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Issue No. 155 04 October 2002  

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.


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.


 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


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.

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

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.

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.

 Jacks and Jills
 Shame on Murray
 Use or Abuse of Long Term Casuals
 Speaking in Tongues
 Casual Days
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Fight Begins For Long Weekends

Tony Abbott�s Building Industry Taskforce will be welcomed to Sydney by a CFMEU-led campaign of industrial action in support of guaranteed long weekends.

Action around the 36-hour week campaign was flagged this week with the CFMEU writing to 1000 NSW employers, initiating bargaining periods. Failure to meet calls for seven nominated long weekends a year, and 12% on wages over three years, would see them follow up with 1000 notices of protected industrial action.

CFMEU state secretary, Andrew Ferguson, said leisure time was top of the agenda for workers in an industry that routinely works six days a week.

"We won't be intimidated by Abbott, Cole or anyone else from seeking a fair deal for our members," he said. "Building workers are entitled to spend time with friends and families, same as anyone else."

Ferguson was referring to the Abbott-inspired Building Industry Royal Commission which has been highly critical of the CFMEU for pattern bargaining, although it is legal under the Workplace Relations Act.

The increased leisure time campaign is a classic example of pattern bargaining, chasing similar deals for workers across the construction industry.

It was as a result of Commissioner Cole's interim report, published without notice and prior to hearing union evidence, that Abbott rushed his Taskforce into existence. It was established in the face of Cole's insistence that his report to Abbott contained no findings of fact.

Such a move was predicted months ago by leading union officials, including Ferguson and Labor Council's John Robertson.

The Tasforce will have 25 staff of its own and work in tandem with officials from the notoriously anti-union Office of the Employment Advocate. Offices in Sydney and Melbourne are expected to open in the next 14 days, dovetailing with industrial action by building unions.

Meanwhile, the leisure-time campaign that seeks to establish four-day weekends across the industry, received a major boost this week when Westfields agreed to close their multi-million dollar Bondi Junction redevelopment on the six weekends nominated by unions.


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