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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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Aunty Off the Air

Stuttering managerial voices may be heard on your favourite ABC news shows over the coming weeks as unions launch a series of rolling strikes in a bid to win fair pay risea for employees.

Since Wednesday state-based 7pm TV news bulletins, midday news bulletins, and the national morning radio current affairs show AM have variously been pulled as employees in different sections walk off the job without warning.

The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU) - which cover 2,500 ABC employees between them - are co-ordinating the rolling strikes in a bid to win an acceptable pay rise.

Management is currently offering 4% a year for three years, up from the 3.5% per year it was offering before a nationwide 24-hour strike in September, said the MEAA's Mark Ryan.

"The offer is still below inflation and exacerbates the long-term relative decline of ABC wages," said Ryan.

Meanwhile, another bias witch-hunt sweeps the national broadcaster.

Managing Director Mark Scott has buckled to the Government-stacked board, introducing new 'anti-bias' editorial guidelines.

This comes as ABC staff struggle to produce high quality local content, in the face of underfunding and pay rates well behind the private sector.

Conservative critics have long regarded the ABC as a hotbed of left-wing bias, despite numerous internal and external investigations that have given the national broadcaster a clean bill of health.

The new editorial regime will be led by the 'Director of Editorial Policies', who will enforce 'impartiality of opinion' across all network content, such as television and local radio.

According to CPSU National Secretary Stephen Jones, staff are being dragged into the Howard Government's "increasingly hysterical" culture wars.

"ABC employees pride themselves on their professionalism, enthusiasm and integrity, with surveys showing more than 80% of Australians value the job they do," Jones told Workers Online.

"This latest round of Government-inspired bullying further threatens the independence of the ABC."

A favourite target of the stone throwers of the right, The Glasshouse team responded the only way they know how.

"To all those Liberal voters that want more ALP jokes, you know what you have to do," said host Wil Anderson.

"Vote 1: Kim Beazley. I've got a whole can of fat jokes, I'm just waiting to open the lid," Anderson said.

In a segment mocking tomorrow's newspaper headlines, 'The Herald Tribune' had the final say.

"ABC response to claims of bias: Liberal and Labour both equally f****ed."


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