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Year End 2005   

Interview: Back to the Future
James Gallaway collars Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, on threats, challenges and opportunities.

Unions: A Real Page Turner
Jim Marr glances through Workers Online’s 2005 news stories and finds there is more one way to skin a Rat

Industrial: The Pin-Striped Union
Rachael Osman-Chin profiles a white collar union that is having some almighty blues.

International: Around The World In 365 Days
It was a year of online activism, as LabourStart's Eric Lee reports

Legends: Terrific, Tommy
Jim Marr tackles a champion.

Your Rights At Work: Worth Fighting For
The Your Rights At Work campaign has been a big part of this year and, as Phil Doyle reports, it is making a difference.

Politics: The Year That Was
Frank Stillwell looks at year that saw the politics of fear; and finds many reasons to be very afraid.

Economics: Master and Servant Revisited
Evan Jones asks if the Neo Liberals are taking us back to the future

Culture: 2005: The Year of Living Repetitively
Nathan Brown ignores Oasis and decides to look back in anger after all

Bad Boss: The Bottom Ten
Nathan Brown digs through his voluminous dirt files and comes up with the top 10 grubs of the year.

Religion: Hymns from a Different Song Sheet
James Gallaway on the Way, the Truth and life according to Brian.


The Crystal Ball
Workers Online consults a raft of leading psychics to find out what readers can look forward to in 2006.

The Soapbox
The Things People Say
It was a year of quotable quotes, reports Phil Doyle.

The Westie Wing
Ian West checks the rear vision mirror on 2005, and plants his foot down

The Locker Room
The 2005 Workers Online Sports Awards
After years of being overlooked by selectors at club, representative and national levels, Phil Doyle and Jim Marr, agreed to hand out our 2005 sports gongs.

Postcard from East Timor
In East Timor entertainment also spreads an important message into the community


Waves of Destruction
2005 was the year book-ended by two waves of destruction - the first causing untold suffering across the Indian Ocean; the second reawakening our darker angels on beaches closer to home.


 Melbourne Burns AWAs

 Corporates Defend Costello

 Speaker Won't Talk

 Bank Pays on Dodgy Contracts

 Plan to Save Jobs

 Harper's Bizarre Excuse for Failure

 It's Not Fair: Business

 Workers Walk As Warnings Wiped

 Teenager Hit With Shrapnel

 Pay Day “Unlawful”

 Tassie Rail Win

 Professionals Fear for Their Kids

 Boss Pings Rorters Charter

 New Ways to Take a Share

 An Hour of Need

 Boeing Steals Christmas

 Trouble at the Mill

 Activists What's On

 Pension Pinching
 Free to Rat
 Tax Cuts and Cockroaches
 Proportion, Not Distortion
 Corp That!
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The Crystal Ball

Workers Online consults a raft of leading psychics to find out what readers can look forward to in 2006.

John Robertson, secretary Unions NSW:

Workplace relations in 2006 will continue to be a talking point for more and more working people in Australia. This will occur for two reasons, firstly because the union movement will capitalise on the campaign it has commenced and secondly rogue employers will not be able to resist the opportunities presented by the Howard Government's changes to exploit ordinary working people and the most vulnerable in our community.

Federal politics will be more of the same unfortunately in 2006 with the Howard Government having control of both houses of Parliament. What is almost certain is that the arrogance of the Federal Government will continue to grow ensuring the views of ordinary Australians are ignored. Finally, with a bit of luck, the federal ALP will have a leader who can and will articulate a policy on workers' rights that is clear, concise and abolishes AWAs, gives workers the right to be treated fairly and restores the role of the AIRC to set minimum wages and resolve disputes.

John Howard will stay on as Prime Minister and Peter Costello will continue jockey and manoeuvre waiting for the leadership to be placed in his lap because he is too lazy to work for it and too gutless to challenge for it. Meanwhile John Howard will make sure he positions Costello at every opportunity. Barnaby Joyce will continue to talk himself up at every available opportunity and then do what he has done on Telstra and industrial relations - backflip. But in 2006 he will do it with pike.

Mark Lennon, assistant secretary Unions NSW:

Chaos generally as people try to work out the new laws - but only a downside for working people. A resurgent ALP will bring increasing pressure on a tired Government. A new look Wallabies will start their march towards a World Cup victory in 2007.

Andrew Ferguson, secretary CFMEU Construction Divison, NSW branch:

Tony Abbott to become Prime Minister of Australia after a vicious battle with Peter Costello that will see John Howard go in to bat for his extreme Right mate. Julia Gillard will become deputy leader of the Parliamentary Opposition. Costello will be forced into an embarrassing back down over tax deductibility for the James Hardie settlement after a campaign, by victims and their families, in the New Year.

John Sutton, national secretary, CFMEU Construction Division.

Howard gone before 2006 is out, with Peter Costello taking over as Prime Minister. Julia Gillard become Deputy Leader of the Opposition and, Makybe Diva to win her fourth Melbourne Cup or, at the very least, to run in the race.

Sally McManus, secretary ASU:

John Howard will resign in March. I am optimistic about success for the union movement in 2006. High profile disputes, such as Qantas and Boeing, will keep workers rights at the forefront of people's minds. John Howard may have thrown everything he could at the union movement but it hasn't and won't kill it off.

Julius Roe, president AMWU National:

John Howard will remain PM and that will wipe the smirk off Peter Costello's face. Workers' anger will grow, as will the strength of our campaign. Employers won't be able to help themselves and will use the WorkChoices legislation.

Ian West, Member of the Legislative Council, ALP, and columnist at Workers Online:

In 2006, Peter Debnam will blink during a TV interview, the NSW Constitution will be amended so that to be eligible to stand for Parliament you must look good in wrestling tights and have at least a brown belt in a martial arts. John Howard will say he's sorry and admit Tony Abbott is his illegitimate son and that Mark Latham will be appointed by John Howard to head Australia's diplomatic efforts in the world troublespots.

Lee Rhiannon, Member of the Legislative Council, NSW Greens:

Greens and unions will realise that by working together we can create jobs whilst tackling climate change. Thousands of new jobs in renewable energy will be the result.

Peter Lewis, editor at Workers Online:

Howard pulls pin in August and Costello smirks into power. Costello's skeletons - shafting workers at Dollar Sweets -come out of the closet. We'll see tax cuts for all, just don't mention workers' rights!


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