Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 13 Official Organ of LaborNet 14 May 1999  




*  Interview: Really Caring
Sam Moait will be sending a message from the 48,000 nurses who she represents when she takes her seat at the Drug Summit
*  Unions: Kicking the Habit
The architect of a trade union drug and alcohol program has revealed his own battle with drugs motivated him to help other workers kick the habit.
*  History: Remembering BHP: Memory and Industrial Heritage
The announcement of the intended closure of BHPís Newcastle steelworks heightened the awareness that industrial heritage is more than derelict sites of production.
*  Review: Ten Songs to Revolution
We ask Labor Council's resident music critic to name the ten songs that define the nineties.
*  International: Union Lifts Lid on Rio Tinto Shame File
The global campaign against mining giant Rio Tinto has been stepped up with a new report alleging abuses of human rights, environmental and safety standards.

Nurses Secretary: Sam Moait

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Unions Warn Carr: Bosses Canít Veto Second Wave
The NSW Labor Council has warned the Premier that it wonít accept a blanket employer veto of proposed second wave industrial relations reform.
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Labor Council Backs Harm Minimisation
The NSW Labor Council has called for governments to focus on harm minimisation and ensure there are adequate resources for drug users who want rehabilitation.
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Aquilina Urged to Talk as Students Offered Teaching Jobs
Teachers claim staffing shortages in NSW schools have led to student teachers being offered positions before they have completed their training, as they step up pressure on the Carr Government to commence pay talks.
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Cutting Through the Budget Crap
Michael Gadiel won the trip of a lifetime: the Canberra budget lock-up. Here he reports on the sights, the sounds and the smells of a very dull day.
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LHMU Demands Y2K Protection for Workers
The LHMU is demanding that employers provide written confirmation of worker entitlements in case these records are lost by the millennium computer bug.
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Cops Eye Airport Beat
The NSW Police Service is bidding to win security work at Sydney Airport under a controversial new contracting out plan.
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Spanish Workers Warned on Tax Agents
The Spanish speaking community has been warned to be careful of tax agents, after union member nearly lost his $3000 tax return.
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Unions to March on Journey of Healing on May 26
When nine pairs of message sticks left Uluru on 5 May, bound for each state and territory capital city and the Torres Strait Islands, the healing of hurts caused since 1788 took a new step.
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NSW Young Labor Turns 50!
A large dinner for Party activists to commemorate 50 years of Young Labor will be held on Friday 21st May 1999.
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Letters to the Editor
  • Why Wran's Right

  • London Calling

  • Editorial

    The Full Dope

    Drugs are on the agenda with a week-long summit dominating state politics. Trying to make sense of all the information is a daunting task. It's such a complex problem, seeping into every aspect of life and class.

    For the media it's particularly hard, because no one headline can do justice to the depth or the breadth of the drug problem.

    Because there is no quick fix, newspapers grapple for an angle to hang their stories on. When they find a new idea like safe injecting rooms they elevate it into a cliche.

    When you look at the alternate strategies the difference is often only one of degrees. All agree on the need for more resources to assist in detoxification, the debate revolves around how you get there.

    A clearer distinction emerges from the attitudes of those who participate in the debate; between those who see drugs as "bad" and those who see them as"sad".

    The ones who see drugs as "bad" are pushed into a moralistic position, attempting to define the problem in such a way that there is a bad guy to punish. This is the trap the tabloid media and populist politicans tend to fall into; drug addicts are "dirty", "stupid", even "evil".

    Those who are closer to the problem can't help seeing it as "sad". And with the genuine sadness comes a certain degree of humanity, a desire to fix the problem rather than punish it.

    If the Drug Summit does nothing more than bring us all as a community closer to seeing drugs as "sad" rather than "bad" it will succeed. For from a position of empathy and understanding, enlightened policies must inevitably flow.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Adam Searle on Costa's Faction Call Builders Offer Way Out For Leagueís Drug Woes Superman Goes to Berlin Piers in the Gong



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