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Issue No. 333 17 November 2006  

Altered States
OK, so it wasn't unpredictable to see the High Court bow down at the altar of expanded federal powers this week, but in ruling this way our most senior judges have betrayed something more profound.


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.


 Westpac Banks on Aussies, No Joshing

 Coal Miners Go Green

 TAFE Chiefs Want WorkChoices Cut

 “Elephant” Knocks Over Unicentre

 Bosses Strike Fair Deals

 NSW Swings to Rights

 Sparks Fly Over Electrical Interference

 States Quarantine Remaining Rights

 Carpeted Victorians Fight AWAs

 Golden Geese Rule - Have a Gander

 Super Result for Industry Funds

 Smithfield Packers Shelved


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.

 Billionaires Club
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“Elephant” Knocks Over Unicentre

Nearly 100 Unicentre workers have stared down a two-year campaign to deny them a union agreement.

The breakthrough came, this week, when the Wollongong Uni employer caved in to near unanimous opposition to its anti-union posturing.

Unicentre announced it would enter negotiations with the SDA and LHMU on a collective agreement for employees.

"The Unicentre board has acknowledged the employees' right to a union collective agreement and accepted that the unanimous endorsement of such an agreement by two mass meetings of members indicated the democratic will of its employees," restrained SDA secretary, Gerard Dwyer, said.

Prior to the turnaround, Unicentre had used John Howard's workplace laws to thumb its nose at overwhelming support for the proposal.

For two years, the SDA and LHMU have been trying to get Unicentre around the bargaining table.

Dozens of workers held meetings and wore union badges to press their claim. Several were stood down for donning badges at the height of hostitilites.

Unicentre agreed to a collective agreement, last month, but insisted that it be a non-union one.

"The key issue is a long term one," Dwyer said. "The employee collective agreement, against a union collective agreement, is fundamentally about right of entry.

"This legislation tries to restrict employees' contact with their representatives.

"At least 90 percent of employees are union members, it's not like we're a pimple on the elephant down there. Union members are the elephant.

" The problem with this legislation is their aspirations mean nothing. The employer can simply sit on it hands and ignore them."


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