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Issue No. 159 01 November 2002  

Why The User Should Pay
Unions have often been the victims of the user-pays ethos � the pointy end of the assault on the State by the Top End of Town that has left our public sector looking like the poor relation to the corporates.


Interview: Life After Keating
Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd looks at the world and wonders what might have been ...

Industrial: That Friday Feeling
Anthony Stavropoulos has been working six days a week for the last eight years and now he wants his weekends back. �Remember that Friday feeling?� he asks. �You just don�t get that anymore.�

Bad Boss: Begging to Work
They may put themselves about as the Saints of the Fourth Estate, but bosses at the Big Issue Magazine have been nominated by their own vendors for this month�s Tony award.

Organising: Project Pilbara
Sydney University�s Bradon Ellem reports on how unions are bouncing back in Rio territory

Unions: Off the Rails
The Federal Government is attempting to turn NSW Railways into a political football with a proposal that threatens the safety of freight and passenger trains in NSW and life in our rail Towns, writes Phil Doyle.

International: Brazil Turns Left
Union stalwarts throughout the American hemisphere are cheering the election of Lula � the peanut seller and shoeshine boy, turned union leader - who has been elected as the first working-class President of Brazil.

Environment: Brown Wash
Stuart Rosewarn argues the Johannesburg Sunmmit was a gripping showcase of Australia�s lack of a strategic vision.

History Special: Learning from the Past
Ray Markey looks at union membership growth in the 1880s & 1900s to argue that today�s unions must engage to grow.

Corporate: Will the Bullying Backfire?
Job insecurity, unemployment, a growing gap between rich and poor, massive global poverty and environmental danger are the big issues for the protests at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Sydney.

Technology: Danger Lurks For The Passive
If unions fail to exploit opportunities on the web to gain members, other organisations are likely to fill the void and provide services to workers on the internet.

History: In Labour�s Image
Neale Towart looks at a long-overdue initiative to around NSW through the eyes of the workers.

Politics: Without Power Or Glory
South Coast contributor Rowan Cahill gives his take on the Cunningham by-election result.

History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Barbara Webster looks at Rockhampton between 1916 � 1957 to debunk the �dependence� theory of trade union growth.

Culture: Blood Stains the Wattle
Former Queensland Treasurer Keith De Lacey has turned up in print with a rollicking tale of life during the famous Mt Isa strike of the 60s.

Satire: Iraq Pre-empts Pre-emptive Strike
Saddam Hussein has launched a pre-emptive strike on the United States to prevent it from pre-emptively striking Iraq first.

Poetry: The Executive Pay Cut
Executives accepting pay freezes, or even pay cuts? This outrageous proposal has been put on the table by some capitalists themselves, and taken up by our bard.

Review: Time Out
When a family man invents a new life after losing his steady job, Tara de Boehmler watches his charade escalate until there is no turning back.


 Bargaining Fees In the Dock

 Deadly �Slave Labour� Racket Exposed

 Zoo Workers Buck Indecent Proposal

 Cabinet Takes Stick To Abbott's Carrot

 Cyber Action Behind Hilton Win

 Aussies Back On Board

 City Workers To Help Country Cousins

 Sour Taste for Wine Workers

 Government Grounds Ansett Levy

 TAB Workers Winners as Cup Strike Averted

 Aussie Post Gets Mail On Sick Leave

 Council Backs Community Radio Venture

 First Steps to Compo Clean-Up

 Workers Out! Conference Opens In Sydney

 Aussie Union Rep Power, Yes Please: TUC

 New Burma Shame File

 Activists Notebook


Month In Review
War and Pieces of Work
The Bali Tragedy dominated the news this month, leaving many questioning the motive and wondering if this is fallout from Australia�s unquestioning support of George Dubya�s �War On Terror�.

The Soapbox
Beware of Greeks Bearing Historical Allusions
Roland Stephens argues that the current popular line that the USA is a modern day version of the Roman Empire is flawed.

