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Issue No. 334 24 November 2006  

It’s Who The Economy Works For, Stupid
As the movement prepares for the National Day of Action on November 30, we embark on the third, final and, perhaps most difficult phase of the Rights at Work campaign.


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.


 OWS: Cash for Query Scam

 Watchdog Bites Own Pups

 Silver Lining to Qantas Storm

 Wages Heading South Under WorkChoices

 Hardies Finally Coughs Up

 Face Up to Save Harbour

 STOP PRESS: Workers Docked for Meeting Pollies

 Telstra Redundancies ‘Inhumane’

 AWAs Carpeted

 Contracts Shut Down

 ILO Gets Tough on Forced Labour

 Houston Win Sparks Hope for New Era

 Full List of November 30 Venues


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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Tool Shed

The Corporate Vaile

The country member takes the same approach to Qantas as he does cattle – it’s all about branding.


Any doubts that Mark Vaile doesn't represent at least some country folk were scotched last week when the Deputy Prime Minister outlined his plan to defend Qantas.

Using the kind of logic that deduces daylight savings fades the curtains, Vaile outlined the reason why Qantas would remain Australian, despite interest from overseas bidders.

The country member said while shareholders are free to flog their investment to overseas buyers, he could "confidentially predict you will never see the (flying kangaroo) moved off the tail of Qantas aircraft".

Clearly, the country folk he represents are usually found in the ethereal areas of the Appalatians and carry pitchforks.

As wise men have pointed out, this is like saying stuffed koala down at the tourist shop is still Australian even if it is manufactured in China.

But then, it's not so much of a jump in reasoning for the Leader of the Nationals to make, as he leads a party still dining out on the bush branding without actually having to do anything for people in the bush.

Although Vaile says there are no moves to change the provision of law that limits foreign ownership to 49 per cent, can the man be taken on his word?

After all, this was the bumpkin that shortchanged his own constituency with the sale of Telstra.

To paraphrase rugby league supercoach Jack Gibson, waiting for the Nationals to do something for people in the bush (other than those that sell ethanol and wheat), is like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt.

At least in some quarters of the Nationals, the penny is starting to drop.

For instance, down at Barnaby's office, the Rubble has been rumbling.

"I don't think someone in New York or Tokyo is going to be terribly sentimental just because it has a kangaroo on its tail about what they do to Qantas," Barnaby mused.

He's a thinker.

But then again, wasn't this the Barnaby that traded regional telephone services for some magic beans?

Then there was the small matter of the Government's industrial relations laws, which will reward people in the bush with lower wages.

Even the Smirkin' Merkin, Peter Costello, has put up a more spirited defence of the national airline.

The Prime Minister in waiting and waiting said the flying Kangaroo "means majority Australian ownership" and there was no intention of changing the foreign ownership laws.

Furphie or not, Vaile must be breathing a sigh of relief. His masters might finally let him stand up for the bush.


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