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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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States Keep Stakes in IR Blueprint

An industrial blueprint that restores choice for workers, powers to the industrial umpire and access to state jurisdictions will be debated at the ACTU Congress later this month.

The Industrial Relations Legislation policy, the centrepiece of the union effort to rebuild workers rights under a Labor Government, has been circulated ahead of the October 23 gathering of the movement's policy-making body,

It lays out a comprehensive plan based on ten principles to make the system relevant to the 21st century.

1. consistency of rights across forms of employment, including contractors

2. a secure safety net underpinning the labour market

3. the democratic right to collectively bargain

4. prohibition of individual arrangement designed to undermine the safety net

5. transitional arrangements to protect workers currently on AWAs

6. an independent tribunal to maintain and improve the award safety net, oversee bargaining and guarantee fair treatment in the workplace

7. rights of union membership and registration

8. workers protection from arbitrary and capricious decision making thro8ugh grievance procedures

9. rights to a safe, healthy workplace free of discrimination and a harassment

10. statutory protection for workplace delegates.

Unions NSW secretary John Robinson has endorsed the blueprint as one that sets out a national vision while retaining an important role for state systems.

"Contrary to some media reports, this model actually strengthens the state system and gives workers the opportunity to return to the state jurisdiction,": Robertson says.

"But it does so with in a broader framework of harmonisation - something Unions NSW has long advocated for.

"This policy is a good, sensible outcome that recognises the benefits in having competing state systems in a dynamic national economy

"It supports cooperative federalism not Jackboot Johnnie's view of a nation controlled by Canberra."


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