If there's a common thread running through this week's issue, it's the continuing crisis faced by workers around the globe confronting the practical reality of Free Trade.
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.
Baby Company Punts Netball Mum
Dairy Workers Win Global Breakthrough
Treasury Modelling Backs ACTU Claim
Bank Nabs Huge Sales Targets
Come Clean � Insurance Giants Challenged
May Day Jam and Toast
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
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
Labor and Unions - What About the Workers?
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 �
A Voice for the Shareholders
Noses in the Trough
Memo: Carmen Lawrence
Police: Make the Boss a Woman
Baby Faced Brogden
Workers Online - Aoteroa
|other LaborNET sites
Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Shuffling The Deck On The Yarra
A corporate reshuffle to slash labour costs. That is the allegation levelled against shipping company, CSL, by maritime unions barrister Jeff Shaw.
The former NSW Attorney General laid his cards on the table in the Federal Court at Sydney this week, summing up the thrust of the argument the MUA and Australian Institute for Marine and Power Engineers are using in their bid to prevent the sale of the Australian-registered, CSL Yarra, to the Asian arm of the company's business.
A sale would see the Yarra reflagged in the Bahamas and brought back to coastal trading with a foreign crew.
It is not a case of selling a ship, Shaw said. It is more like reshuffling to enhance profit, shuffling vessels between related companies to avoid the Australian award and conditions.
Shaw said it was not a case of lost business, the business remained on the Australian coast. Nor was it bankruptcy nor that an Australian crew counld't trade internationally. Nor was job losses, a bigger crew would be employed on reflagging.
It was, he argued, a transfer of capital designed to avoid Australian labour costs.
Documents tabled showed comparative wages and conditions.
Australian engineers earn around $76,000 a year compared to around $34,000 for Ukranians; integrated ratings about $52,000 compared to the $19,000 the company pays its Ukranian counterparts.
And under the international agreement, crew get no super, little leave and no redundancy entitlements.
CSL, however, argue labour costs are not a factor, that the decision to re-flag came from its Montreal headquarters.
A decision in the case, pivotal to the survival of Australian coastal shipping, is not expected until late May.
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Issue 131 contents