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Issue No. 138 31 May 2002  

Demonising Unions
There's a common streak running through the Liberal Party's prosecution of its witch-hunt of the building industry unions and the federal ALP leader's push to reduce the influence of trade unions within the Party. That's the view that unions are on the nose.


Interview: The Star Chamber
CFMEU national seretary John Sutton surveys the limited progress of the Cole Royal Commission.

Politics: The Odd Couple
After spending years yelling at each other, a couple of young factional players started talking to each other in the name of refugees.

Tribute: I-Conned
A rogue priest and Philip Ruddock have combined to leave master artist, Rados Stevanovic, living in a suburban park, as Jim Marr reports.

Media: Audiences Before Politics
The real challenge facing the new managing director of the ABC is how to make audiences central to what the national broadcaster does, argues Tony Moore.

International: The Off-Side Rule
It may be kick off time at the World Cup but unions in South Korea and around Asia are using the world�s biggest sporting event to focus attention on workers� rights, as Andrew Casey discovers.

Economics: The Fake Persuaders
Companies are creating false citizens to try to change the way we think, writes George Monbiot.

History: Terror Tactics
As the Howard Government prepares terror legislation to ban organisations, Neale Towart remembers a similar attempt at censorship in the name of security.

Poetry: Food, Modified Food
That old school yard joke "what do you get if you cross a ... with a ...?" is becoming startlingly true. The latest development is a featherless chicken.

Review: Spiderman Spins Out the US
Red Pepper's Rick Giombetti scales the big screen and puts Spiderman in his place, flying in the face of right wingers who would claim the Marvel Comic legend as their own.

Satire: England's World Cup Disaster: Star Hooligan Breaks Foot
The English World Cup 2002 campaign is in tatters after star hooligan Gerard Wilson of Chelsea broke his foot.


 Cole Suffers Credibility Crisis

 Councils Armed To Drown Sweatshops

 Miners Win Record Payouts

 Bracks Crew Not Family Friendly

 Time to Charge Directors

 Waterfront Truth One Step Closer

 Speedy Flow-On for NSW Workers

 Star Sin-Binning Prompts Inquiry Call

 New Chief Puts ABC Back In The Picture

 Getting it Wrong on Training

 Gravy Train Gets Richer For Max and Mates

 Reward For Delegate Who Stood Up

 Casino Workers Hit Mat Leave Jackpot

 Drug Haul Sparks Security Warning

 East Timor�s MPs Take Australia On

 ACTU Officials Denied Visas Into Fiji

 Commemorate 100 Years of Votes for Women


The Soapbox
Modernising Labor?
NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues that genuine reform of the ALP would go beyond the 60-40 rule, to increase the voice of unions within the Party.

The Locker Room
Juego Bonito
Forget the dour contests of the Premier League and Serie A, it�s the World Cup which transforms football into the beautiful game. Noel Hester analyses the form.

Week in Review
He Who Pays The Piper
Money comes in all colours but, in politics, the hue is usually blue, as Jim Marr discovers �

Rich Pickings
Australia's wealthiest were on display this week as BRW released its annual Rich 200 list.

About Last Night
The CFMEU's Phil Davey, on an APHEDA -Union Aid Abroad delegation to Palestine, recounts his experience trying to get back to his hotel after dark.

 Simon and the Creanites
 In Defence of Latham
 Swans A Pathetic Con-Job
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The Off-Side Rule

It may be kick off time at the World Cup but unions in South Korea and around Asia are using the world�s biggest sporting event to focus attention on workers� rights, as Andrew Casey discovers.

After all the FIFA World Cup stirs the passions of millions around the globe once every four years - why not try to direct some of that passion in support of workers rights.

Workers Online readers can also take part in these campaigns - in between barracking for a favourite soccer side.

Global unions today launched a campaign highlighting the Korean Government's abuse of worker rights with a poster emblazoned Our Team Won't Be At The World Cup.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), together with the International Metalworkers Federation, Public Services International and the two Korean national trade union centres, launched the month-long global campaign which culminates with a global day of action on 27 June.

Meanwhile campaigners against the use of child labour have also launched their World Cup Campaign 2002.

They have got a new website pointing out that in the shadows of your favourite soccer games there are thousands of children spending their precious childhood stitching footballs, unable to receive an education.

The International Campaign Backing Korean Workers

The clever Korean campaign for workers rights puts the spotlight on a football team photo which - instead of soccer stars - highlights the faces of worker activists who have been jailed by the Seoul regime.

The poster explains that about 30 people are locked up, and many more wanted for arrest in Korea for trade union activities which are within everyone's basic human rights.

They are being treated as criminals because they have tried to form trade unions, have sought to protect workers' rights or have joined peaceful demonstrations.

The current President of Korea the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kim Dae-jung - is often touted as the Mandela of Asia for his democracy movement activities - but he has overseen the imprisonment of over 700 trade unionists since the beginning of his presidency in 1998.

Some of the facts being used to back up this campaign include :

� Under Kim Dae-jung industrial disputes are often violently repressed by unnecessarily provocative and disproportionately brutal police action.

� Over 200 trade unionists were incarcerated last year for actions. Currently, around 30 trade unionists are languishing in South Korean jails. These include Dan Byung-ho, President of the Korean Congress of Trade Unions (KCTU).

� The majority in prison were arrested for leading or participating in strikes or peaceful demonstrations, seeking to protect workers' rights or attempting to set up trade unions. Approximately 40 others are on the Korean authorities' 'wanted' list.

� 2002 has witnessed a surge in industrial unrest in the country. With privatisation costing thousands of jobs, Korean unions have been forced to react. 7398 workers in the rail industry alone lost their jobs in 2001.

� The President of the Korean Railworkers Union, Kim Jae-ghil, is in prison.

� In February this year, supported widely in both private and public sectors, 5000 workers at thermal power plants affiliated with the state utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation went on strike. 342 workers were fired as a result.

� A further series of strikes began again on 22 May in which 40,000 workers from sectors including metal, health and transport took part. The strikes are being held in reaction to some of the harshest working conditions in the industrialised world including long hours, low pay and a 6-day week.

You can show your support for this campaign by copying a draft protest letter and find out more by going straight to the campaign's centre on the web, here:

Global March against Child Labour

The FIFA World Cup is an international sporting event which stirs the passion of millions of people around the world once every 4 years.

However, in the shadows of this festivity, thousands of children are losing their precious childhood, stitching footballs that may be used for such sporting events.

No chance to go to school or to play, they are denied the opportunity of growing up dreaming of a future without stitching. Instead, they work day and night stitching the dreams of others.

Thousands of adults are also exploited as cheap labour to produce sporting goods used in official matches and merchandise sold in stores around the world.

While they are paid much less than the minimum wage, it is inevitable that their children are required to start working alongside them at early age in order to support the family.

Exactly one year away from the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and Korea, the World Cup Campaign 2002 was kicked off with a 14 year-old former football stitcher from India, appealing to the world to help her friends be able to go to school and play instead of stitching footballs.

The World Cup Campaign 2002 demands FIFA to make the World Cup and the sport of football, fair in its labour practice and free of child labour.

Their promise to make all FIFA licensed products fair must be kept with a transparent monitoring system in place.

However, making football a fair game is not solely the responsibility of one organization. All 250 million football players, 2 billion football fans, and the rest of the world must come together to bring out the best in the game!

Join the World Cup Campaign 2002! Take Action Now!


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