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May 2005   

Interview: Fortress NSW
NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca on how to win the battle for workers rights - and save the state system.

Unions: Fashions Afield
With new anti-sweatshop creations being paraded at this year's Australian Fashion Week, is equity the new black and are sweatshops the new fur? asks Tara de Boehmler.

Industrial: Pay Dirt
John Burgess argues that the flow-on effect from changing the minimum wage could be more than we bargained for.

Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones

History: Big Day Out
Neale Towart looks back on the events that created the May Day heritage.

International: Making History
Hundreds of aid organisations, charities, trade unions and religious groups have formed a global alliance called � Make Poverty History�.

Economics: The Fear Factor
The solution to skill shortages is intelligent planning, argues John Spoehr

Review: The Robots Revolt
New kids flick Robot uses our electronic friends to teach audiences that inbuilt obsolescence is just a state of mind, writes Tara de Boehmler

Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The idea of a corporations power that could cure any ill has inspired our resident bard, David Peetz, to verse.


The Soapbox
May Spray
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson delivered the annual May Day Toast - and warned it is no time to be comfortable and relaxed.

The Locker Room
A Rucking Good Time
Phil Doyle reveals many things, some of them useful

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, is back to regale us with inside goss and intrigue from the Bearpit.


Rights and Wrongs
Something unseasonal and hitherto untoward has been occurring up at Macquarie Street in recent weeks, a flurry of legislative activity around workers rights.


 Harmer FACS Families

 Brats Drive Bus Row

 Harsh Reality � Bella Turns Pink

 Rev Kev Blesses Bosses

 Workers Online Legit

 Howard Rides Kiwi Model

 Della Opts for Gaol

 Feds in the Dock

 Carr Race to Bottom

 Bosses Walk on Water

 Govt Gets Claws into Nurses

 Ion Faces Legal Probe

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The Corporation's Power

The idea of a corporations power that could cure any ill has inspired our resident bard, David Peetz, to verse.

This week the Prime Minister revealed yet another benefit from a federal takeover of state industrial relations systems. Yes, by using the "corporations power" in the constitution (the part that enables the federal parliament to make laws with respect to trading and financial corporations) the government would be able to solve the national skills shortage. Mr Howard said the changes would address the nation's skills shortage and encourage mothers back into the workforce: "The best thing that we can do to (to get skilled mothers back to work) is to provide an industrial relations system that gives people the maximum opportunities."


The builders all were missing, their voicemails said "I'm out"
"You're looking for a plumber? You're really up the spout!"
No one could find a sparkie, even just to fix a fuse,
Until the P.M., from on high, delivered the great news.

"I know you all have suffered from our shortages of skill,
But now I have the answer, it gives me such a thrill;
The corporations power means no need to stay forlorn -
All we need is industrial relations reform"

Homeowners were ecstatic, "The P.M. knows the way
To solve a complex problem with the flash of a clich�!
The kids will be inspired, his rhetoric's so hip,
They'll all rush out and study for a new apprenticeship!"

Down at the pub retired tradesmen, watching the TV,
Upon hearing the news they just could not contain their glee.
"A cut in wages? Fabulous! Now that's just what we need!
We'll get back in the trade!" they all instantly agreed.

And in the child care centre, the mothers gave a cheer.
"Hooray! At last we can be sure our rosters won't be clear
From day to day or night to night - the kids will think it's great!
We'll rush back into nursing and get the country straight!"

From all around the globe, skilled workers flooded to this land.
The skills shortage was solved three months quicker than was planned!
Trade deficit? Health crisis? I.R. reform's the answer!
It fixed the drought, stopped cane toads - it was the cure for cancer!

And as the benefits exploded with each passing hour,
The whole land marvelled at this wondrous corporations power,
And shook their heads bewildered as the P.M. plugged away,
While the power of the corporations multiplied each day.


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