||Issue No. 329||20 October 2006|
Sucking the Oranges
Interview: Cowboys and Indians
Industrial: Seven Deadly Sins
Unions: The IT Factor
Politics: Bargain Basement
Environment: An Inconvenient Hoax
Corporate: Two Sides
International: Unfair Dismissals
History: A Stitch in Time
Review: The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Aunty Off the Air
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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