For the top end of town, the great mystery in John Howard’s
industrial relations reform package is why the Prime Minister has
increased its political degree of difficulty by exempting companies
that employ up to 100 people from unfair dismissal laws, says Malcolm Maiden in The Smage. For
them, it was the other two elements in Howard’s package that mattered
most: the creation of a national system of workplace rules, governing
how employers and employees react (and how they resolve disagreements
when they happen), and the simplification of the award system.

Telstra’s high-profile directories division, Sensis, is suffering
missed revenue targets, problems with several key product initiatives
and falling staff morale, reports The Fin Review. It’s
understood that the classified advertising directories business missed
its revenue target for the capital city editions of the next Yellow Pages directory by $25 million.

A coffee-drinking trend has hit all segments of Japan’s
beverage market, underpinning fresh milk sales and creating a new
market for Australian powdered milk, reports The Smage.
At the top end there is a growing crop of boutique coffee chains
and at the bottom, a proliferation of canned coffee sold from
Japan’s ubiquitous vending machines. Supplying the sweetened milk powder that is a key
ingredient in canned coffee is a growing part of Australia’s $500
million dairy export trade with Japan. Demand has risen further
because of the current rage: the longlife latte cup.

And The Australian reports that CSL’s anti-cervical cancer vaccine is a
superior breakthrough to the Cochlear ear implant and is likely to have
a greater profit spin-off, according to an upbeat CSL chief executive
Brian McNamee.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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