The Locker Room
Over The Fence Is Out
Phil Doyle warms up for another season of hard hitting and fast bowling in the park, making the rules up as he goes along.

The Sea of Hands
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation are five years old. Spokeswoman Dameeli Coates addressed labor Council to mark the event.

Tokyo Youth Call
Tokyo unions are relying on young organisers to infiltrate workplaces as part of a major organising campaign, which focuses on non-unionised companies, reports Mary Yaager.

Still Crazy After All These Years
With new research suggests CEO carry similar personality traits to psycho-paths, the AGM season is proving that there�s little room for logic in our nation�s board rooms.

 Trashing the Siren Theory
 More Bali Feed Back
 Clean Election Laws Now!
 And Now, Some Fan Mail!
 Policy Vacuum
 Tom's Postscript
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Cyber Action Behind Hilton Win

Sydney�s 500 Hilton Hotel workers have won a magnificent victory, and they owe it to the more than 3000 people from around the world who joined a cyber-picket line sending protest e-mails to the Hilton Hotel chains top executives.

Union members at the Sydney Hilton Hotel � which is shutting down in a few weeks time for a $400 million makeover � voted this week to accept a sharply improved redundancy offer, the key point in two month long negotiations.

The hotel has agreed to give all its workers a four week head start in job offers once the Hilton re-opens, has set up a union-approved job search service and will sit down with the union to negotiate a first-ever enterprise agreement.

"The achievement of an enterprise agreement is an important step forward for Sydney hotel workers - we believe the enterprise agreement will help us build a quality relationship with the Hilton chain which operates 8 hotels throughout Australia.

"This has been an important win for low-waged workers who are slowly building a strong hotel workers' movement in this city," LHMU Hotel Union NSW Assistant Secretary, Mark Boyd, says.

" The company has now agreed to increase the retrenchment pay from eight weeks to twelve weeks or more, for the majority of their workforce who have loyally worked at the hotel for at least ten years .'

"The hotel is also paying between one to five weeks retrenchment money to all its casual workers - who were originally going to be paid zilch," Mark Boyd said.

Boyd says the union now wants to build on the Hilton win, on the ground and in the Industrial Relations Commission, the 16 week retrenchment claim that the ACTU is currently pursuing through the Commission.

Community Campaign

"The community campaign that Sydney Hilton Hotel workers ran has been magnificent," Boyd says.

"In talks with the union the Hilton management acknowledged that this campaign - especially the e-mails from around the world - had bite.

Boyd says the hotel's new profit strategy is to attract international conferences and conventions to the renovated Hilton.

"Receiving protest e-mails from academics at top US universities such as Harvard, UCLA, Cornell and Yale, as well as from clergy and senior civil servants - who are all potential conference organisers and conventioneers - created a great deal of concern among hotel management.

"Out of San Diego, USA, a local Rabbi, Rabbi Laurie Coskey, organised Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy from across California to support the Sydney Hilton workers.

Hostile Media

Ever since the hotel announced the $400 million renovation program in August they have been on the back foot - with a hostile media conference when they announced the refurbishment.

The journalists all asked why, if the hotel can afford to spend all this money on a face-lift, they were not prepared to better treat their loyal low-waged workers by offering them their jobs back and offering a better retrenchment deal.

"We were also able to get support from high-profile local and international people - such as the radio shock-jock Alan Jones and the US civil liberties campaigner the Rev Jesse Jackson," Boyd says.

"Rev Jackson's amazing, emotional, speech to the hotel workers was read out during a rally on the day of a 24 hour hotel workers' strike - this speech just stirred on our people in their resolve to win a better deal.

"The fact that a Hawaii millionaire also lent his support to the LHMU Hotel Union campaign, by offering to buy a slap-up lunch at David Jones, for all the sacked workers, got a lot of embarrassing media coverage for the management. "


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