The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 155 04 October 2002  
E D I T O R I A L

Wrong Way, Go Back
The weekend machinations over the structure of the ALP are in danger of missing the fundamental point: Laborís current malaise is caused not be an excess of core values but through a deficit.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The Wet One
NSW Opposition industrial relations spokesman Michael Gallacher stakes out his relationship with the union movement.

Bad Boss: Like A Bastard
Virgin Mobile is sexy and funky, right? Well, only if those terms have become synonyms for dictatorial or downright mean.

Unions: Demolition Derby
Tony Abbott likens industrial relations to warfare and, like a good general should, he is about to shift his point of attack Ė from building sites to car plants, reports Jim Marr.

Corporate: The Bush Doctrine
For the powerful, consumerism equals freedom, and is all the freedom we need, writes James Goodman

Politics: American Jihad
Letís get real. The origins of modern Islamic terrorist groups are in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Langley, Virginia not Baghdad, argues Noel Hester.

Health: Secret Country
Oral history recordings are an inadequate tool in trying to find out what happened to Aboriginal stockmen and their communities on cattle stations in Northern Australia, writes Neale Towart

Review: Walking On Water
On the 20th anniversary of the first AIDS-related death, Tara de Boehmler witnesses the aftermath of losing a loved one to the illness in Walking On Water.

Culture: TCF
Novelist Anthony Macris captures life on the shop floor in this extract from his upcoming novel, Capital Volume II

Poetry: The UQ Stonewall
The University of Queensland has sought to join the ranks of union-busting companies like Rio Tinto in trying to sack the president of the local union - and made the mistake of thinking they were dealing with an array of acquiescent academics.

N E W S

 Corrigan Fires Shot in Rail Showdown

 Fight Begins For Long Weekends

 Experts to Arrest Drug Test Outbreak

 Jobs Auction Hitting Bank Workers

 Libs Pledge Moderate IR line

 Workers Kick Grand Final Goal

 NSW Screws Down Lid on Funeral Scams

 Hilton Strike Break Plans in Tatters

 Detention Centre Workers Demand Safety Search

 Religious Teachers Win Legal Coverage

 Pressure Builds on Parking Sting

 US Docks Lockout Hits Sea Trade

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
I Walk The Line
American civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has weighed into the Hilton Hotel dispute with this special message to the workforce.

Postcard
Mekong Daze
Union Aid Abroad's Phil Hazelton fires off a missive from Laos where he is spending a year working with the community.

Month In Review
Bush Whackers
It was a month where the world teetered on the brink of peace, no thanks to the leader of the free world, writes Jim Marr

The Locker Room
The Laws Of Gravity
Phil Doyle goes looking for the fine line that separates sport from an exercise in time-wasting

Bosswatch
Snouts in the Trough
Itís AGM season in the corporate world, and deal after shady deal is being exposed as highfliers treat company accounts like the proverbial honey-pot.

Wobbly
Songs of Solidarity
There has been a proud history of pro-worker tunes dating back to the early days of the 20th century, which will be continued in a new CD, writes Dan Buhagiar.

L E T T E R S
 Jacks and Jills
 Shame on Murray
 Use or Abuse of Long Term Casuals
 Speaking in Tongues
 Casual Days
WHAT YOU CAN DO
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Bosswatch
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation


Labor for Refugees

BossWatch



Letters to the Editor

Speaking in Tongues


Dear Sir,

One must congratulate the Municipal Employees Union for its successful campaign in obtaining a community language allowance for its members employed in local government.

While this to some Australians may be an innovative idea, to those who have been employed in Local Government for any length of time would be aware that these language differences have been a problem for decades.

My first recollection of type this communication challenge was 30 years ago while working for the Sydney City Council, on a road construction gang in Lang Road, which is adjacent to Centennial Park...

This certainly was a agreeable work environment, with pleasant walks to the Duck Pond, at morning tea time, while deeply breathing in the aromas of the grass. But usually there was little communication difficulty before lunch, as all the boys appeared to be pacified with the aroma of the grass , be a tad uncommunicative or even a little ill from something they may have eaten or drank the previous day..

But after the lunch break in the Light Brigade in Oxford Street , usually about 11.30am - 1.00pm , not only were they all talkative , but speaking in tongues as if they had been blessed by the spirit? The ganger (long dead, God bless his soul) usually returned at 2.00pm, not only speaking in tongues but wearing the wobbly boot and speaking in Morse code.

While I am not sure of all languages which were actually spoken after lunch, I am just curious would it be possible to claim this allowance retrospectively?

Sadly this colourful era, was brought to a slow death with the election of Il Duce , the untimely departure of Leo the Lion and the appearance Eh! By gum lad our Kaa Kaaa Katie, who wove her spells of industrial entrapment on the POWER BROKERS.

Tom Collins


------

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 155 contents



email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet


Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
URL: http://workers.labor.net.au/155/letters4_four.html
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online
LaborNET