Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 15 Official Organ of LaborNet 28 May 1999  




*  Interview: Back to the Grassroots
Trade union trainer Jill Biddington looks at old problems through a new lens. Her message: talk to the workers.
*  Unions: TWU: The Workplace Union
Ring Tony Sheldon, State Secretary of the NSW Transport Workers Union, and if you don't get through straight away you're told it's because "I'm organising members at the moment".
*  History: Proud to be a Member
Retired transport workers remind young members of the struggles which produced the benefits they now enjoy.
*  Indigenous: Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
Australia's treatment of its indigenous people is a problem that won't go away.
*  Review: Popcorn Goes for the Crunch
A Sydney production attempts to bring Ben Elton's satire of film-shplatt cinema to life.
*  Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
View the latest issue of Labour review, Labour Council's fortnightly update on industrial issues.
*  Health: Being Lead Astray
Workers in a range of occupations are exposed to lead and are not being made aware of the hazards

The TWU's Tony Sheldon - out of the office

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Wobbly Radio


Michael Costa hones his new youth pitch

Labor Council Unveils New Public Face
Australia�s first public-access trade union shopfront is the centrepiece of a new organising strategy endorsed by the NSW Labor Council this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Revealed: New, Meaner Breed of Body Hire
Body hire firms are offering employers a bank of independent contractors rather than employees to replace their full-time workforce, meaning that even minimal industrial regulations will no longer apply.
[ Full Story » ]

Unions Wins Own Safety Prosecution
A trade union has been awarded $50,000 after successfully mounting its own prosecution of a firm over the death of a member in 1996.
[ Full Story » ]

Timor Protest Calls for UN Troops
From the time a judge in Darwin gave him only a 12-month suspended sentence for acting �patriotically� in his activities towards a free East Timor, Estanislau Da Silva knew he had a friend in Australia.
[ Full Story » ]

Pay Equity Jitters as Report Gathers Dust
Unions fear the Carr Government may be going cold on its election commitment to implement the recommendations of its ground-breaking report into gender pay equity.
[ Full Story » ]

Paid Maternity Leave: One Step Forward - One Step Back
The CPSU recently negotiated a groundbreaking enterprise agreement with Channel Ten which includes six weeks paid maternity leave - a first for the commercial TV industry.
[ Full Story » ]

Court Victory for PNG Workers
Workers who claim to have been unfairly dismissed have won a major victory in the National Court of Justice in Papua New Guinea.
[ Full Story » ]

First For Union With Multicultural Arts Grant
The Construction Division of the CFMEU has become the first union ever to win funding from the multicultural arts festival �Carnivale�.
[ Full Story » ]

Cleaners Clean Up In Backpay Bonanza
More than 70 cleaners have collected a total of over $70,000 in one of the largest backpay claims seen in the cleaning industry.
[ Full Story » ]

Unions Join Sorry Ceremony
Unions formed a vital part of the moving Journey of Healing events held in Sydney on Wednesday.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Concern at Timor Attitudes

  • Editorial

    Getting Organised

    Anyone trying to get anything done knows that organisation is the key; putting the building blocks in place, then following through to achieve your objectives.

    For a union movement in crisis, organising has never been more important; organising ourselves, organising our members and trying to organise the growing numbers who are not in unions but who are open to the idea.

    In the Information Age, the task of organising has never been more important -- or more difficult.

    The traditional structures of the Industrial Age clumped workers into the same places, large factories and workhouses created a hotbed for activism and an easy contact point for their representatives.

    The new economy disperses workers to more remote, smaller workplaces where their only contacts may be virtual.

    Unions no longer have the benefit of space and must be smarter in creating networks of like minded workers.

    In a way the concepts are the same -- harnessing collective strength to promote common interests.

    The challenge is to use the technologies at our disposal to organise these more mobile networks of workers.

    As the alarming evidence on the spread of body hire, including new contractor-based body hire revealed by Workers Onlione this week, comes to light, the need for unions has never been starker.

    To fulfil that need we must be more active and more imaginative, trying new approaches to addressing age-old problems. Getting organised must be our main objective.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Arch Bevis on the Illusion of Choice How to Really Love Your Mascot Costa on the Union Shop Piers Says Sorry. Then Chokes



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