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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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News

Car Workers on Howard Hit List


Car industry workers will be the next target in the Howard Government’s aggressive union-busting campaign.

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott has thrown down the gauntlet by linking ongoing tarrif protection to industrial relations “reform” in an industry setting records for productivity and export earnings.

The Abbott agenda is made clear by the direction of a Government-ordered Productivity Commission. In a position paper the Commission picks up the Minister's linkage of on-going industry support, due to fall to 10 percent in 2005, with severe restrictions on workers' rights.

Specifically, Abbott and the Commission, are backing Australian Industry Group (AIG) demands that would see ...

- bargaining periods terminated if protected action caused damage to any firm or industry

- protected action outlawed prior to the expiry dates of certified agreements

- the AIRC empowered to block industrial action by giving 24 hours notice with the right to suspend the registration of any union for non-compliance

- action in suport of "pattern or industry agreements" outlawed.

AMWU organiser, Steve Johnson, says the proposals mean the Productivy Commission has abrogated terms of reference requiring it to consider Australia's international obligations.

"It has considered our responsibilities to WTO and APEC but completely ignored binding ILO agreements Australia has signed-off on," he said.

"The most obvious are the rights to organise and bargain collectively."

Johnson says Abbott and the Productivity Commission make it clear that the AMWU has been added to to a target list headed by the Maritime Union and CFMEU.

He said there was no legitimate reason for the assault other than a philosophical opposition to effective trade unions.

"The linkage (between tarrifs and IR) is irresponsible and irrational," Johnson says. "The industry is achieving the highest level of productivity since records began and exports receipts are at record levels.

"Abbott is reacting to two high-profitle industrial disputes, including Tristar, where we fought for worker entitlements. We make no apology for that."

Statistics reveal that Australia is well down the list of days lost through industrial action in the auto industry.

In the decade to 2000, South Korea averaged 7250 working days lost per thousand employed through strikes and lockouts. Canada stood at 580, while Australia recorded 223.

Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand were among seven countries censured for violation of trade union rights in the US-based International Confederation of Free Trade Union's 2000 report.

The others were Argentina, Chile, Swaziland, Turkey and Zimbabwe none of which, as the ACTU pointed out, was at the "cutting edge of competitiveness in the international automotive industry".

Countries like Sweden, Germany and Canada have successful car industries, and strong unions that bargain on an industry-wide, or pattern, basis.

Johnson called on Abbott to "drop the politics and join workers and manufacturers in a co-operative approach to ensuring the industry's future".

The AMWU wants Government to participate in an industry summit which would address issues that require an industry-wide approach.

Labor Council has pledged its support to the AMWU campaign.


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