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Issue No. 329 20 October 2006  

Sucking the Oranges
Every three years the Australian union movement comes together for a gathering that is part policy forum, part Jamboree, the ACTU Congress.


Interview: Cowboys and Indians
Finance Sector Union national secretary Paul Schroder is standing between the big banks and a bucket of money.

Industrial: Seven Deadly Sins
Chris Christodoulou gives seven reasons why WorkChoices is bad for business

Unions: The IT Factor
The future of Australian IT looks grim as big companies lead the rush to India and China, writes Jackie Woods.

Politics: Bargain Basement
Simple principles of democracy underpin the ACTU's collective bargaining proposal, insists ACTU Secrteary Greg Combet.

Environment: An Inconvenient Hoax
Al Gore may be warning of climate breakdown, but what hope the truth when he's up against such a well-oiled machine? asks Paul Sheridan

Corporate: Two Sides
Bilateral trade agreements are a good idea – just ask the US multinationals. The rest of us should strongly disagree says Pat Ranald

International: Unfair Dismissals
Nearly 10,000 workers were fired for their trade union activities in 2005, an annual trade union survey shows.

History: A Stitch in Time
Neale Towart takes some lessons from female textile workers while considering the case for recognition ballots.

Review: The Wind that Shakes the Barley
A film charting the turmoil of the Irish war for independence against British occupation during the 1920s might seem an odd choice for top honours at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006.


 Bananas in the Mail

 Dragons Slay St George

 Collective Contracts Still Rule

 Boeing Bombs Individual Contracts

 Multis Raid Nest Eggs

 "Guests" Stood Over, AMWU

 Aunty Off the Air

 Ban Ki-Moon, Koreans Warn

 Super Shafting at Telstra

 Qantas IT calls Bangalore home

 Three Question Method

 AWAs: Kids Stuff


The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a walk around the backyard with the Prime Minister…

The Soapbox
Rise Up
Hugo Chavez's explosive address to the United Nations

The Fear Factor
A new analysis of the history of fear takes us from the war on terror all the way to the modern workplace.

 Thanks Betina
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Boeing Bombs Individual Contracts

WorkChoices champion, Boeing, has grounded its objection to collective agreements.

The American aerospace giant that locked engineers out of its Williamtown operation, near Newcastle, for 265 bitter days has offered employees a collective contract.

AWU official, John Boyd, has labelled Boeing's decision the "biggest backflip in Australian industrial relations history".

"It's extraordinary," Boyd said. "They locked these guys out for 265 days because they wanted a collective agreement.

"Boeing told the public collective agreements did not fit into its business model.

"They flew in scabs to run their operations.

"They sat through a three-month NSW IRC inquiry and wouldn't budge.

"Seven months later, they table a document that is, basically, what our guys wanted all along."

Boeing has put up a non-union collective agreement for a staff ballot and Boyd says the AWU won't be advising anyone to vote it down.

It includes increased wages, a 38-hour week, overtime penalty rates, fuel tanks allowances and a classification structure - key elements of the union claim Boeing rejected.

"This is a major improvement," Boyd said, "the guys can't knock it back.

"Everyone knows it wouldn't be on the table if it wasn't for the nine month strike by union members and the support they got from the community."

Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, accused Boeing of putting up philosophy as a smokescreen for union-busting, during the dispute.

"Why else would you agree, in essence, to virtually everything the union members were asking for?" he asked.

"In philosophical terms, this a win for the union. It's an admission on the part of the company that the individual contracts on offer were inadequate."


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