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  Issue No 12 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 May 1999  





Cotter Withdraws Currawong Standover Claims

Marrickville Mayor Barry Cotter withdrew claims Labor Council officer Mark Lennon had threatened affiliates in the lead-up to the Currawong vote following a fiery meeting in Trades Hall this week.


Sussex St "Bully Boy" Mark Lennon

Cotter had named Lennon from the floor, after Labor Council secretary Michael Costa had demanded he substantiate claims that officers had been heavying unions to back the controversial lease.

After the meeting Cotter withdrew the charge when approached by Lennon for clarification. Lennon has now demanded a public apology and retraction.

Sussex Street "bully-boy" Lennon says he was more upset by the reaction of the room after the claims were made. "They all started laughing," Lennon complained. "The least they can do is take the charges seriously."

The anticipated vote on the lease with the transcendental meditation group, World Plan Executive Council, was cancelled after it became apparent opponents of the plan had garnered sufficient votes to veto the deal.

Under Labor Council rules dating back to the Lang split of the 1930s, a lease can be vetoed by any seven affiliates. The Friends of Currawong had attracted the bear minimum of affiliates required to block the plan, including one union with fewer than 50 members.

Michael Costa said he would not allow an archaic rule to frustrate the will of more than 90 per cent of affiliates. He said he had received legal advice that the rule could be overturned in the courts, but did not want to bog this deal down in legal action.

Instead, the lease was formally withdrawn and Labor Council will now commence negotiations to restructure the deal as a management service contract arrangement. The deal would retain the key commercial components of the original deal, including:

- the construction of upgraded eco-friendly accommodation;

- continued access to TUTA for trade union training activities.

- ongoing access for trade union members;

- $200,000 per year to the Labor Council to be earmarked for organising and recruiting.

Costa said he would bring the deal back to the Council in a month, where it would need a bare majority of votes to be passed.

He said once the current Currawong controversy died down he would look at changing the seven-affiliate rule.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 12 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: The Call of the Wild
We meet a union organiser whoís taking the union message into the call centres.
*  Unions: After the Gold Rush
Call centres are the boom industry and governments everywhere are touting them as major job creators - particularly in regional areas.
*  History: From Steam Trains to Information Superhighways
A new project is dedicated to promoting the heritage of the Eveleigh railway workshops.
*  Work/Time/Life: This Working Life: Issue #1
The debut issue of the ACTU's new monthly bulletin for it's Working Time and Employment Security Campaign.
*  International: British Unions Halt Membership Decline
Union membership has stopped falling in the UK for the first time in 18 years, suggesting that unionsí increased committment to recruitment and organising is starting to pay off.
*  Review: Cold Warriors' Secrets Exposed
NSW Attorney General Jeff Shaw looks at two books that lift the lid on Cold War espionage.

»  Push for Decent Call Centres
»  Shaw Unveils Second Wave
»  Union Raises the Roof for Beryl
»  Cotter Withdraws Currawong Standover Claims
»  Reith Second Wave Will Prolong Industrial Disputes
»  Itís Rio Telstra -- Union Braces for Attack
»  Fears of AWA Push in State Rail
»  Age Tele-Centre Seeks Pay Equity
»  Advocate Ads to be Referred to Auditor-General, ACCC
»  Labor Council to Stage Pre-Drug Summit

»  Guest Report
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Piers Watch

Letters to the editor
»  Wran Wrong on Wrepublic
»  Digging the Dirt-Digging

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