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Issue No. 328 13 October 2006  

Straw Men
Somewhere between Bangalore and Surrey Hills a story about off shoring of Australian jobs got confused this week; unleashing a round of hand-wringing that speaks volumes about the political and commercial potency of this issue.


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.


 Activists Notebook

 Money Walks Over Jobs

 Classifieds the New IR Attack Dog

 States Keep Stakes in IR Blueprint

 Meatworkers Boned by WorkChoices

 Tune Up for Radio Rentals

 Democracy Overboard in Bass Strait

 Unionist Targeted for Deportation

 Taxpayers Taken to the Cleaners

 Staff Sunk By Float

 AWB Sets New Low

 Heinemann Pushes the Envelope

 Giant Catastrophe for Crew

 Workers Lose Right to Choose Lawyers

 Skill Vouchers A Dud, AMWU


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.

 Honest John, Would You Like Lies With That
 The Unpromised Land
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Money Walks Over Jobs

The ANZ Bank is using its massive advertising budget to shut down debate on the off-shoring of jobs and personal information to India.

ANZ, the largest exporter of Australian jobs, threatened to pull $5 million in advertising from News Ltd after the Daily Telegraph exposed the scope of its Bangalore operations.

The vociferous response, coupled with threats of legal action, followed a front page story that wrongly identified an ANZ technology facility as a call centre.

While the gambit blunted the Telegraph campaign against outsourcing, it has failed blunt growing public concern about off-shoring, with the Commonwealth Bank becoming the first major bank to rule out any off-shoring of jobs.

Commonwealth Bank head of marketing Barbara Chapman told ABC's PM program last night:

"Right now at the Commonwealth Bank we think we've got the skills in place in Australia to do the roles that we're needing to do, particularly around delivering service for our customers. So that's the main reason.

"But also looking at this whole picture, our assessment has been that the potential cost benefits may not actually outweigh the additional risks involved in outsourcing. So we've preferred to keep jobs on shore."

Finance Sector Union national secretary Paul Schroder says this is a significant development and put san end to rumours that CBA was exploring its own off-shoring options.

"This is a great step forward in the union campaign to maintain a viable finance sector in Australia, as ANZ, Westpac, NAB and St George all pursue off shoring to cheaper labour bases like India," Schroder says.

"The Commonwealth Bank has staked out a position that sets itself apart from its competitors and more closely aligns itself with community values.

"This is a smart business move and one that may prompt other banks to revise this crude cost-cutting strategy."


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