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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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US Workers Bush Whacked

The Bush Administration is stripping the right to join unions from millions of its citizens, sparking an official complaint to the International Labour Organisation.

The AFL-CIO alleges a new definition of supervisor, brought down by the Bush-stacked National Labour Relations Board, will effectively destroy collective bargaining rights and deny millions of Americans union protections.

The Board, in controversial Kentucky River decisions, has ruled employers can fire employees, reclassified as supervisors, for union activities.

The AFL-CIO says the ruling violates international labour law that guarantees freedom of association, including the right to union organising and bargaining to "all workers without distinction".

Its complaint was laid on the same day the President used a "recess appointment" to put a mine boss, whose pits had worker injury rates twice the national average, in charge of the country's Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The United Mineworkers of America has protested against the appointment of Richard Stickler.

Bush used the recess appointment to slip Stickler into the post, while the Senate was not in session, after the body had twice blocked the appointment.

Forty American coalminers have died at work so far this year.

Last September, Bush outraged unions by nominating Republican activist and aggressive anti-unionist, Edwin Foulke, as Assistant Secretary of Labour for Occupational Health and Safety.

Bush lifted Foulke straight out of the anti-union law firm, Jackson Lewis, which skites of its expertise in "Labor Relations, Preventative Strategies'

Jackson Lewis sets up armed guards at factory gates to prevent union access and advises companies to impose forced overtime whenever union meetings are scheduled.

Foulke's company charges corporates $US1600 a head to attend seminars entitled "How to Stay Union Free in today's Era of Corporate Campaigns" and its deluxe version "Best Employer Practices to Stay Union Free in the Millenium".

According to US reports, Tonight Show host, Jay Leno, was so appalled by Jackson Lewis' union-busting that he refused to appear at the Society of Human Resource Management's annual convention until the law firm was ditched from the bill.


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