Looking for the Light
As Labor searches for its Light on the Hill at last a senior Labor figure has come out and said it: the main game for the ALP should not be about shedding union involvement but making the movement – and that involvement - stronger.
Interview: Packing a Punch
Former Hawke and Keating Minister Gary Punch injects some sanity into the debate over unions and the ALP
Bad Boss: Basher Takes Back Passage
A new contender for our Bad Boss has emerged as 140 Stegbar workers confront a boofhead with bad attitude, writes Jim Marr
Unions: Five Star Shafting
What is twenty three years of unbroken, fulltime service worth? Eight weeks, according to Tony Abbott, the Federal Government and the cheapskates who run Sydney’s posh Hilton Hotel.
Economics: TINA – Rest In Peace
Sydney University’s Frank Stilwell argues that the ‘There is No Alternative’ school of economics should be consigned to the dustbin of history
International: Against Bush's "War on Terrorism"
Washington has become the first State Labor Council in the U.S. to call on the AFL-CIO to seek repeal of the USA Patriot Act and oppose the Bush Administration, reports Fred Hyde.
Environment: Saving the World
After a ten-day talkfest, are we any closer to saving the world, asks Nick Lucchinelli
History: A Radical Scribe
John Shields loks at the life of Lloyd Ross' brother, Edgar, and his work as a journalist and activist in Broken Hill
Poetry: With A Little Help From My Friend
Even oil giant BP Australasia came out and supported the Kyoto Protocol - but that was not enough for our beloved Prime Minister.
Satire: Colonel Gaddafi Promotes Himself to General
After years of ribbing by his Axis of Evil peers, General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran and General Than Shwe of Burma, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi has finally promoted himself to General.
Review: Workplace Dictatorship
Award-winning journalist Barbara Ehrenreich went undercover in low-wage America to see how people live on six bucks an hour. And what did she find? They can’t.
Cole Comfort: I’m Not Biased
Grassroots Drives Safety Campaign
Deloittes Curry Favour on Sub-Continent
Ansett Workers Short-Changed
Rail Workers Buck Individual Contract Wage Bribe
Carr to Drive Hilton Deal?
Bush Regenerators Weed Out Dodgy Deal
Insurers in Redfern Rort
Hairdresser Wins Fight For Wage Justice
Cabin Crews Argue for ‘Safety in Numbers’
‘Slave Labour’ In Insurance Industry
Westie Fires Up Over Durries
Beattie Plods into Risky Territory
Sydney to Host Social Forum
Ian West on Suncorp Metway
NSW MLC Ian West lifts the lid on moves to impose 'start before you start' clauses in the insurance industry
The Locker Room
Terrible Terry and the Nice Guy from Fitzroy
As the debate over the new coach hots up, Phil Doyle believes that all is not as it seems on the good ship Swan.
Week in Review
War on Terror
Next Wednesday, September 11, marks the anniversary of one of the most brutal acts of terrorism in modern history. Jim Marr’s picking it will pass by virtually un-noticed
The corporate world is holding back the waves of accountability with a crackdown on trusts rubbished and resistance to a new plan to increase corporate disclosure.
Collex Decision is Terrible
All In the Family?
Labor Council’s Alison Peters went looking for a family friendly workplace and got caught in a cheesy smokescreen.
Charity Begins At Home
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Unions on LaborNET
Insurers in Redfern Rort
Unions are demanding regulation of insurance companies after the industry pulled the pin on a crucial Redfern community service.
The Settlement Neighbourhood Centre was forced to close its doors on July 14 after more than a century of providing support and services to the largely Aboriginal community inhabiting the troubled area known locally as The Block.
The Settlement made the decision to shut its doors after 12 brokers and 32 insurance companies failed to provide a Public Liability extension for its programs and activities.
Furious Labor Council secretary John Robertson insisted on greater accountability for insurance companies that have taken premiums out of the area for decades.
"Insurance in this country is unregulated," he explained. "You can find yourself in a situation, where having paid premiums for 30 years and never having made a claim, they can just walk away and refuse cover.
"There is nothing preventing them from doing that."
Union members, spearheaded by ASU representatives, will join the Redfern community in urging state government provide short term assistance at a rally outside parliament on Thursday.
Joseph Hamilton, the Settlement's longest serving worker, said the stop-gap measure was necessary.
"We work with desperately underprivileged kids from The Block. Right now they are sitting in the streets and, I can tell you, idle time means dangerous time," he said.
"These kids are stuck behind the eight-ball. The majority have no access to the internet, or even organised sport, without the Settlement.
"We are always fighting, even for essential services that should be seen as a basic right for our kids, such as safe programs and access to educational and social activities.
"Now we are being dictated to by a group of people who don't understand the importance of what we do, yet they have the power to say we are no longer able to provide support to this community."
Hamilton said insurance companies had covered similar set-ups in other South Sydney areas but continually balked at The Block.
ASU assistant secretary, Sally McManus, said it was "outrageous" that insurers weren't required to justify such decisions.
"We suspect it is because The Settlement is operating on The Block with largely Aboriginal clients," she said.
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