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Issue No. 150 30 August 2002  

Shut It Down!
The CFMEU�s legal bid to have the Cole Royal Commission closed down seeks to prove legally what any dispassionate observer has worked out for themselves: the whole show is biased.


Interview: Australian Worker
AWU national secretary Bill Shorten gives his take on the relationship between the wings of the movement

Unions: Morning Ambush
Rowan Cahill joined the Dayson workers as they took their fourteen week dispute to the doors of an American corproate giant

Cole-Watch: Grumpy Old Men
When the Cole Commission declared closed its second innings in Sydney last night, lasting memories centred around the hands played by two grumpy old men, Jim Marr reports.

International: Arrested (Sustainable) Development
Unions fronting up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development are making clear their views that development can never be considered sustainable unless social justice is made a top priority, reports Tara de Boehmler.

History: Illegal Alien
As we remember the shameful way we turned away a group of people escaping the horrors of a dictatorial regime, the treatment of Egon Kisch by the UAP Government in 1935 highlights yet another.

Economics: The Trouble With PPPs
The Uni of NSW's Christopher Shiel explains why the state's current flirtation with Public Private Partnerships is an ongoing joke

Poetry: Is This 'My Country'?
On the anniversary of the Tampa, and with the help of Dorothea Mackellar and Peter Dodds McCormick, Worker's Online travels back a year to contemplate those moments when eyes were closed to the nature of the Taliban regime.

Review: Garage Days
Mark Hebblewhite reviews a new Aussie flick that brings the indie music scene to the big screen


 Bias Case Clears First Hurdle

 Eight Weeks Only for Bomb Survivors

 Justice At Last for Woodlawn Miners

 Labor for Refugees Put Acid on Crean

 Canberra Cash Linked to Hall of Fame Stoush

 Osama Poster Sparks Controversy

 Underwear Obsession Prompts Rehab List

 Community Workers Win Lifeline

 Mad Monk Staff in 'Mad Hatter' Protest

 Qld Health Win Pay Rise

 Education Forum To Spark Public Debate

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Is Simon the Likeable?
The United Firefighter's Daryl Snow is back to give the ALP and political leaders in general an almighty hosing down

The Locker Room
A Modest Proposal
This NRL salary cap has come in for some debate recently, with many following the lead set by the Murdoch Media and calling for administrators of the game to throw the baby out with the bathwater, writes Phil Doyle.

Week in Review
World Domination
They�re right funny critters those Yanks who get their hands on the levers of power and we�re not talking, funny ha ha, here, Jim Marr writes�

The Costello Two-Step
Treasurer Peter Costello's two faces were on display this week - ducking and weaving from enforcing corporate accounting standards while upping the push to cut corporate tax

Always Listen To The Wind
Bernadette Moloney & John Hartley report from a conference aimed at getting reconciliation right

 Tony Moore is a Four Letter Word
 Choral Classics
 Sleeping Giants
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Osama Poster Sparks Controversy

A poster campaign likening John Howard to Osama bin Laden over his support for flag of convenience shipping has created a public storm.

Talkback radio jockeys, including Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett have taken aim at the MUA for the hard-hitting material, part of their ongoing campaign to save Australian shipping.

But the MUA says the adage "there is no such thing as bad publicity" has a lot going for it.

The poster prompted Mr Kennett to invite MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin on air to debate the issues, giving the union extensive airtime to argue against the Howard Government shipping policy.

The National Secretary began by explaining how companies like CSL were getting away with unfair competition and circumventing Australian taxation, migration and other laws. This, he said, had a domino affect.

"But today you've protested against the Prime Minister as opposed to CSL," said Mr Kennett.

"You've put a poster together and it's headed up what do these two men have in common? And there's a photograph of the Prime Minister and Osama Bin Laden," he added.

"Don't you think this is an abject insult to the Prime Minister and don't you think this will only upset people who might otherwise support your cause?"

"Well, I'm not sure the Prime Minister supports our cause," retorted the National Secretary, explaining how Bin Laden and Al Qaeda use flags of convenience ships because there's no accountability.

Mr Crumlin then pointed out how US President George Bush is making sure that flag of convenience ships don't go to the US and making sure that American seafarers trade their domestic routes, but the Howard Government is doing the opposite.

"There's a big difference between what George Bush is saying about border control and what John Howard is saying," Crumlin retorted.

Meanwhile MUA national office has recieved no calls protesting the poster, but legal officer Bill Giddins says he is preparing in case we do get a writ from Mr bin Laden or his followers for the comparison made with PM John Howard.

Read Jim Marr's backgrounder


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