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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

Taxpayers Taken to the Cleaners


Aussie taxpayers are set to pick up the tab for WorkChoices zealots who drove away local cleaners with income-stripping AWAs.

Multi-national Serco Sodexho has had to import people from Wollongong, and put them up in a hotel for weeks, because it couldn't find Canberra cleaners desperate enough to wear its individual contracts.

The farce is laid bare in a Defence Department memo appealing for staff to escort cleaners who don't have required security clearances.

Victor Platen of the Defence Department's Re-Tender Team Project asks supervisors to alert staff to overtime "opportunities".

"The security escorts will be required for possibly the next three weeks, Monday to Friday from 1700 to approximately 2200 hours, with the possibility of some weekend security escorting from 1000 to 1800 hours," he writes.

The escort appeal came as the Office of Employment Advocate continued to sit on its hands over allegations that Serco Sodexho AWAs were illegal.

The LHMU informed the advocated of its concerns on September 22 but has not had any response.

Dozens of Defence Department cleaners quit their posts when Serco Sodexho insisted that they sign its AWAs.

"Our members warned the company it would not be able to find enough cleaners in Canberra prepared to accept these AWAs," the LHMU's Lyndal Ryan said.

"Now, it seems, the taxpayer is paying for a service that is not being delivered and may well be asked to pay overtime to Defence personnel in an attempt to cover up Serco Sodexho's failed IR policies."

Ryan alleged the company was refusing to pay cleaners who started working at the Russell complex before signing AWAs.


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