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Issue No. 334 24 November 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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

C O L U M N S

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

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

L E T T E R S
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News

Silver Lining to Qantas Storm


The threat of a private equity takeover bid could actually be in the interests of Qantas workers battling the spread of low-cost internal competition.

The Qantas pilots’ union, AIPA, is approaching the private consortium, including Macquarie Bank and Texas Pacific Group in a bid to take a stake in the deal which they say could restore standards to the airline.

In a circular to members this week, AIPA president Ian Woods says that the failure of low cost international airlines overseas places real questions over the JetStar international bventure being pursued by the current board.

"The presence of these funds, whether they make a bid for Qantas, or merely keep a watching brief, will be significant - and not necessarily against the interests of AIPA members," Woods says.

"We are in a position where, on issue after issue we are defending the standards of the airline and where the presence - or threat - of private equity funds may impose a new discipline on these sorts of decisions, then they could be a positive influence."

Other unions have been more wary of the bid, the AMWU calling on Prime Minister John Howard to protect Australia's national interest by intervening to ensure no jobs were lost in any QANTAS take-over.

AMWU National Secretary Doug Cameron says QANTAS was an Australian icon and that Australian workers, share-holders and customers would suffer if air-craft maintenance work was to shift off-shore.

"There should be a national interest test for any take-over of QANTAS," said Mr. Cameron. "QANTAS should not be sacrificed to the millionaires club at Macquarie Bank or any other take-over prospect that might move in and slash Australian jobs."


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