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Issue No. 330 27 October 2006  

Fair Weather Friends
This week’s decision by the Orwellian Fair Pay Commission may have surprised some with its seemingly generous quantum, but in doing so it also reinforced the union movement’s central criticism of the new wage fixing structure.


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.


 Unhappy Campers in Court

 Gran Backs Beazley

 Aunty Strikes at Lakemba Mosque

 Boeing Clause Flies

 Rissole Burns Joint Venture

 US Workers Bush Whacked

 Community Volunteers for Heavy Lifting

 Gong Sounds for Rogue Uni

 ANZ Banks on India

 Hollow Victory for Low Paid

 Life Education for Apprentices



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.

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Gran Backs Beazley

The grandma who fought John Howard's IR laws, and won, has endorsed Kim Beazley as the next Prime Minister of Australia.

Feisty AMWU member, Karen Palmer, hit national headlines as a WorkChoices victim when Greer Industries gave her the punt the day she returned from surgery.

Last week, she looked and sounded like a winner, as she introduced the ALP leader to 500 delegates at the ACTU's triennial conference.

Palmer, 60, said she had been looking forward to getting back to work after two bouts of surgery on a shoulder she had injured at Greer Industries.

"Suddenly my boss came up to me and said I had to go up into the management office," she recalled. "He wouldn't tell me why.

"In the office, the head boss sacked me. He said I was a liability and that I had to get my things and leave immediately.

"My boss said, because of John Howard's new laws, he could sack me and there was nothing I could do.

"But Greer got more than they bargained for."

Workers Online can reveal that Greer Industries only got its name out of the headlines when it came up with a substantial compensation payment for the mother-of-three.

Palmer said she had gone to the AMWU and Greer knew it had a fight on its hands.

The popular worker found herself pitched into the national debate about WorkChoices.

"Because of what Greer did, I have already met Mr Beazley," she said.

"The first time, when I flew to Canberra, it was my first time on an aeroplane.

"I'm glad to see him again because he's here to talk about how we are going to get rid of these rotten laws. He said if he got into office, he'd rip these laws up.

"I'm going to vote Labor because he said that and, I reckon, there are a lot of other people who think the same."


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