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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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News

Qantas's Warfare Agenda Exposed


Qantas management is prepared for an industrial showdown and believes "now is the time" to bring on a major dispute with unions, according to an internal briefing not for management.

The document came to light in a week where maintenance workers from the AMWU and AWU voted to reject Qantas' zero wage rise offer.

The leaked briefing paper from a meeting of Qantas production managers shows that Qantas is prepared to bring on a dispute to meet its long-term objectives.

The notes for one of the managers states that Qantas would "use this dispute as a catalyst for change and better work behaviours. It also pre-empts controlling access to Annual leave and Rostered Days Off to promote the airline's industrial agenda.

Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten said Qantas had dragged out negotiations for six months.

"Qantas is saying that Christmas is the time to take on its workforce," he said. "So if there are any unhappy Qantas passengers worried about flights, they should be ringing Qantas and saying, `Why are you picking a fight with your workers at Christmas?"'

Shorten told the Melbourne Age that the airline was trying to imitate a "Patrick-style" waterfront dispute "with a prearranged plan to declare war on its own workforce".

Start-Up Agreement For New Ansett

Meanwhile, a new collective agreement has been finalised for workers to be employed in the new Ansett by the Fox-Lew consortium.

ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said that the agreement was designed to kick-start the new Ansett when Lindsay Fox and Solomon Lew take over the airline on February 1, 2002.

"This is a new agreement for a new airline," Combet says. "It will save 4,000 jobs and help pave the way for all redundant Ansett employees to receive their full entitlements. From the time that Ansett collapsed, these have been the unions' key objectives.

"The new agreement contains pay rates which are broadly comparable to previous Ansett and Qantas levels. New staffing levels, working arrangements and improved productivity will give the best possible chance for the commercial success of the airline."

Combet says the agreement covered pilots and cabin crew, terminal services and other ground staff. The agreement does not cover maintenance employees, who will continue to be employed by the Ansett administrators until the maintenance operations are sold.

Key features of the three-year agreement include:

* A 5% share of profits and equity for employees;

* A $4.2 million "pool" from which wage increases will be funded;

* A commitment to guarantee employee entitlements;

* Union representation rights; and

* A provision ensuring that employees cannot be required to work unreasonable hours.


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