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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

Wages Heading South Under WorkChoices


Workers in NSW are being hard hit by the Government's industrial relations laws with average wages for full time employees dropping $33 a week in real terms over the last year.

The research by ACTU President Sharan Burrow, shows NSW workers have experienced the biggest fall in real wages for full time workers of all the States.

The data backs separate government statistics released earlier this week showing average annualised wage increases (AAWIs) have experienced downward pressure across the board in the September quarter .

Burrow's says the new IR laws are bringing down living standards for many working Australians and the potential emergence in Australia of a US-style two-tiered society with high levels of inequality and poverty.

"While the economic boom means corporate profits are at an all time high, there is a growing class of people in Australia that are being left behind," Burrow says.

"Our latest research shows that the Howard Government's unfair IR laws are a contributing factor.

Average real wages for full time workers throughout Australia are failing to keep pace with inflation for the first time since the introduction of the GST.

Recent data also shows that workers in the hospitality and retail industries are being hardest hit.

Meanwhile, according to DEWR Current private sector wage agreements saw AAWIs decline to 3.8% in Sept from 3.9% in June. Current public sector wage agreements also saw AAWIs decline from 4.3% in June to 4.2% in Sept.

Wage agreements certified in the Sept quarter saw larger declines in AAWIs, with all sectors reporting AAWIs of 3.7% in Sept compared to 4.3% in June; private sector agreements reporting AAWIs of 3.2% in Sept compared to 4.0% in June; and public sector agreements reporting AAWIs of 4.4% in Sept compared to 4.6% in June.


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