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Issue No. 332 10 November 2006  

Affairs of State
For those of us on the left of politics it’s been a week where there is more joy in thinking global rather than focussing on the local.


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.


 Abrasive Giant Pinged on Sackings

 Offshoring Good for CV: Qantas

 Records of Convenience

 Construction Lives Going Cheap

 Suncorp in Dee Why Denial

 States Fall to Unions

 Bisshop Looking for Converts

 Guestworkers Off the Menu

 AAPT Hangs Up on Country Jobs

 Super Funds Fight Telstra Perks

 Taxing Times for Compo Cheat


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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Offshoring Good for CV: Qantas

Qantas IT workers, facing unemployment as their jobs are sent to India, have been told the job cuts will be good for their careers.

“We had to go to a presentation where they said being part of the offshoring was a good opportunity for us and something to put on our cv, because we know how to deal with it. It was really humiliating,” said Dagmar Salat, who works on the airline's main website,

"Then they were telling us how good it was for the company," she said.

"I don't believe it is good for the company, but I don't care about that when I'm losing my job."

The two Indian companies, who between them will take on $191 million worth of work over seven years, announced their deals on the Bombay Stock Exchange yesterday.

Qantas is shifting its application development and maintenance work to Tata Consultancy Services and Satyam, cutting 300 jobs. Two hundred jobs will go to India while 100 will be located at the Indian firms' Australian operations.

The jobs remaining in Australia are likely to go to Indian employees of the offshoring companies brought in under the Federal Government's 457 skilled migrant visa scheme, said IT industry observer Tony Healy.

"The offshoring process deliberately rorts nations' temporary skilled worker systems," said Healy.

Offshoring support is likely to lead to delays and glitches on the website for users within Qantas as well as members of the public looking for information and trying to book tickets, said Salat.

"Being on site we've got a close relationship with the users of the site within Qantas, we understand the business and the culture," she said.

"When other sections of the business have been outsourced there's definitely been a drop in the level of care in carrying out the work."


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