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Issue No. 123 21 December 2001  

The Unmaking of History
The new millennium has got off to an ominous start. The fireworks, circuses and self-congratulation of 2000 were a thing of the past and we were left with the task of redefining ourselves in a new era.


Interview: Braveheart
Labor Council secretary John Robertson looks back on a turbulent year and forward to a dynamic 2002.

International: Global Year in Review
Labourstart's Eric Lee gives his take on a year where the world changed forever.

Unions: A Year at the Barricades
2001 was a year when workers were forced to fight for what they once took for granted.

Technology: Unions Online 2001
Social Change Online's Mark McGrath looks at the advances unions made in web development in 2001.

Republic: Terror Australis
ARM national director James Terrie asks where to now for the Republic?

Economics: 2001: Annus Horribilis
Frank Stilwell looks back at a troubled year and looks forward to the challenges for the labour movement.

Campaign Diary: Melanie and Me
Strewth's Steve Cannane went into the viper's nest on election night and emerged with an ordinary feeling.

Politics: Tony Moore's Final Word
Wide boys, spivs, spin doctors and hereditary idiots have hijacked a once great Australian institution.

Review: You Are the Weakest Program
Cultural theoritician Mark Morey deconstructs the televisual subplots of our collective consciousness.

Legal: The New McCarthyism
The �war on terrorism� declared in the wake of the American events of September 11 dramatically threatens Australian democratic life.


 Unions Take Lead in Refugee Rethink

 Workers Christmas Wish List

 Sparkie Snares Organiser of the Year Title

 Bosswatch Gets International Attention

 Bank Workers Get Serious in 2002

 Qantas's Warfare Agenda Exposed

 Cabin Crew Stand Up for Themselves

 Win for Medibank Workers

 City Council's Tactics Rival Worst in the World

 Dynamic New Start for Musos

 Unions in the Mosh Pit

 Scholarship Opportunity


The Soapbox
Into the Crystal Ball
What will happen in 2002? We asked some of the players in the world of industrial relations to look into the crystal ball.

The Locker Room
The 2002 Workers Online Sports Awards
There may have been no Olympics, but there were some stellar performances in 2001, from madass bad boys to terminated talents, these are the big ones.

Trades Hall
Neale Towart's Labour (Year in) Review
Sporting a Costa crew-cut, a new look Neale looks back on some issues of 2001 that look likely to the centres of debate for unions in 2002.

Tool Shed
Tool of the Year? You're Standing In It
After a year when Australians brought out the worst in themselves, we all stand condemned for a stint in the Tool Shed.

 A Fair Go For All
 The First Bastion
 Tom Collins' Christmas Wish
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The Soapbox

Into the Crystal Ball

What will happen in 2002? We asked some of the players in the world of industrial relations to look into the crystal ball.


John Robertson, Labor Council secretary

- workers will be worse off under Carr Government workers comp changes; Della recognises error of his ways and support Labor Council test case to double compo payouts in the IRC.

- five-year review of IR Act leads to improvements in laws to regulate labour hire and provide for agency fees.

- Unions work with ALP rank and file to force a change in refugee policy.

- Parramatta wins NRL grand final.

Sharan Burrow, ACTU President

- Ansett will fly again, despite deputy PM John Anderson's dismissing it as a "carcass"

- Tony Abbott will severely embarrass John Howard as his bovver boy modus operandi is exposed.

- More women will achieve paid maternity leave rights.

- The ACTU's Reasonable Hours Test Case will be successful, setting a new standard to prevent workers being forced to perform excessive hours.

Mark Lennon , Labor Council assistant secretary

- Wobbly Radio to produce John Denver tribute show

- Piers goes a whole year without mentioning Currawong

- John Eales to be canonised

Michael Gadiel, Labor Council

ALP reverses its stance on refugees

Chris Christodoulou, Mr Wollongong

- Costa is driving home after a rough night. He stops at McDonalds, pulls into the express lane and says : I'll have a McRyan to go".

- Unions 2000 is drafted to assist in the organization of the Athens Games. I reluctantly agree to assist.

- ALP secretary Eric Roozendaal shows just how far he's matured in the job by supporting candidates on merit rather than their factional alliance.

Peter Lewis, Workers Online

- John Robertson takes on an image consultant and turns up to Labor Council AGM sporting a perm.

- Falling delegate numbers forces weekly Labor Council meetings to be transformed into a karaoke night - from now on all correspondence must be sung. Broadcast live on Wobbly Radio.

- As the war for law and order escalates, Michael Costa implements mandatory cavity searches on all street corners. Alan Jones says he's not going far enough.

Nat Davison, AAP

- Michael Costa changes his name to The Force.

- The CFMEU construction division orders a boycott of King Gees new version of the stubbie shorts, claiming it's a breach of a builders' right to have a brickie crack.

- The TCFUA supports the boycott, claiming the extra bit of material to be sewn into the shorts is more labour intensive for sweatshop workers. The TWU joins the boycott -- because it can.

- The media contingent at Labor Council demands the media table is condemned and a WorkCover investigation carried out into the fine black dust particles that falls on the table every Thursday night. Reporters and the CFMEU picket trades hall and demand an asbestos investigation into the building.

- The NSW Labor Council sets up a steering committee to report back by the Year 3000 with a new union chant for protests.

- Maurie O'Sullivan writes a letter to Labor Council without a single swear word.

Phil Davey, CFMEU spin-miester

- The Royal Commission into the Building Industry will continue to take no interest in the real problems in the building industry, such as corporate tax evasion and deliberate exploitation of illegal migrant workers

- Bob Carr will make a serious of clumsy and obvious attempts to win back organised labour who he betrayed over workers comp. These attempts will be seen for the charade they are and (in 2003) the Greens will triple their vote in the State election as a direct result of the workers comp debacle.

David Vincent, Workplace Express

- New police minister Kojak Costa develops a serious addiction to chupa chups.

Puts a sniffer puppy in every home. And pays Alan Jones for advertorials on his radio show.

- John Howard puts a big white picket fence right across the north and west of Australia, to ensure WE CHOOSE WHO COMES TO THIS COUNTRY

- Peter Lewis combs his hair AND irons his shirt on the same day.

Susan Sheather: Geek Girl

Portugal to win 2002 FIFA World Cup

Paul Howes: Buck-Toothed Good Time Boy

Robbo we be converted to Maoism and form a Shining-Path like Revolutionary Militia in the hills of Kurrajong and Penrith to make a stunning come back in 2002 to take the premiership.

The NSW Department of Industrial Relations and the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to discover the internet and decide to use it.

Ian West becomes the Minister for Industrial Relations.

Peter Ross - Web Guru

- Peter Lewis will need technical support on a Friday afternoon urgently.

- Computers will get faster and more expensive.

- Microsoft will release a bug-fix release for XP.

- The IT Workers Alliance will offer much needed protection to workers privacy with their emails.

- Peter Ross will get a Roosters 2002 premiership ring

Mark McGrath - Union Website Developer, Social Change Online

- Bosswatch the website to watch in 2002.

- South Sydney to win 50% of the games and become the leading crowd-puller in the NRL.

- The penny to drop for the union movement on standardising metadata and syndicating online content.

- Peter Lewis to be bowled yet again throwing the head up attempting to hoik a six to "cow-corner" for his much maligned Newtown Browns park cricket side.

Phil Doyle

Has produced a comprehensive list of predictions which can be viewed at:


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