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Issue No. 143 05 July 2002  
E D I T O R I A L

Bad Bosses
It could only come from Tony Abbott: an impassioned defence of bad bosses that manages to dismisses the experience of every worker who has ever been done over at work.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Media Magnet
Labor's communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner on Telstra, pay TV, Murdoch and Packer and other media dilemmas.

Bad Boss: Abbott's Heroes
The first nominee in our Bad Boss quest is a man who runs his call centre as though it were a primary school classroom.

Technology: All in the Family
LaborNET's tentacles continue to spread with this week's launch of the New Zealand Council of Trade Union's site.

International: New Labour's Cracks
The British labour movement has plunged itself into another round of tit-for-tat insults flying between the Blair Government and the trade unions, reports Andrew Casey.

Economics: Virtuality Check
Is the Internet Bill Gates' guide to wealth and power or the key to liberation from alienation and corporate power? A new book weighs the arguments.

History: Necessary Utopias
Neale Towart looks at the impact of the Robens Report to argue that worker control of industry is where OHS should be heading.

Poetry: Let Me Bring Love
The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Honourable Tony Abbott, has made an offer that the Australian worker will find hard to resist: 'where there is hatred, let me bring love'.

Review: How Not To Get It Together
Together is a belated reminder that it takes more than high ideals and the right intentions to turn a commune into a community.

Satire: NZ, UK Added to Australia’s Migration Zone
In an effort to increase support for its plan to remove 30,000 islands from the Australian migration exclusion zone, the federal government has added New Zealand and England to the list of excluded islands.

N E W S

 Revealed: The Evidence Cole Won’t Touch

 Search for Bad Bosses Begins

 WorkCover to Set Up Crimes Unit

 Electricians Oppose Family-Busting Conditions

 Blue-Collar Blokes Back Mat Leave

 Murdoch Telegraphs Contracts Push

 Abbot Changes Rules for “Employer Advocate”

 Gucci's Label Tarnished

 Funding Cuts Drives Academics Mad

 Star City Casino Strike On The Cards

 Chifley Planners Lose Benefits

 Qantas Staff Sick of Shivering

 Regional Councils Call Jobs Summit

 Kiwi Ex-Pats Targeted for Poll Push

 Shangri-La Workers Still Fighting

 Korean Unionist Freed

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
The Bush Telegraph
Telstra’s poor performance in the bush is not just about reception, argues the CEPU's Ian McCarthy

The Locker Room
The Tennis Racket
You would think that child labour would have gone the way of bus conductors and public telephones that work, but this is not necessarily the case, writes Phil Doyle.

Bosswatch
Capitalism in Crisis
The collapse of a US telco has sent shockwaves around the globe and undermined trust in a system that rewards hype and dishonesty.

Week in Review
Between the Sheets
This column is heartily sick of being called solid, reliable and old-fashioned so Jim Marr gets with the program and discovers this is, in fact, an up-and-down, in-and-out sort of world…

L E T T E R S
 Lessons from Air Disaster
 Buggering the Bush
 The Great Giveaway
 Down and Out
 Why I hate Telstra
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Technology

All in the Family

By Mark McGrath - Social Change Online

LaborNET's tentacles continue to spread with this week's launch of the New Zealand Council of Trade Union's site.
 
 

The new NZCTU site

**********

Last week ACTU coming onboard. Now LaborNET goes international with the launch of a new site for the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU).

Like the ACTU, this site employs best practice design and content publishing, with all the latest news and events of the NZCTU being automatically highlighted to a content-rich home page that's easy to navigate.

This site was developed by Social Change Online; the same organisation that developed the ACTU and all the other 25 sites on LaborNET.

Easy Content Management

The key feature of all these sites is dynamic content that keeps their audience informed and up to date. Every communication action that a LaborNET based organsiation makes can be published to their website in minutes, because all of these sites are using Social Change Online's content managment system (AIMS), which allows easy web management with no technical skill required. This breaks the web publishing bottleneck that many unions tend to be bedevilled by.

Providng an easy publishing pathway between printed documentation and a website enables LaborNET based organisations to effectively conduct much of their communication online in paralllel with their existing methods. This gives them greater organsising and campaign capacity.

But it isn't just about pumping out information from the top down; the NZCTU site has a set of online applications that enable users to:

Worker-Union Matchmaking Database

The Find Your Union worker-union matchmaking facility deserves special mention. This appears to be the first online directory of unions in this part of the world that intelligently matches up workers with their appropriate union based on their occupation and the industry they work in (no mean feat!). A very nice and very powerful recruiting tool.

So for the NZCTU site, this means that it will now be able to conduct its role as New Zealand's peak union body with much greater effectiveness by opening up online communication pathways between themselves, their affiliates and the public.

Online Community Building

Probably the most important aspect of all regarding this site is it's potential to build an online community for the union movement in New Zealand. The NZCTU, in collaboration with Social Change Online intend to develop the NZCTU site into a portal site for the union movement in New Zealand. Much like what LaborNET is for the union movement in Australia.

The backbone of this online community building will be the provision of news aggregation and syndication. Each affiliated union will soon be able to publish their own news direct to the NNZCTU site, and as each affiliated union comes online, they will be able to "pull" this aggregated news content down to their own site in the form of latest headlines from a NZCTU newsfeed.

The experience of LaborNET in Australia indicates that the strategy of aggregating and syndicating out news content will give the union movement in New Zealand a larger audience and stronger penetration in the media, which can only be good for the movement.

An Effective Solution for the NZCTU

NZCTU Communications Director Lyndy McIntyre says around a year ago the NZCTU realized that its web site wasn't working and started looking round for a solution.

"The NZCTU website was a campaign magazine, focused on union members and getting active in joint-union campaigns," McIntyre says.

"We wanted to retain the campaigning focus, but we also wanted to be the voice of the trade union movement for Aotearoa/New Zealand. We wanted and needed to be much bigger.

"We wanted to provide a site where New Zealand workers could log on and get a sense of what the trade union movement is about. We wanted that site to provide a way for workers to find their union and take the first steps to joining up online.

"We also wanted to satisfy the increasing demand for a library of union news, submissions, media releases and regular publications and direct access to our 33 affiliated unions.

"We wanted a site similar to LaborNet which had the ingredients we wanted. We wanted to be different from individual unions in New Zealand, providing a wider view and reflecting the diversity of union members and their issues.

"LaborNet brought us together with Social Change Online and that has really worked, because we wanted a lot on our site, but we needed it to be easy to manage the content.

"The AIMS content management system Social Change Online provided has achieved that for us. Now we've gone live with www.union.org.nz we're looking to the next step of providing our affiliated unions with access to Aotearoa/New Zealand Workers Online."


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