Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 115 Official Organ of LaborNet 12 October 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Connecting the State
NSW IT minister Kim Yeadon is the man responsible for enabling the people of NSW. Here's how he's doing it.
*  Workplace: The Enemy Within
In the IT industry it's the recruiters who are earning the workers' ire, as our special correspondent explains.
*  Unions: From the Virtual Coalface
Computer programmer Vince Caughley argues there is a place for unions in the IT industry.
*  History: Conditions Precedent
Frank Bongiorno writes that the recent events off the coast of Christmas Island recall a story once told by Paul Hasluck.
*  International: Victims of Terrorism
Repression against trade unionists on the increase world wide, with 209 trade unionists assassinated last year, reveals ICFTU 2001 Survey.
*  Campaign Diary: Week One: Get Shorty
Labor's first week of campaigning was as an effort to gain attention from a nation rocked by the telvised war on terrorism.
*  Economics: Global Alliances
Ray Marcelo reports from India that the ILO is arguing that globalisation needs a worker and employer alliance.
*  Health: The Phantom Menace
Trade unions made an impact this week at an international congress In Melbourne in the global fight against AIDS.
*  Review: Rings of Confidence
In his study on the 2000 Olympics, Tony Webb argues that the government and unions reached a new level of cooperation.
*  Satire: Greens 'Quietly Unconfident' of Forming Government
A leaked memo from a senior member of the Greens reveals the party is unconfident of winning government on November 10.

Olympic Post-Mortem

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Virtual Union Takes Off

Nauru Guards Under-Paid, Untrained
Australian security guards working, as detention officers in Nauru, guarding the Afghan and Iraqi refugees, are untrained, under-paid and facing diabolical working conditions.
[ Full Story » ]

IT Workers Flock to Join Alliance
IT workers from around the globe have signed up to the IT Workers Alliance in droves in its first 48 hours of operation.
[ Full Story » ]

Freeloader Fees Get Green Light
Jonathan Hamberger’s anti-union tactics took a blow today with the AIRC full bench upholding the right of unions to collect bargaining fees from non-members.
[ Full Story » ]

Stark Differences on Workers Rights
The major parties have unveiled dramatically different policies for workers –with Labor protecting entitlements while the Coalition pushes for further deregulation.
[ Full Story » ]

Disbelief at Royal Commission Directions
The CFMEU reviewing its decision to seek leave to appear in the Cole Royal Commission into the Building Industry, following Commissioner Cole's directions to the hearing in Melbourne this week
[ Full Story » ]

Abbott Flees Ansett Workers
Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott today cut short a speaking engagement after being confronted by angry Ansett workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Union Support for ALP Climate Change Policy
Key energy unions have endorsed Kim Beazley's commitment to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.
[ Full Story » ]

Nurses Savage Howard's Neglect Of Workforce
The Howard Government is under pressure to outline thier vision for nurses in the wake of ALP's national plan unveiled this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Optus Workers Entitlements Are Safe
Swift union action has secured Optus workers entitlements after the telco announced the first of what in what is expected to be a series of job cuts this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Airports' Security Front Line Deserves Better
Security guards and screeners on the front line in the struggle to ensure the safety of airlines and their passengers have met over the global terrorism crisis.
[ Full Story » ]

Workers Rally to Stop NDC Cuts
Workers and their union will next week mobilise against plans to cut jobs inside wholly-owned Telstra subsidiary, NDC.
[ Full Story » ]

World Road Unions Unite To Deliver Decent Work
On International Road Transport Action Day on 15 October 2001, unions belonging to the International Transport Workers' Federation in 60 countries will promote the message that "Fatigue Kills".
[ Full Story » ]

Aid Groups Back Western Sahara
The Australian Council for Overseas Aid has officially backed the struggle of Wertern Sahara for self-determination and independence.
[ Full Story » ]

Trade Union Assistance for Afghan Refugees
APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad today launched a crisis appeal for refugees from Afghanistan.
[ Full Story » ]

Activists Notebook
All the latest details on actions, workshops and conferences for anyone interested in labour politics.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Aussie No Orwell

  • Health in Election Equation

  • Who Dares Wins

  • Protection - WorkCover Style

  • Editorial

    Collaborative Games

    The election campaign is now underway and many unions have begun deploying officials, delegates and activists into the field to assist the Labor Opposition in its uphill battle.

    Now is the time when no one in Labor questions the ties with the union movement. With Party branch structures close to dormant, the union help is often all that gets a campaign off the ground.

    It's also a time when unions forget their almost endemic disappointment with the performance of Labor in power and get firmly behind the one political party that recognizes their legitimacy.

    Elections bind the wings of the labour movement together and so they should. When the battle call is sounded they unite against the foe - Tory Government's, particularly those who so manipulate public opinion by preying on its baser instincts.

    As the campaign begins to unfold the points of conflict are becoming apparent:
    - Labor's support for public education versus Howard's elitist railings against "the politics of envy"
    - Labor's extension of protections of workers entitlements, to superannuation payments as well, against Howard's obfuscation to even honour his existing agreement to Ansett workers.
    - Labor's commitment to international obligations such as the Kyoto Protocol, versus Howard's bullying diplomacy of bribing smaller nations to take unwanted refugees.

    As Howard attempts to hide behind the over of international turmoil, the differences lie as much in their tone as their substance. And it is a timeless distinction: labor believes that governments have the answers, Howard believes that government is the problem.

    It is this credo that has driven the sale of Telstra, the deregulation of the banking sector, the promotion of private health and education - and the concerted attempt to breakdown the industrial umpire and system of collective bargaining it has fostered for more than 100 years.

    It was pointed that in the past days both Howard and Costello have nominated "further industrial relations reform" as their one unfinished economic task.

    The release this week of the 'Collaborative Games' a book that examines the union movement's role in the amazing success that was the Olympics, highlights how short-sighted the Howard doctrine really is.

    Here is an event that bedazzled the world - built and operated with unionised labour in a spirit for collaboration between government, employers and a workforce striving for excellence rather than a desire to knock a few bucks off the bottom line

    It is the Labor model and one that all the players should be proud off. And it is a model we are taking forward into new areas of the workforce with the launch this week of the IT Workers Alliance.

    The challenge for the union movement in the coming weeks is to mobilise our membership to ensure that this spirit of collaboration becomes the modus operandi of our national government. That's why we're unashamedly out there working for a Beazley Government

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Why Exports Are Good For Workers Jim Marr's World in Turmoil Neale Towart's Labour Review Stirring the Rubble



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