognition ballots.

Review: The Wind that Shakes the Barley
A film charting the turmoil of the Irish war for independence against British occupation during the 1920s might seem an odd choice for top honours at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006.


 OWS Blesses Tassie Plunder

 Feds Knew About Wage Slashing

 Data Farmers' Bitter Harvest

 Umpire Delivers to Posties

 It's a Goal - Compass Out-Pointed

 Childcare Giant Goes Union

 Meat Head Jumps The Queue

 AWAs � Thanks a Million

 Vets� Fight On

 TB Threat From FoC Ship

 Hamberger in Cancer Blue

 AMWU Challenges Forced Deportation

 Let�s Dance � Andrews Get Hot

 Legal Centres Under Threat

 Activists Notebook


The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a walk around the backyard with the Prime Minister�

The Soapbox
Rise Up
Hugo Chavez's explosive address to the United Nations

The Fear Factor
A new analysis of the history of fear takes us from the war on terror all the way to the modern workplace.

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The Road to Bangalore

A funny thing is happening as the major corporations plan their latest heist on the Australian public � the off shoring of an estimated two million white collar jobs to low cost countries like India.

Rather than the normal story of hand wringing once the jobs have gone, the Australian public - driven by an unusual alliance of the unions and the tabloid media - is in danger of heading the shift off at the pass.

Currently major banks and Qantas are well advanced in plans to send their IT work to the high-tech theme parks that have proved adept in seducing western corporations with an English speaking workforce that will snaffle jobs paying about 25 per cent of the Australian wage.

This is no fishing expedition; these plans have been years in the making and, as far as we can see, the information was only shared with staff and the public as the eleventh hour approaches.

Now the corporate bean counters may push through regardless, but not without some significant collateral damage.

This is only corporate Australia's latest betrayal in the name of global profits.

After telling us that it was OK to lose our textile and manufacturing industries because we would have smarter IT jobs, the IT jobs are now under the gun.

Companies that trade on their Australian-ness as cheesily as Qantas and our leading banks, create a certain expectation amongst their customers. We are prepared to hum along with the anthems as long as give at least a show of repaying the jingoism.

But the current backlash suggests that we are not mugs, and that companies that rub the flag in our face and then shift jobs away will be punished harshly by the public's well-honed bullshit detector.

In a way you have to wonder what these companies are thinking - are they so driven by the bottom line that noone wonders whether the dumping of Australian jobs may undermine the multimillion marketing strategies.

And for anks handling sensitive private data like bank account and passport details, surely there was some sort of risk analysis around the issue of data security.

Not if revelations aired overnight by UK's Channel Four Dispatches are anything to go by. That show has found an organised network of ' Data farmers', trading in personal details stolen from these centres - where privacy laws lag far behind Australian regulations,

The Australian banks claim they continue to house data In Australia - but details are beamed into India where low wage workers chase up debt collections, process applications

Legislation proposed by unions and endorsed today by the ALP, requiring institutions to disclose where data is sent offshore, will also stem thee flow of jobs - because we know that customers will not cop it.

Meanwhile, the Howard Government has nowhere to go on the issue - the PM's glib refusal to comment on specific business decisions misses the point - Australian workers and consumers are being played like a song.

For the ALP it is another opportunity to frame the next federal elections around the divide that defines industrial relations; and it has nothing to do with xenophobia

That sell is pretty straight forward; it goes something like this: The Howard Government - governing for big business at the expense of working Australians and their families. Over to you, Kim

Peter Lewis



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