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Issue No. 131 12 April 2002  
 
F E A T U R E S

Interview: Cross Wires
Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance chief Chris Warren surveys the fluid state of the Australian media.

International: Two Tribes
As the Middle East burns, Andrew Casey shines a light into one of the world's darkest corners.

Activists: Beneath the Veil
A young Afghani woman has travelled to Australia to put a human face on the suffering of her people - and her gender.

Unions: Terror Australis
When push comes to shove, it appears the Howard Government is more scared of the Maritime Union than Osama Bin Laden, Jim Marr reports.

History: A Labor Footnote To The Royal Funeral
Stephen Holt reports that an intriguing Australian connection has been overlooked amidst the supposedly blanket media coverage of the end of the Bowes Lyon era.

Economics: Private Affluence, Public Rip-Off
New Labour's enthusiasm for business is matched only by its lack of business sense, as the private finance fiasco shows.

Review: The Great Hall of the People
In an extract from the latest issue of Labor Essays, the ARM's Richard Fidler looks at the symbolism behind the Republican debate.

Poetry: Waiting for the Living Wage
The Living Wage Case was heard this week. The workers’ voices in this poem have been adapted from the evidence presented by low wage earners to the living wage case.

Satire: Israel Recruits NAB To Close West Bank
Israeli security forces have successfully enlisted the expert help of the National Australia Bank to close down the West Bank.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Baby Company Punts Netball Mum
A mother of four who wanted every second Saturday off work to take her daughters to netball will this week fight a groundbreaking test case against her employer, a babyware retailer.

Janette Wynbergen will argue that she was wrongfully dismissed by BabyCo, who sacked her after changing rosters and forcing her to work every weekend.  [full story]

Dairy Workers Win Global Breakthrough
The IUF has sealed a groundbreaking global agreement with a New Zealand-based dairy multinational, employing hundreds of Australians.

The Fonterra agreement is the first committing an Asia-Pacific based multi-national to respect key ILO principles, including freedom of association, the right to organise and bargain collectively, wherever it operates. [full story]

Treasury Modelling Backs ACTU Claim
Treasury economists have conceded the ACTU’s minimum wage claim of $25 a week will have a negligible effect on the economy.

Economic modelling undertaken by the Treasury at the request of the ACTU reveals that the 2002 Living Wage claim will have little or no effect on GDP growth, inflation, employment growth, employment or wages growth. [full story]

Bank Nabs Huge Sales Targets
National Australia Bank staff who avoid the coming round of job cuts will be forced to 'sell' more financial products under the bank's new plan, Positioning for Growth (PfG).

Beyond the job cuts and bank closures, PfG requires a 50 per cent increase in 'sales force effectiveness'. While this was not fully explained at this week's briefing, the Finance Sector Union believes this means more hard-sell from behind the counter. [full story]

Come Clean – Insurance Giants Challenged
Insurance companies are being challenged to put up or shut up as the NSW Government moves to address their claims of poverty by cutting back on public liability insurance.

Announcing an affiliates meeting which will prepare submission to the Carr Government, Labor Council secretary John Robertson suggested insurance giants had pulled a massive con job. [full story]

May Day Jam and Toast
Labor's tradition and future will collide on May Day when unionists pay tribute to history and musicians create a new union anthem for the 21st century.

The annual May Day Toast has been extended to include a Jam where finalists from the Wobbly Radio union anthem song competition will play off for the $5000 first prize. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Job Security Win For Cabin Crew

 Workers Gear-up For Pollution Fight

 Shuffling The Deck On The Yarra

 New Push On Workplace Crime

 Super Child Care Win

 Doubts Over Ettalong Wharf Funding

 The Sane Monk Stands Down

 Fabians Debate Refugees

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
"Backwater countries with flags of convenience have watertight secrecy," Lloyds List.

E D I T O R I A L
As workers are fast discovering there is no freedom without rules. The challenge is to develop rules that give people a stake in the game.

Protecting Frank's Gonads

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Unions and the Web – Where to Now?
Peter Lewis argues the time has come to revisit how trade unions interact with workers and how the Web could be the catalyst for such a change.

The Locker Room
Free To Where?
Parents with kiddies who play a bit of sport will have noticed the escalating costs associated with their kids being involved in sport.

Week in Review
The Joys of the Chop
Workers come and workers go, right? Well, it’s the way of the world but while some get stiffed, others are stuffed with obscene amounts …


LETTERS to the Editor
 Labor and Unions - What About the Workers?
 A Voice for the Shareholders
 Noses in the Trough
 Bugger Off
 Memo: Carmen Lawrence
 Police: Make the Boss a Woman
 Baby Faced Brogden
 Workers Online - Aoteroa

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