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Issue No. 152 13 September 2002  
E D I T O R I A L

The Legacy of 11/9
From the orgy of righteous indignation that has enveloped the ‘Free World’ this week a more chilling truth is emerging: if the suicide bombers were attacking Liberal-Democracy they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Still Flying
Flight Attendant’s Association international secretary Johanna Brem looks at life in the air since last September’s terrorist attacks.

International: President Gas
NSW Firefighter’s president Darryl Snow sent this missive to his members on the anniversary of a day when 343 of their colleagues died in the line of duty.

Politics: Australia: A Rogue State?
ARM director Greg Barnes argues that September 11 has summoned a new era of isolationism and international lawlessness.

History: Levelling September
Counterpunch’s Peter Linebaugh reminds us that September 11 is the anniversary of another seminal battle: the fight for the English commons

Unions: Welfare Max
Maximus Inc is big, American and controversial. Right now its knocking on the door of Australian welfare delivery and there is every chance the Howard Government will usher it inside, reports Jim Marr.

Bad Boss: Welcome to Telstra!
A Telstra call centre has joined the race for Bad Boss after sacking a pregant woman who had the audacity to need to use the toilet

Health: Fat Albert: The Grim Reaper
Workers Online’s cultural dietician Mark Morey chews the fat over this week’s conference on child obesity

Poetry: A Man From the East And A Man From The West
Resident Bard David Peetz has penned this ode to the sacked Hilton hotel workers

Review: The Sum Of All Fears
Tara de Boehmler checks in to see that America’s cultural cringe is alive, well and sponsored by Marlboro cigarettes

N E W S

 ‘Robbed Generation’ Seeks Stolen Wages

 One Year On: Ansett Crash Still Hurts

 Cole Exposed By Immigration Scam

 Car Workers on Howard Hit List

 Mystery Windfall for Hilton Workers

 Shock: Abbott Backs Workers

 Union Billboards Censored

 Track Grab Ignores Lessons of Glenbrook

 Casual Approach to Air Safety

 Bosses Say No Living Wage For NSW Childcarers

 Pastry Workers Tell Boss To Get Puffed

 Injury Toll Mushrooms

 Victorian Zookeepers Down Buckets

 Pride and Safety for Workers Out!

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

Legends
Gough's Plaza
Labor's living legend challenged NSW Labor to lift its game as he attended a renaming of 2KY House to Gough Whitlam Plaza.

The Locker Room
Support The System That Supports You
This system is a certainty, a moral, a good thing and a knocktaker; well, at least according to Phil Doyle

Bosswatch
RIP Chainsaw Al
One of the heroes of corporate downsizing has been cut down but his memory lives on with golden handshakes for leaders of failed businesses still thick on the ground.

Week in Review
Lest We Forget
You can’t help a sneaking suspicion, Jim Marr writes, that George Bush is conscripting the dead of September 11, 2001, to lead his push for another war in the Gulf…

Awards
The Importance of Being Ernie
It was the tenth annual “Ernie” Awards for sexist behaviour and Labor Council’s Alison Peters was amongst the noisy punters

Activists
Workers Out!
Gay and Lesbian trade unionists are organising an international conference to develop a global response to homophobia in the workplace, writes Ryan Heath

L E T T E R S
 The CFMEU Race Debate #1
 The CFMEU Race Debate #2
 Keeping it Clean
 Sue the Leaders?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Awards

The Importance of Being Ernie


It was the tenth annual “Ernie” Awards for sexist behaviour and Labor Council’s Alison Peters was amongst the noisy punters

*********

The Ernies, named after the late Ernie Ecob a former secretary of the AWU, have become a bit of an institution for women in NSW who gather in the Dining Room at Parliament House to boo at the outrageously sexist things that are said or done by men and a few women throughout the previous year.

From a very much smaller start where women from the labour movement gathered to mark the retirement of Ernie Ecob as President of Labor Council the dinner now attracts over 400 women and there are nine categories up for grabs as well as the coveted "Gold Ernie".

The most notable thing about the Ernies in recent years has been the lack of unionists in the nominations. This was actually commented on by the Ernies host and MC Meredith Burgmann who said it showed that unions had cleaned up their act since the days of Ernie Ecob. To emphasise the point the male AMWU members at Carter Holt Harvey won the award for Men Behaving Better (the award formerly known as the Gareth) over their decision to remain on strike until the women employed in the factory office also got a fair collective agreement.

While I do agree with Meredith that things are better in the union movement than they were; as I said last year I think the main reason there are no union nominees is because we haven't nominated anyone. The challenge is still on to uncover the bad behaviour of union blokes and to get them nominated next year (and boys - remember that a rule of the Ernies is that you can't win by trying too hard!)

This Year's Winners

Political - Tony Abbott for his comments that paid maternity leave would be introduced over the Federal Government's dead body and also the comments that a bad boss is like a bad husband or father and that is that they do more good than harm

Sport "The Warney" (some were calling for a renaming to the Wayney after Wayne Carey's efforts) - Ray Hadley for his comments on seeing a photo of Germaine Greer on her 'sixty something' birthday that he bet she regretted burning her bra in the 60s

Industrial - there was a boo-off between Kenneth Hackett from Hackett Lab Services who told the Building Industry Royal Commission that signing a union agreement was like being raped and Dick Warburton the Chair of David Jones who said he had trouble finding women suitably qualified to sit on the DJ's board. Dick won in a very close contest.

Media - Andrew Bolt who on several occasions attacked the right of single women and lesbians to access IVF treatments and criticised the Sex Discrimination Act because it allowed this.

Judicial - the High Court for its decision that lead to reduced damages payable to a widow who" because of her age and circumstances was likely to remarry" and therefore wouldn't need the same level of compensation

Clerical (the "Fred" named after Fred Nile) - Archbishop George Pell for his comments that abortion was a worse crime than child sexual abuse by priests

The "Elaine" for Remarks least helpful to the Sisterhood (named after Elaine Nile) - Bettina Arndt for her recent column suggesting that women couldn't be both mothers and MP's although there was a strong push that she be disqualified for trying too hard

The "Clinton" for Repeat Offenders - Tony Abbott. It should also be noted that John Howard had won this award three years in a row and therefore had achieved hall of fame status and so was ineligible for nomination again.

The "award formerly known as the Gareth" for men behaving better (formerly named after Gareth Evans) - the AMWU members at Carter Holt Harvey who remained on strike until the women in the factory office also got a fair collective agreement.

The Gold Ernie - There was a boo-off between Tony "the mad monk" Abbott and Archbishop George Pell with the boo monitors declaring Pell this year's Gold Ernie winner.


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