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June 2005   

Interview: The Baby Drought
Social ethicist Leslie Cannold has delved into why women - and men - are having fewer children. And it all comes back to the workplace.

Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
David Peetz uncovers the truth behind the latest statistics on earnings under Australian Workplace Agreements.

Workplace: The Invisible Parents
Current government policies about work and family do not reflect the realities of either family life or the modern workplace. writes Don Edgar.

History: Bruce�s Big Blunder
The Big Fella, Jack Lang, gives an eyewitness account of the last time Conservatives tried to dismantle Australia�s industrial relations system.

Politics: All God's Children
The battle for morality is not confined to Australian polittics. Michael Walzer writes on the American perspective

Economics: Spun Out
The business groups are feeling cocky. The feds have announced their IR changes, business says they don't go far enough. What a surprise, writes Neale Towart

International: Shakey Trials
Lyndy McIntyre argues the New Zealnd IR experiment provides warnings - and hope - for the Australian union movement.

Legal: Civil Distrubance
Tom Roberts argues that there is more at stake than an attack on building workers in the looming legsilation.

Review: Crash Course In Racism
Paul Haggis flick Crash suggests that when cars collide the extent of people's prejudices are revealed sans the usual veil of political correctness, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: You're Fired
New laws will leave bosses holding the whip and workers with a Raw Hide, writes resident bard David Peetz


The Locker Room
Ashes to Dust
In which Phil Doyle travels to distant lands in search of a meat pie, and prepares for the joys of sleep deprivation

The Westie Wing
Ian West lists the Top Ten reasons why workers in NSW can gain some solace from having the Labor Party sitting on the Treasury benches�

The Soapbox
Dear John
In response to this year�s Federal Budget, Bishop Kevin Manning wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard


An Act of Faith
After a week of watching the Howard Government attempt to explain their vision of work relations we have a clearer picture of what the social safety net will be in the future � an act of faith


 Beattie Dares Job Vandals

 Broken Hill Confronts "Choice"

 BHP Faces Losses

 Howard Threatens Babies

 Working Between the Flags

 Hadgkiss Makes History

 Bob The Organiser

 Johnny Packs Toothbrush

 Security Blunders to the Max

 EDI Court Out

 Feds: Do As I Say �

 Soaring Mercury Sparks Walk Off

 Unions Offer to Play Libs

 Education Stands Up To Howard Assault

 Dodgy Bosses Get a Tick

 Weight Watchers Raise Scales

 Hyundai Showdown a Riot

 Activists' What's On!

 Patriot Doug
 Remembering Workers In Cairns
 Bad Law
 Fair Go For Injured Workers
 A Question Of Choice
 Galahs Up The Cross
 National Solution
 Bomber�s Classic
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The Locker Room

Ashes to Dust

In which Phil Doyle travels to distant lands in search of a meat pie, and prepares for the joys of sleep deprivation


There is something wonderful, astonishing and doomed about the Newtown Jets remarkable run in both the Premier League and the Jim Beam Cup.

They've strung a few wins together, snapping at the heels of the frontrunners, with the occasional brain explosion; but by and large an entertaining brand of football capped off with the odd thumping of the opposition here and there.

This has all been done on the back of an added advantage of the fact that they are taking this winter wonderland to exotic places like Erina, The Entrance and Windsor.

The Entrance has, for this column, been a mystical memory of Christmas' past.; a sun drenched recollection of salt, surf, sand and caravans.

Now its come down with prosperity and a suburb has sprung up where once there was saltbush and mudcrabs.

It may not be long before the Umina Bunnies are knocking at the door of the Jim Beam Cup. They'd follow the Woy Woy Roosters and the better part of half a dozen other Central Coast clubs into the competition.

The club that gave Mark Geyer a home plays in what remains of the old Central Coast Division - the rest having headed off to the Jim Beam Cup. Their Home Ground is behind the sand dunes, in the teeth of the offshore hurricanes that like to drift in off Broken Bay.

Unfortunately the Bowling Club on the Woy Woy side of the oval, the nearest watering hole, is an AWA ambassador for the Office of the Employment Advocate.

And so it comes to pass that even 'Club Umina', as the Bowling Club likes to be eponymously known, is sucked into a dark vortex of evil.

Mind you, there's something to be said for footy that still has a sausage sizzle going on by the change rooms and beer is drunk from a can.

The best sight this column has seen in some time came at a recent Jim Beam Cup match when, at the final hooter, two guys in their twenties jumped the fence and ran full pelt for the corner flag; the winner raising a cheer from the crowd with a diving tackling around the flag's bootlaces.

I forgot people used to do that at the footy.

This year marks a return of that other great winter sport, The Ashes.

Luckily the Poms have scheduled the matches at night and SBS will be screening them, until three or so in the morning.

Many, many otherwise normal people are rubbing the hands with glee at the thought of the better part of six weeks of sleep deprivation and test cricket.

The cocky Poms are threatening to make the simulcasted ABC Radio coverage a rather tantalising proposition. I can't wait to see what washed up county hacks with good school breeding the BBC have in store for us.

It shall be dramatic, mirthful, eccentric and tangential - and that's just during the rain delays.

The rest will play like an epic.

All that is left is to fire up the percolator or preferred choice of stimulant, tune in on the lounge and sit back while productivity levels plummet and history is made.

Phil Doyle - Going four wide as they swing into the straight.


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