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Issue No. 133 26 April 2002  

The Struggle Continues
While the romantic image of May Day may be one of international struggle to establish a workers paradise, the reality is far more pragmatic and practical.


Interview: If The Commission Pleases
President Lance Wright marks the NSW Industrial Relations Commission's centenary with an exclusive interview with Workers Online.

History: Protest and Celebrate
Neale Towart scours the globe to discover the spirit of May Day online � the celebration of the eight-hour day.

Unions: A Novel Approach
A union office has been transformed into a library thanks to efforts to provide books for children in detention centres, reports Jim Marr.

Industrial: Hare Tony, Hare Tony
Close your eyes and the Mad Monk sounds like a Hare Krishna, but increasingly the world is tuning out from his mantra about IR reform, writes Noel Hester.

International: Never Forget Jenin
Trade unionist Sari Kassis argues the word 'Jenin' now defines Palestinian demands for justice.

Politics: Left Right Out In France
The results of the first round vote for the French presidency have led to mass protests and calls for national unity, Paul Howes reports.

Health: Delivering A Public Health Revolution
Zoe Reynolds travelled to Cuba to discover how Australians are backing a ground-breaking child health project.

Review: The Secret Life of U(nion)s
Tara de Boehmler stumbles upon a juicy trade union sub-plot in the popular GenX TV drama.

Poetry: May Day, May Day
Rapper Swarmy G is one of the finalists in our workers anthem comp with this ode to May Day.


 Shonky Bosses Get Contract Brush

 Kirby Bouquet for Equal Pay

 Deep Pocket Syndrome Stalks IRC

 Court Decision Threatens Thousands Of Jobs

 Safety Summit to Set Accident Targets

 Detention Centre Vets Song Lyrics

 Fat Sheep Dip Into Workers Pockets

 Government Con Drives SA Vehicle Blue

 Dead Worker�s Family Calls for Safety Crime Laws

 Netball Mum Bounces Back

 Aussie Agency Backs War Crimes Call

 Thumbs-up For Union Immigration Role

 May Day Rundown

 DOCS Worker Assaulted In Courthouse

 Queensland Unions Move on Youth Exploitation

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
A Humane Under-Belly
Presenting the annual Kingsley Laffer Lecture, Justice Michael Kirby argues that international human rights underpin Australian industrial law.

The Locker Room
The Hidden Culture of Indigenous Football
Brian McCoy argues that indigenous footballers do not just bring thier skills to the game, they bring their culture as well.

Of Shares and Options
It was a week when Rio Tinto faced its shareholders, Ford faced a backlash and a bid to cap US executive salaries failed.

Week in Review
The ANZAC Spirit?
Jim Marr wonders what the ANZACs would have said about our current treatment of the homeless and needy.

 French Connection
 Gold Star Student
 Time for a General Strike?
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Thumbs-up For Union Immigration Role

The Federal Government has accepted the legitimacy of a union immigration clause in the Lucas Heights Nuclear Reactor site agreement.

The commitment came at a meeting between Labor Council and the Office of the Employment Advocate in Sydney this week after the OEA sparked anger by initially refusing to endorse the clause.

Unions, particularly the CFMEU, have taken to policing immigration issues on worksites because, they say, the Government won't.

Their concerns centre on the growing number of employers using illegal immigrants to slash wages and conditions, while avoiding workers comp and tax liabilities.

Last week it appeared the Government was set to use the OEA to strike down a clause in the Lucas Heights agreement that has become standard for Sydney building industry documents.

After meeting OEA representatives, Labor Council deputy assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou, was confident the clause would survive.

"They accept the right of unions to have these clauses," Christodoulou told Workers Online. "They want minor alterations to comply with privacy provisions, otherwise, it should be alright.

"The Office of the Employment Advocate is representing ANSTO and they understand it is an important Federal Government project, that it is in the public interest to have a workable site agreement in place."

The biggest sticking point now is the Office continuing to baulk over delegates rights.

Christodoulou is hopeful that issue, already agreed with the employer, will be resolved next week.

Ruddock A Hypocrite - TWU

Meanwhile, the TWU is accusing Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock of hypocrisy over his announcement of a 5000 person increase to immigration levels.

State secretary Tony Sheldon argued Government's move, aimed at attracting skilled immigrants, hadn't been matched by a commitment to training.

Sheldon holds up the inbound tourist coach industry as a prime example.

He says participants on the working visa programme from Japan, Europe, South East Asia and Korea are being routinely exploited.

"We have information that some of these people are being paid as little as $10 an hour for up to 17 continuous hours as drivers or guides," Sheldon says.

"Some are overstaying visas and driving with little or no experience of Australian roads or conditions.

"Despite been made aware of these concerns, Government has boosted numbers on the programme from 35,000 to 74,000 over a five-year period."

Sheldon is urging Ruddock to back the TWU's call for a radical review of working and temporary visa programmes in the industry.


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