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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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Mainstream Media Vacates IR

The downgrading of industrial relations reporting by major media outlets has hit an all-time low, with no Sydney outlet now dedicating a reporter to covering the round.

The Australia newspaper has made its anti-union bias explicit, telling applicants for the vacant position of Work Writer that they should turn their attention away from issues raised by unions.

In an internal memo to staff from deputy editor Deborah Jones, applicants are told they must look belong the grand theatre of industrial relations - the AIRC and the courts.

"Increasingly the work writer must think outside of the traditional industrial relations square as more and more Australians turn their back on unions and recast their relationships with their employer," the memo says.

With News Ltd itself attempting to push non-editorial staff onto individual contracts, the position is consistent with a company that questions the legitimacy of organised labour in the public debate.

Whether it will also quell the tide of destructive stories about internal union affairs, that have become the signature of the Oz in recent years remains to be seen.

No-One At Home

The Australian vacancy, following the departure of Kris Gough to a job with the Bracks Government, leaves Sydney without a dedicated IR writer.

- the Sydney Morning Herald's Brad Norington is currently working out of Canberra filling a gap in their political staff.

- the Daily Telegraph's Anthony Peterson is juggling IR with the State Political gig at Macquarie Street.

- ABC Radio's Liz Foschia is on extended leave and her position has not been filled.

- ditto AAP's Natalie Davidson, overseas with noone to take he place.

- and Stephen Long has left the Financial Review after his weekly Work Relations column was cut. Long is now with ABC Radio and his position has not been filled.

NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson says its surprising that mainstream outlets are downgrading their coverage of workplace issues at a time when union membership is on the increase.

"You have to wonder about the priorities of some outlets, who'll run a missing bird on the front page for a week but don't see the value of dedicating a reporter to cover people's working lives," he says.


*    Read Andrew Casey's analysis of the demise of industrial reporting.

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 147 contents

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