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Issue No. 125 22 February 2002  
 
F E A T U R E S

Interview: If Not Now, When?
New Labor Council organiser Adam Kerslake talks about his plans to bring unions back to basics.

Activists: Fighting Back
Jim Marr talks to Keysar Trad, a unionist who's left the security of the Tax Office for a much bigger challenge.

Industrial: Croon And Divide
Fly a kite, obfuscate the issues, divide your opponents and continue to hammer people: the one-card-trick Howard Government’s latest kite is unfair dismissal reports Noel Hester.

Politics: Politics of Extinction
Trade unionism is a spent force; a dinosaur. This alleged truism is often heard these days, in one form or another. Rowan Cahill unpacks the lie.

History: Harry Bridges: International Labour Hero
Zoe Reynolds marks the centenary of the birth of an Australian waterfront worker who went on to lead one of America's largest unions.

International: Rats in the Ranks
The relationship between Britain’s Blair Labour Government and the union movement has hit a new low, as Andrew Casey reports.

Review: Follow The Fence, Find The Truth
Tara de Boehmler reviews a new flick that sheds light on the debate around the Stolen Generation.

Satire: Howard Screws Refugee Kids: G-G Turns Blind Eye
Startling claims that Prime Minister John Howard screwed refugee children prior to the last election, and also during a hunger strike at Woomera, have been dismissed by the Governor-General Peter Hollingworth.

Poetry: Let It Be
When a certain former Minister for Defence visited England recently, he met Sir Paul McCartney. The former Beatle thought there was something strange about him, but he didn't say anything. He decided to just Let It Be.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Building Workers' Bid to Win Back Lives
NSW building unions are planning a major push to win back leisure time in the construction industry when 1500 enterprise agreements expire on September 30.

The NSW Labor Council is coordinating a strategy across the industry, involving delegates and rank and file members, in what shapes as the industrial battle of 2002.  [full story]

Dog-Tired – Long Hours Leave Beagles Buggered
Australian quarantine workers are being forced to work such unreasonable hours that their sniffer dogs are showing the signs of over-work and fatigue.

The CPSU says it has been inundated with stories on the effects of long hours on Australian Quarantine Inspections Service (AQIS) workers at Sydney airport since they were forced onto seven-day rosters with 5am starts. [full story]

Home Care Workers Reject Sweat
More than 4000 NSW Home Care workers have won a groundbreaking agreement that all uniforms carry the No Sweat Shop label promoted by the Fair Wear campaign.

No Sweat Shop label is part of an international campaign to back poorly paid clothing workers, both in Australia and overseas. More than 300,000 Australians work as out-workers in their homes making clothes for measly rates of pay.  [full story]

Building Commission's Costly Spin
Figures released in the past week show that the Howard Government’s Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry will now cost the public $60 million, not the $7 million originally allocated.

This includes $700,000 allocated to Media Relations for the Commission. This figure covers fees for a media consultant, co-ordinator and at least one other person.  [full story]

Caltex Asked To Explain Price Hikes
Oil industry giant Caltex will receive a “please explain” for price hikes it implemented during a stand-off with Kurnell maintenance workers.

During this week’s two-day stoppage, the company ramped up pump prices by as much as 20 percent, infuriating motorists, workers and their union.  [full story]

Palm Sunday Resurrected for Refugees
Religious, community and church groups are targeting Palm Sunday as a major show of grassroots support for a compassionate refugee policy.

The Sunday before Easter was long a day of action for the peace movement, until flagging interest led to the annual march being disbanded a few years ago. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Dismissals: Labor Blocks The Lot

 Company Collapses: Union Wants Bank Powers

 Women Wanted for Wharf

 Sanity Returns to the West

 Big Brother Raises Hackles

 Legal Action to Block Job Exports

 New Dawn for Dili Workers

 Councils Targeted in Contracting Campaign

 CFMEU Constructs Lebanese Bridge

 Israeli Aircraft Destroy Most Of Palestinian Union HQ

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
"This government really sings a lullaby of hate against refugees, the unemployed, republicans, single mothers, unions, indigenous people. At the end of each verse you have to ask yourself: who's next" - Sharan Burrow  [read more]

E D I T O R I A L
You can't play politics with workers' lives, it might win you a few cheers from the Tory press, a few corporate dollars, even a few votes; but at the end of the day you'll be exposed as the manipulator you are.

Spinning Out of Control

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Shorten's Suite
AWU national secretary Bill Shorten outlines his vision for unionism - from the relations with the ALP to its efforts to regain the heartland.

The Locker Room
Bunnies in the Headlights
Despite their triumphant return to the League, Souths story won't be the last example of tradition being trampled, writes Jim Marr.

Week in Review
Tories in Turmoil
With a constitutional crisis and a dangling mandate, it was compelling viewing for the Howard jeer squad.


LETTERS to the Editor
 Dirty Politics Won't Wash
 Tom's Foolery
 Give Us a Spray!

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