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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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Aunty Strikes at Lakemba Mosque

A lead story live-cross on the ABC's 7pm news bulletin last night was the latest casualty of an on-going industrial campaign for better pay and conditions at the national broadcaster.

As reporter John Stewart began his cross to newsreader Juanita Phillips from Lakemba - where Muslim leaders were in a crisis meeting over comments by controversial cleric Sheikh Taj Din al Hilaly - the camera trailed off then cut out. The camera operator then packed up his camera and left the scene.

The bizarre stunt left Stewart, along with the audience, mystified while Phillips cut to the next story citing 'technical problems'.

But the camera operator's action was part of a rolling industrial campaign of 'selective disruption' at the ABC.

Over the last two weeks TV and radio programs including the 7.30 Report, state-based 7pm news bulletins, current affairs show AM and the Triple J morning show have been pulled as employees in different sections walked 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.

But Thursday's action has caused some friction between the unions, with MEAA journalists critical of the unilateral and unflagged action taken by the CPSU-affiliated camera operator.

The unions are campaigning for a pay rise above the 4% a year for three years currently being offered by management, which is up from the 3.5% per year on offer before a nationwide 24-hour strike in September.


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