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Issue No. 147 09 August 2002  

A Call to Action
While there has been a lot of angst, anger and no shortage of tub-thumping over Simon Crean's push to cut union influence in the ALP, the end result of the Hawke-Wran review is that it is a call to action for unions to reclaim their party.


Interview: Save Our Souls
Labor's superannuation spokesman Nick Sherry expands on his recent discussion paper into the industry.

Unions: Rats With Wings
As the Cole Commission continues to sidestep safety, another Sydney building accident puts workers at risk this week, Jim Marr reports

Bad Boss: If The Boot Fits
Royal Commission favourite and S & B Industries top dog, Barbara Strong, carts off this week�s Bad Boss nomination.

History: Political Bower Birds
Rowan Cahill looks at a new resource detailing the fading history of the Communist Party of Australia

International: No More Business as Usual
Global unions are stepping up their campaign against corporate rip-offs

Corporate: The Seven Deadly Sins of Capitalism
Shann Turnbull outlines a new set of rules that should govern capital in the post-Enron environment

Industrial: Stiffed!
A backyard horror story has left funeral workers worrying about mooted changes to industry regulations, Jim Marr reports

Review: Prepare To Bend
If it�s a feel good flick that you want, Bend It Like Beckham is sure to satisfy on every level, writes Tara de Boehmler

Satire: Bush Boosts Sharemarket Confidence: Shares his Cocaine Stash
President Bush has rushed to re-establish confidence in the US market by distributing cocaine from his own Presidential stash to Wall Street.


 Mainstream Media Vacates IR

 Ten Click Walker 'Unfit for Work'

 Unions Push for Baby Nest

 Casino Workers Overtime Jackpot

 Abbott�s Task Force �Rank Hypocrisy�

 Shipping Policy Blamed for Reef Damage

 Dropping The Ball On Training

 Combet Pushes Consultative Vehicle

 Maternity Leave for Pacific Workers

 Hit List of Forced Closures

 Magistrate Endorses Health and Safety Rights

 Contracts a Thorn in Workers' Side

 Fringe Success for Workers� Pick

 Activists Notebook


Workers on Film
Last issue we asked you for your ideas on a union film script to match Ken Loach's The Navigators. Here are the best responses.

The Soapbox
Driving Together
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet argues that the Australian car industry needs a partnership between business and labour.

The Locker Room
Dogs And Underdogs
Phil Doyle explains why losers are half the equation in each and every sporting contest

Week in Review
Filfthy Rich and Claptrap
While Labor and the Democrats are tearing themselves to shreds, Little Lachie and Rich Ray address the main game �

Muddy Waters
It was a week when the Prime Minister washed his hands despite mounting evidence that the corporate world is out of control.

 Fraser No Workers' Hero
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Political Bower Birds

Rowan Cahill looks at a new resource detailing the fading history of the Communist Party of Australia


Consumers of the mainstream media could be forgiven for thinking that Australian political history is simply concerned with the personalities and politics of the two major political parties, the personal lives of some of their members, and more recently the undergraduate posturings of the Democrats.

Those who care to dig a little deeper will find much more is going on. For example inside and outside Australian universities there is a thriving research industry devoted to the history of the left wing of the Australian labour movement, specifically that part involved with, and influenced by, communism.

In 1994 academics Beverley Symons, Andrew Wells, and Stuart Macintyre, produced the resource bibliography Communism In Australia. Published by the National Library of Australia the 282 page tome detailed over 3000 significant documents, publications, and archival material relating to the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) and its allied and breakaway movements, from the Party's foundation in 1920 to its dissolution in 1991.

This book sold out, and quickly became recognized as a valuable research tool. It was followed in 1998 by The Reds (Allen & Unwin), an award winning history of the CPA from its beginning until the start of World War 2, written by Professor Macintyre of the University of Melbourne. A second volume completing the story is being prepared.

A major point established by Macintyre's history was the profound social, political, and cultural impacts the CPA had on Australian life generally.

Recently the Sydney Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History has published Communism In Australia: A Supplementary Resource Bibliography. The result of the patient endeavours of Beverley Symons, the book lists and details nearly 800 items, including manuscripts, oral history collections, books, chapters, articles and theses, that have been generated since 1994 in the subject area.

While primarily aimed at researchers, the book can be read as something other than a research tool. In particular the detailed descriptions of library and archival holdings generated by individuals and organizations, highlight the human and political richness and diversity of the Australian labour movement.

The depth and inclusiveness of much of the archival material suggests there is a bower bird dimension to many Australian labour movement people, who live out and work through their lives with an eye to history, and with the awareness that they are part of something grand and worthwhile beyond themselves, and in a sense, beyond time.

Copies of the supplementary bibliography are available from the Sydney Branch ASSLH, PO Box 1027, Newtown, NSW, 2042; cost $14.95 each (plus $2 postage each).


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