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Issue No. 331 03 November 2006  

From Green House to Glass House
History tells us that towards the end of most reigns of power the regime stops listening to the people, stops talking to them and reverts to crushes dissent. Events this week suggest this is where the Howard Government is now.


Interview: Common Ground
Nature Conservation Council director Cate Faehrmann on the fight against global warming and how unions and greens can learn from each other.

Industrial: A Low Act
The Low Paid. The Fair Pay Commission knows who pays them. We can do something about it as they will not.

Unions: The Number of the Least
Forget 666 - 457 is looming as the scariest number for Aussie workers and their families, Jim Marr writes.

Politics: The Smoking Gun
Hayek's henchman, Raplph Harris, goes to free market heaven, writes Evan Jones

Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
They are supposed to ensure the wealth of well-being of individuals. Whats wrong with that? asks Neale Towart

Environment: Low Voltage
Nuclear Power and Prime Ministerial pronouncements are seriously short of a few volts, wrties Neal Towart

History: The Art of Social Justice
Tom Martin was a terrific cartoonist and part of a great tradition in labour movement history and culture, swrties Neale Towart.

Review: Work�s Unhealthy Appetite
It pays the bills � usually � but going to work should come with a warning, wrties Jackie Woods.

Culture: A Forgotten Poet
There is little information on the public record about the radical working class poet Ernest Antony, writes Rowan Cahill.


 Godfrey Hirst Carpets Workers

 Lies, Damned Lies and the Shirkin' Gherkin

 Guests Share Backpay Bonanza

 Win, Win for Filipinos

 Honey, They Shrunk Our Pay

 No Sex Thanks, We're Asian

 Green Jobs to Beat Climate Change

 They're Going Out The Door

 Medibank Staff Go Under Knife

 Thompson Slams Door on Delo

 Merchant Bankers Pull Entitlements Stroke

 Green the New Black

 Councils Fight Off Shoring

 Acitivists Notebook


The Soapbox
Robbo Goes Green
John Robertson's speech to the Walk Against Warming

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at a former public institution and its contribution to NSW.

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No Sex Thanks, We're Asian

Union claims that guest workers are being screwed in Australia have been undermined by evidence to a Senate Estimates committee.

Quite the opposite, according to a contract imposed on Chinese welder, Zhihong Fu, who is required to refrain from becoming pregnant, or impregnating anyone else, during his four years in Australia.

The no-sex clause has been blasted by Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, who described it as "one more insult on top of a number of injuries."

"I don't think this sort of thing requires too much comment," Robertson said. "It is dehumanising, disgusting and unacceptable."

A Senate Estimates Committee heard Chinese guest workers are being forced to comply with employment contracts containing what are effectively 'no-sex' clauses.

A translation of the employment contract gives the employer the power to deport a worker who "For personal reasons result(s) in pregnancy or impregnating others."

Organising strike action and political activity are also outlawed by the contract that covered Fu, the guest worker who made headlines after breaking his arm at work.

Fu was forced to return to work after breaking his right wrist in a fall and claimed that injury led to him spraining his right arm when he was unable to properly control a drill.

Fu stopped work on his doctor's orders and Lakeside Packaging responded by sacking him and notifying him he would be deported within 28 days.

The 49-year-old was earning thousands of dollars a year less than the $41,000 minimum prescribed under the federal government's 457 visa program.

Earlier this month an Age investigation revealed labour hire firm, Worldlink to China Services, charged Fu more than $21,000 to bring him to Australia.

The AMWU has launched anti-discrimination action in a bid to prevent Fu being deported.


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