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Workers Online
  Issue No 109 Official Organ of LaborNet 31 August 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week


Activist Notebook

All the latest details on actions, workshops and conferences for anyone interested in labour politics.


Learn the secrets to a good protest action - come and hear from the Fair Wear creative arts team about making spectacular props, banners and other creative tools for protest events. And gets your hands dirty making stuff - free material provided by Reverse Garbage!

Join us with preparation for our latest campaign on the No Sweatshop Label. We're targeting a major Sydney retailer (can't say who but "there's no other store"...) to ask why big brands are still refusing to support the No Sweatshop Label. Everyone's welcome.

Where: Reverse Garbage, Addison Rd Community Centre, Marrickville

Transport: Catch the 426 or 428 bus to Addison Rd, Marrickville

When: Saturday, 1st September 2pm - 4pm

What the critics have said:

"This activity is a must for people who want to be more creative." Anonymous.

"This activity is a must for people who already consider themselves to be creative." Anonymous.

"This activity is a must for anyone that doesn't fit into the two previous categories." Anonymous.

For more info, email [email protected] or phone (02) 9380 9091.


The Age of Dissent

The Sydney Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History has organised a Conference on Social Protest Movements and the Labour Movement, 1965-1975.

The Conference will be held over the weekend 22-23 September, at the Women's College, University of Sydney. It promises to be a memorable and enjoyable event.

Commemorating the significance of the wide ranging social and political movements, and industrial struggles, of the period, the Conference will focus on Sydney and NSW.

Prominent activists in the major mass movements of the turbulent decade have been gathered by the organisers. The panellists and speakers, some 40 veterans of the period, will explain events, and reflect on their long-term social and political ramifications for Australian society.

The program has been arranged into five sessions with eight panels, providing time for introductory talks, questions/comments from the floor, and discussion between panellists and attendees.

Registration fees are $80 for both days; $45 for one day. Concessions are available at $40 and $25 respectively. Registration includes all-day coffee/tea, substantial buffet lunches, and Saturday evening wine/snacks.

Registration: Dr Beverley Symons, Secretary, Sydney Branch ASSLH, 23/68-74

Liverpool Road, Summer Hill, 2130. Enquiries: (02) 9799.6943 or (02)




27, 28, 29 September 2001Asia-Pacific Research Network and AID/WATCH University of Technology Sydney, Harris St, Sydney, Australia

In recent years corporations have gained remarkable power. Many have gone transnational in the search for lower costs and bigger markets. In response, governments have removed economic barriers, and Transnational Corporations (TNCs) have led the way in the new world of corporate globalisation. Today more than one third of the world's private assets are owned by TNCs. One third of all international trade occurs within individual TNCs. Across the globe, a range of campaigns and movements are challenging the power of TNCs.

The conference is aimed at strengthening this challenge. Participants assess the impact of TNCs, and how they exercise power. They compare experiences, build research agendas and develop strategy.

Keynotes include: Sharon Beder, Wollongong University; Doug Cameron, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; Tony Clarke, Polaris Institute (Canada); Jacqui Katona, Aboriginal Activist; Moses Havini, Bougainville Freedom Movement; Rafael Mariano, BAYAN (the Philippines); Kavaljit Singh, Public Interest Research Centre (India); Tony Tujan, Ibon Foundation (the Philippines).

Cost: $200, $100 Cconcession (includes lunches and coffees/teas) Day rates and further concessions are available on request.

How to register: Visit the APRN website:, or the Aid/Watch site,, and follow the links for the APRN's third annual conference;


*   Sumbit an event

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 109 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Union Power
Electrical Trades Union state secretary Bernie Riordan surveys the union movement's troubled relationship with Labor.
*  International: Spreading the Word
Veronica Apap profiles Kamal Fadel and the battle he is fighting for the independence of his homeland of West Sahara.
*  E-Change: Training for a Wired Workforce
Education is the entry point into the new economy; but the system still reflects an industrial age view of the world.
*  Unions: AWU Defends Millennium Train Workers
Mark Hearn looks at how a group of Newcastle workers are setting a new standard in the railways.
*  Politics: Chatting with Enemies of the State
Brazils MST is the largest and most radical social movement in the Americas. The CFMEU�s Phil Davey drops in for a chat.
*  History: Struggle and Inspiration
Rowan Cahill argues that it is only through understanding history that we can make sense of the present plight of workers.
*  Technology: A World Without Microsoft
Heather Sharp argues that all technologies involve political choices and moral values. Computer software is no exception, and it is Bill Gates' choices that dominate.
*  Review: Let There Be Rock
Kid Rock and Beer Bong, Australia�s Oldest Rock Fans review the week�s music and political events from the safety of the bar stool.
*  Satire: Tampa refugees ask to go home: "It's less inhumane than Australia"
The 460 asylum seekers on board the Tampa freight vessel have demanded to be taken back to their oppressive homelands, which they now realise aren�t nearly as hostile as Australia.

»  The Meaning of Working Life � The Answer is 7.1!
»  Unions Stand Up for National Soul
»  MUA Salvages Some Pride
»  Common Law Report Plea � Make It Public
»  Maintenance Contract 'Could Put Lives at Risk'
»  Tax Office's GST Scam - 10 Per Cent Off!
»  Della Moves on Pay Slip Concerns
»  Authorities Scotch Bra-Burning
»  Manusafe Decision Faces Appeal
»  Orange Finally Saved from Closure
»  Award Win For Telco Workers
»  Abbott Clears Way for Lower Wages
»  SDA Defeats 'Obscene' Westfield Parking Fees
»  Labor Calls On Abbott To Abide By Convention
»  Nurses Highlight Staff Shortages
»  Keystone Cops At Wonderland Protest
»  Call for Change in Award Increases
»  Green Tin Box Values Gone At Commonwealth
»  Dance for Independence
»  Get Ready to Wobble
»  Activist Notebook
»  STOP PRESS: ITF says PM Tampa action illegal

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Unite Against Racism
»  WorkCover Impact
»  Improving the Debate
»  Botsman's Satire
»  MUA - Take a Bow!
»  Economic Predators
»  Email and the Waterfront Dispuite

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