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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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Activist Notebook



- Lindsay Tanner MP, Member for Melbourne, Shadow Minister for Communications, Author of Open Australia

- Mark Latham MP, Member for Werriwa, Assistant Shadow Treasurer, Co-Author, The Enabling State

- Rebecca Huntley, Lecturer UNSW Law school, Co-editor, Party Girls

- Tom Morton, Producer Background Briefing, ABC Radio National

- Catherine Lumby, Associate Professor, Media University of Sydney, Columnist, The Bulletin

- Guy Rundle, Co-editor, Arena Magazine, Writer of Max Gillies' smash hit, Your Dreaming

Venue: The gallery, Berkelouw Books 70 Norton Street, Leichhardt,6.30PM

Admission: $20 and $10

Bookings: mailto:[email protected]



Labor activist, Irene Xavier and Mabel Au, women's rights activist, are currently in Australia on a speaking tour to support the abolition of Malaysia's Internal Security Act [ISA] and the release of political detainees held under the Act.

The ISA is used to detain without charge or trial, any voices of dissent. It has been used to detain trade unionists, political opposition leaders, journalists and social and human rights campaigners.Detainees are often subject to torture and denied access to family and lawyers.

COME to a meeting with Irene and Mabel to get an update on the international campaign :

Thursday 2nd May

10am, Labor Council, 377 Sussex Street

Detainees include Tian Chua, labour and human rights activist, Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience and Deputy of the Justice Party. Tian worked for labour resource centres in Thailand and Malaysia and was instrumental in organising workers following the tragic toy factory fires in Thailand in the early 90's. April 9 marked the 1st anniversary of the detention of six reformasi activists [including Tian] being held without trial under Malaysia's ISA.


Industrial Workers of the World - May Day Benefit For East Timor - 3 May @ the Gaelic Club, Devonshire St, Surry Hills, Sydney 8pm

Outspoken Australian songwriter Fred Smith will be heading the lineup for the Industrial Workers Of the World May Day Benefit for East Timor this Friday night (3 May) at the Gaelic Club on Devonshire Street.

Smith has blazed a trial to the forefront of the Australian Roots scene with extraordinary performances at the Woodford Folk Festival and his new album Bagarap Empires receiving critical acclaim along with extensive airplay on Radio National. The album recently won Fred an unusual distribution deal with Oxfam/Community Aid Abroad-one of only two white Australian acts on their roster- as well as the Sreensound Australia award for Best New Release at the 2002 National Folk Festival.

Fred has been described by a more than one critic as "Australia's answer to Billy Bragg". He is one of the more unusual figures on the Australian music scene. He released his first album Soapbox in 1998 with several songs from the disc receiving airplay on Triple J and ABC Radio. The album contained some mad comic tracks along with more serious ballads including the politically sharp Open Country, the song that won Fred the Australian Songwriter's Association's Ausmusic Award.

After acclaimed performances at the Woodford Folk Festival in 1998 Fred left to Bougainville and the Solomons to work with Australian run Peace Monitoring outfits in the Pacific hotspots. He recently returned to complete Bagarap Empires.

The album comprises eleven clean-cut ballads, some in English and some in Melanesian pidgen, telling stories of humour, dignity and compassion relating to the troubled recent history of Bougainville and the Solomons where Fred worked with Australian peace monitoring operations

The Sydney Branch of the IWW plans to celebrate May Day by raising money for their East Timor Community Computer Project.

An IWW Organiser is currently in East Timor coordinating this project. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and other unions have assisted in shipping recycled computers and parts to East Timor. The IWW organises to send computers and other plant and equipment to East Timor and coordinate their installation into computer schools and community centers.

After 12 months, computers have been distributed to Laga, Los Palos, Viqueque, Manatuto, Venilale & Autoro. In addition, computers have been distributed to various Libertarian groups around Dili. Our Organiser is also running a free computer school in Bebonuk with around 6 students per day. The IWW is currently organising to expand this project into Same, Suai and Oecussi.

To support this important work, the Sydney IWW is holding a fundraising concert on May 3 at the Gaelic Club in Surry Hills. Renowned singer-songwriter Fred Smith will be playing, alongside well-regarded political/folk singer Martin Doherty and for a change of pace, MC Ozi Battla will bring a hip-hop flavour to the night.

For info contact Adam: 0414 228 878


Workers of the world unite!

Industrial Workers of the World - Join the One Big Union!




The National Key Centre for Australian Studies and the Parliamentary Studies Unit School of Political and Social Inquiry Faculty of Arts, Monash University


A conference to mark the 30th anniversary of

the election of the Whitlam Government.

Monday 2 December and Tuesday 3 December 2002 Old Parliament House, Canberra

The conference takes as its starting point a consideration of the Whitlam era as a force in modernising the Australian Labor Party in the 1960s, Australian governance in the 1970s and Australian society at that time and beyond.

Conference Coordinator:

Sara Cousins, School of Political and Social Inquiry

Faculty of Arts, Monash University

ph: +61 3 9903 2651 (Mondays only)

fax: +61 3 9903 2795

mailto: [email protected]


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