Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 10 Official Organ of LaborNet 23 April 1999  




*  Interview: Latham: Leading With The Chin
Labor's heretical voice talks about trade unions and how they'll survive in the land of the Third Way.
*  Unions: Nursing the Numbers
Active members are the key to recruitment for one of the state's strongest unions, the NSW Nurses Association. We talk to some of the star recruiters.
*  History: A Sense of Community
Historian Greg Patmore looks at labour-community coalitions in the Lithgow Valley between 1900 and 1932.
*  International: Labor Council Official to Dili Front Line
Labor Councilís Chris Christodoulou will be one of the first foreign unionists to head to East Timor in the leadup to independence.
*  Review: When Billy Met Lindsay
What happens when a British political popster meets with an Australian political thinker?
*  Legal: CyberPorn in the Workplace
A new protocol in the NSW public service is setting the benchmark for acceptable use of the internet.

Mark Latham: Leading With the Chin

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Wobbly Radio


Who Will Own the Network?

Vizard Offers Unions Cheap Computers, But Is It a Pup?
A company headed by Steve Vizard is proposing a deal with the ACTU to provide cheap computers to the movementís 2.3 million members in return for e-commerce rights for the next 10 years.
[ Full Story » ]

Y2K Crashes Bank Holidays
Wetspac are restricting holidays this Christmas amidst fears the Millennium Bug will wreak havoc within the bank's network.
[ Full Story » ]

Carr Says Thank You To Union Movement
Premier Bob Carr last night formally thanked the trade union movement for its support in last month's State Election, acknowledging the key role it played in marginal seats.
[ Full Story » ]

Crew Saved by Message in a Bottle
The MUAís Robin Hood, has been hard at work again, this time on behalf of downtrodden Romanian seafarers visiting Port Kembla on our southcoast.
[ Full Story » ]

Unions to take on Qantas Over Foreign Jobs
NSW unions plan a co-ordinated strategy against Qantas, as the national airline announced plans to extend its offshore recruitment program.
[ Full Story » ]

No Training on Coat-Hanger Sparks Job Fears
There is not a single apprentice being employed on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sparking fears of imminent skills shortages, the Labor Council was told last night.
[ Full Story » ]

Council's Hypocrisy Sparks Green Ban Call
Pittwater Council voted to use community land for its own commercial purposes on the same night it slapped a Heritage Order on Labor Council property at Currawong.
[ Full Story » ]

Shoddy Editor Sparks May Day Confusion
Workers Online last week incorrectly reported that the annual May Day March would be on May 1. Itís actually on Sunday, May 2.
[ Full Story » ]

STOP PRESS: Employers Bid to Scrap ANZAC Day Fails. For Now
An attempt by the NSW Employers Federation to use a technicality to block access to Mondayís Anzac Day holiday for thousand of workers has failed.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Not So Wild About Bragg

  • Faction Talk Must Be Broader

  • A Bouquet from the Bush

  • Help a Student Pass!

  • Editorial

    It's The Network, Stupid

    Most Workers Online readers don't need to be told of the amazing potential the Internet offers for working, communicating and changing the way we look at the world.

    The ACTU has been negotiating with businessman Steve Vizard a deal that delivers him the movement's network of members in return for cheap home computers and connections for our members (see main news story).

    Because the negotiations have to date been private, Workers Online has not reported them. However, a story in this week's Bulletin quoting an unnamed senior union official "rhapsodising" about Vizard and his plan mean it is now in the public domain.

    Accordingly, we take a critical look at unions and the information economy; focussing on the potential of the union network (see Michael Gadiel's column) and the dangers of e-commerce (Chris Connolly's Guest report).

    On one level, Workers Online believes the ACTU leadership is to be congratulated on its vision in recognising the importance of computers for the union movement.

    But we fear it has not realised that the provision of computers is just the tip of the iceberg. The real game is about developing networks of people for the nascent e-commerce market, which is predicted to see home-shopping become the norm within a decade.

    This is a major decision for the movement, perhaps it's most important in the next decade. Unions must realise they have what entrepreneurs want most, a network. It is not something we should trade away lightly.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Chris Connolly on the e-commerce Monster Nervous Mungoes Flock to Alliance Michael Gadiel on Networks and LaborNET Piers on Justice Kirby



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