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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: Labor’s 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 – 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
Let’s 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
It’s 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
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News

Corrigan Fires Shot in Rail Showdown


The architect of War on the Wharves has signalled he is preparing for an industrial showdown in the rail industry in a bid to boost his company’s share price.

Speaking to US investors, Chris Corrigan this week described the 1998 waterfront confrontation, featuring dogs and Dubai-trained mercenaries, as “extremely good value” and said he was preparing for disputation at National Rail.

Rail industry leaders have described his inflammatory statements as classic top-end-of-town, Federal Government "double speak".

"Imagine if a trade union leader went to an international workers conference and proposed widespread disruption as a way of chasing investment away," one said. "I wonder if Abbott will bring out his economic traitor line for Mr Corrigan."

Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Nick Lewocki was marginally more circumspect. He warned Corrigan that any attempt to transfer his waterfront tactics to rail would be expensive for Toll and Patrick shareholders.

He said any strategy to use industrial action to cut jobs would be counter-productive.

"I can assure Mr Corrigan the RTBU is committed to the growth and success of the rail industry but this won't be achieved unless workers are treated with dignity and respect, and there is proper recognition of their efforts to increase productivity," Lewocki said.

"Mr Corrigan is not doing himself or potential investors any favours by holding out increased returns by threatening rail workers in a highly-integrated transport industry."

There has been significant reform of NSW rail freight over the past decade with industry analysts pointing to a 55 percent productivity increase in that time.

Lewocki called on Corrigan to leave threats and posturing in the States and deal with NSW rail workers "through consultation and negotiation".


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