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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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Staff Sunk By Float

As Telstra and the Government continued to bicker over the sale of the final public shareholding in the company, the telco secretly dumped 160 call centre jobs in the Sunshine State.

Monday's launch of the T3 share offer was delayed as Telstra and the Government locked horns over the appointment of ex-Howard advisor Geoff Cousins to the company's board.

The previous Friday as American CEO Sol Trujillo launched the much-vaunted 3G network, the sprinkler system malfunctioned, leaving Sol and a crowd of financial analysts soaking wet.

However it was workers in Queensland who found themselves high and dry when Telstra announced the closure of call centres in Cairns and Maroochydore, leaving 160 people out of work just in time for Christmas.

CPSU spokesperson Louise Persse said the company had "hung up on its own staff while floating T3 shares."

"Telstra claims its all part of their plan to improve customer service. Both these call centres are winners of excellence awards. If you want customer service, you need

customer service operators," Persse said.

Government MP Warren Entsch, whose electorate covers the Cairns call centre, said he was 'furious' with Telstra.

"There was no absolutely no consultation. The first I heard of it was when an employee called me in tears after being told they were being given a redundancy," Entsch told Workers Online.

"I put in a call to the Minister's office and they hadn't heard anything either. Telstra claimed that their failure to consult with us was an oversight. I don't believe them."

"These call centre workers have been extremely loyal to Telstra. It's a pity that Telstra didn't show any loyalty to them," he said.

Entsch said that there was a missed opportunity for Telstra to sit down with local stakeholders, workers and their union to explore alternative arrangements in order keep the jobs in Cairns - allowing Telstra to fulfil their community obligations as one of the largest local employers.

"Sadly, Telstra never gave us that chance," he said.


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