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Issue No. 127 08 March 2002  
 
F E A T U R E S

Interview: Still Flying
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet looks beyond the bid to save Ansett to a broader union agenda for 2002.

Women: Suffrage or Suffering
Alison Peters marks International Women's Day by surveying the achievements - and shortcomings - of a century of female suffrage.

Industrial: No Coco Pops For Brenda
The working poor get short shrift from the hypocritical Minister For Workplace Relations says Noel Hester.

Unions: Back to the Heartland
Lidcombe, western Sydney. A boring cultural desert, right? Wrong, wrong and wrong again according to CFMEU officials who talked to Jim Marr about relocating their headquarters to a working class base.

Activists: Getting to the Point
Rowan Cahill reports on a development battle that has fractured a South Coast community and the role the union movement has played to drive a just outcome.

International: Push Polling
On the eve of elections in Zimbabwe, trade unionists are paying the price for their commitment to democracy.

Economics: Debt Defaulters
Amidst the colour and movement of CHOGM little was said about the pressing issue of debt relief, writes Thea Ormond.

Poetry: Those Were the Days
The Golden Wing lounges have closed. The last of the commiserating Ansett workers have long since departed those makeshift taverns.

Review: Black Hawk Dud
If you want to find out exactly what went wrong during the US Marines' 1993 peacekeeping operation in Mogadishu in Somalia, do not see Black Hawk Down.

Satire: Fox-Lew Launch Rescue Bid for Beta Video
Businessmen Solomon Lew and Lindsay Fox have shocked the financial sector with a daring bid to rescue the communications giant Beta Video.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Egan Sells His Brains
NSW Treasurer Michael Egan has won Cabinet approval to override ALP policy and sell off the brains behind the electricity industry in a move critics believe will inevitably lead to full power privatisation.

With Caucus due to consider the future of Pacific Power International (PPI) on Tuesday, unions will spend the coming days attempting to convince ALP back-benchers to delay the sell-off until after it is considered by the May State Conference. [full story]

Spying Bill Targets Strikers
The Federal Government could tap union phone calls during industrial disputes, under spy rule changes snuck through by former Defence and Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith before the federal election.

Reith’s changes to rules governing the operation of the Defence Signals Directorate came to light this week. They appear to have been a retrospective attempt to sidestep responsibility for breaking pre-existing rules during the MV Tampa crisis. [full story]

Dunny Wars: Will Workers Carry the Can?
Workers would face Third World conditions under proposed changes to health and safety regulations that would remove employer obligations to provide washrooms or toilets.

Unions fear this will be the effect of the consolidation of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, which replace the Factories, Shop and Industries Act.  [full story]

Drivers Appeal To Commuters
Commuters will be the big winners if state government and Rail Bus and Tram Union officials are unable to strike a deal on bus drivers wages.

The union executive, buoyed by employer moves to lift their wage offer in the wake of this week’s two-day stoppage, will recommend that any further action take the form of fare-free days. [full story]

New Tack on Asylum Seekers
The union movement has called for a fundamental rethink of the way asylum seekers are processed, scrapping the Temporary Protection Visa system and ending the punitive language of 'mandatory detention'.

The ACTU executive this week endorsed a detailed report prepared for the Independent Education Union by the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education as a basis for a comprehensive policy position. [full story]

Go Forth and Multiply – Unions on Women
International unions aim to double the number of women members and win them improved conditions within three years.

The International Womens Day campaign began with an ICFTU press conference in New York followed by a seminar on empowering women through organising. The events coincided with the 46th meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Howard Shuts Workers Out Of Steel Talks

 Questions Remain As Rio Rings Changes

 Labor Hire Swifty Exposed

 Unions Fight 'Industrial Blackmail'

 AIRC in Contracting Debacle

 Mayne Chance For A Wage Deal

 IT Workers Get Their Own Geek Scopes

 PNG Women Visit Australia

 Brazilian Unions Study Aussie Experience

 No Shangri-la in Jakarta

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Trade unionists made a stand for refugees at the Annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras.

E D I T O R I A L
For the ALP Caucus, many of whom were uncomfortable with the workers compensation legislation last year, the PPI sale decision gives them another stark choice between their Party's policy and their leadership's personal policy agenda.


C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Love Thy Neighbour
Bruce Childs explains why he's reactivated the Palm Sunday committee to take a stand for refugees.

The Locker Room
Debt Before Dishonour
In a week that featured allegations of drugs in footy, fast horses and faster cars, Phil Doyle struggled to keep up.

Week in Review
Bullies Rule, OK?
Jim Marr considers a week which highlighted the absolute joy of being big, rich and powerful in a lassez faire world.

Tool Shed
Leader of the Free World
George W Bush barricades himself in this week's Tool Shed with the sort of double standards that gives world domination a bad name.


LETTERS to the Editor
 How to Beat the Banks
 Collins Goes Cahill

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