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Issue No. 123 21 December 2001  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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

C O L U M N S

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.

L E T T E R S
 A Fair Go For All
 The First Bastion
 Tom Collins' Christmas Wish
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Labor for Refugees

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News

Unions Take Lead in Refugee Rethink


The head of the NSW union movement is taking a leading role in the push to review Labor's refugee policy, writing to every ALP branch and Labor MP in the state backing Labor for Refugees.

Labor Council secretary John Robertson says its one of his great regrets that he did not take a more active stand on the issue during the federal election.

But now he's taking a leading role in Labor for Refugees an initiative driven by rank and file members appalled at the position the ALP took to the federal election.

The group is pushing for a rejection of the 'off-shore; detention program, and end to mandatory detention, and end to Temporary Protection Visas and an inquiry into the treatment of refugees in detention centres.

The cross-factional group wants ALP branches to pass formal resolutions support a policy on asylum seekers and refugees that is "compassionate and humanitarian and:

- advocates an environment in which the policy of the ALP promotes the cause of social justice

- ensures that we meet our international obligations in a manner that allows us to be proud of our commitment to the global community

-reaffirms out commitment to fundamental human rights, and to the dignity and worth of every human being and their inherent right to respect

- recognises the vast inequities in the global community and our obligations to further the correction of these inequalities."

Robertson says it is an issue for unions because unions are part of the community

"I think the whole issue of refugees in the lead up to the election was just appalling," he says.

"I think both parties ought to be ashamed of the way they, and we, all performed during that time - and I think it appropriate for us to take the debate out."

Forum on Workplace Harmony

Meanwhile, Labor Council will be holding a one day forum on Thursday 14th February to address the issues of immigration and workplace harmony.

The forum's aim will be to develop practical strategies to address cultural issues within NSW workplaces.

The Conference will provide unions with an opportunity to make links with relevant community based organisations working in similar areas.

One of the outcomes of the forum will be the establishment of working parties to ensure the implementation of the outcomes of the forum.

For more information contact either Mark Morey or Alison Peters at Labor Council on (02) 9264 1691.


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