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Issue No. 328 13 October 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

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

 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

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
 Honest John, Would You Like Lies With That
 The Unpromised Land
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Tune Up for Radio Rentals


Attempts to starve 16 Adelaide technicians onto AWAs have been thwarted by community resistance.

South Australian activists say they have never witnessed the support that buoyed Radio Rentals technicians, during a month-long lockout, that ended with a shock announcement the company would sign a union collective agreement.

One long-term Adelaide activist doubted the workers would have done a dollar, during their month at the point end of John Howard's war on workers, due to the scale of support.

The AMWU and Radio Rentals, announced the high-profile dispute was over in the driest of joint communiqués, this week.

But it couldn't take the shine off a massive victory for the trade union movement.

The ACTU, Unions South Australia and the AMWU joined forces to bring national attention to the Radio Rentals dispute.

The company used AWAs, then a lengthy lockout, to try to destroy collective bargaining in line with the federal government's game-plan.

But its aggression provoked opposition that commentators believe was impacting on its business.

Protests outside the company's Prospect store drew strong support and there were reports of customers cancelling contracts.

The joint press statement, issued this week, can be read as a refutation of key arguments in favour of AWAs.

Specifically, Radio Rentals accepts the collective agreement as a route to increased wages that also delivers on productivity and customer service.

The parties would not add to the following statement:

"Radio Rentals and the AMWU are pleased to advise that the industrial dispute between the parties has been resolved.

"Following extensive and detailed discussions on a range of issues, a collective agreement has been negotiated which lays the foundations for improved relationships, increased wages, improved productive performance and customer service.

"The negotiations were conducted in a professional manner and both sides are pleased with the outcome.

"Both parties look forward to implementing the agreement and working towards building a strong working relationship built on mutual respect."


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