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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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Activists Notebook

Sea of Hands

ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) are having a 5th Anniversary Celebration of the Sea of Hands on Saturday 2nd November at Redfern Park, Redfern from 12 noon until 2.30pm. Speakers include Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW, Patrick Dodson, Gregory Phillips and Sylvie Ellsmore. There will also be a performance by the Stiff Gins.

The Sea of Hands represents over 300,000 Australians who have made a commitment to coexistence and support for Indigenous rights. 5 years and 2 and a half million hands later the Sea of Hands is still going strong!

Contact telephone 02 9555 6138


Mungo MacCallum in conversation with John Button

Weds 13 Nov @ 6pm $5 (light catering)

Dymocks Melbourne 234 Collins St

Bookings ph: 9660 8516 e: [email protected]

'If Mungo hadn't existed, we would have had to invent him.' Gough Whitlam

Hot on the heels of last year's successful memoir comes How to Be a Megalomaniac: Advice to a Young Politician, another volume of accessible, gossipy political satire from ALP fringe-dweller Mungo MacCallum.

Join these two ALP legends, both born of the Whitlam era, as they discuss Mungo's new book and the messy business of politics.

Mungo's decades of experience reporting on (and occasionally working within) politics have furnished him with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Australian scene, past and present. His pithy observations of the workings of politics at its worst are illustrated with a range of laugh-out-loud anecdotes. This series of letters to a fictional nephew who plans to make a career in politics is a must-read for anyone with a sense of humour.

John Button was a senator for the State of Victoria, playing a leading role in the restructure and development of Australian industry. From 1983 until his retirement from politics in 1993, he was Leader of the successive Hawke and Keating Labor governments in the Senate. Over the same period he was Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce. His latest book Beyond Belief: What Future for Labor? is No 7 in the renowned Quarterly Essay series.

Don't the miss the chance to hear this dynamic duo in person!


Who's afraid of public debt?

In a novel collaboration, the Evatt Foundation has teamed up with the Australian Financial Markets Association to present a seminar on public debt and the Howard Government's proposal to eliminate the Australian bond market.

'The foreshadowed move to zero public debt is a significant issue for all citizens, not just the financial markets', Evatt Foundation President Bruce Childs said today.

'Embracing zero public debt also means dramatically curtailing public investment, a policy that's not in the interests of either the present or future generations of Australians', said Mr Childs.

'The Evatt Foundation has long argued for a sensible approach to public debt.'

'We have always objected to zero debt as a baseless, populist justification for privatisation, and have argued that our governments should maintain a decent level of public investment, with due regard to the costs and benefits.'

'Hopefully, the release of Treasurer Costello's discussion paper will trigger a wider re-appraisal of the flat-earth fiscal policies that have been uncritically accepted by both our state and federal governments'.

'The infrastructure of this nation is owed to the fact that earlier generations of Australians had the foresight to maintain substantial public investment', said Mr Childs.

Dr Tony Aspromourgos from Sydney University's Faculty of Economics and Business, and John Rappell from AFMA will address the issues at an Evatt Foundation breakfast seminar on Tuesday 19 November at Sydney's Southern Cross Hotel.

The seminar will be chaired by Professor Frank Stilwell, and will take place in the Hotel's Macquarie Room, corner of Elizabeth and Goulburn Streets.

Breakfast will be served from 7.30 am, the seminar will commence at 8.00 am, and the discussion will conclude on the dot of 9.00 am.


"The Innocents are imprisoned"

A collection of true stories of the asylum seekers imprisoned in Australia


Up to now we've seen many publications by various prominent writers and academics exploring the plight of asylum seekers in Australia but there are none from any practically experienced former immigration detainees themselves. We've now found someone to write down the real stories of lives behind the barbed wire where innocents are imprisoned.

An articulate asylum seeker with a background in journalism and who worked as a foreign correspondent for the past many years was in detention for a prolonged duration. In conjunction with a former Nurse of the Woomera IRPC and a prominent legal practitioner, he has voluntarily taken this courageous initiative to write down the accurate recollection of true stories of the asylum seekers' daily lives in the various immigration detention centres throughout Australia.

We need to support this initiative. To see that the book is published, we are relying on all of your generous support and kind assistance. During preparation of the manuscript the author needs to be assured of having the relevant expenses and it is for this we need your support. One person may have trouble making a difference, but together we have a good chance for change.

Please help us to make this initiative a real success:

Any questions can be directed to Edmund Rice Centre on 02 9764 1330 or 0405 112 778 (AH).



NSW Parliament House

Friday November 8, 2002, 3-6pm

Entry by donation, tea/coffee available

3-4pm, academic panel: civil disobedience traditions

Dr Sergio Fiedler (Social Inquiry, UTS) Traditions of civil disobedience,

Dr Kath Gelber (Government, UNSW) Free speech and civil disobedience

Penny O'Donnell (Journalism, UTS) Civil disobedience and the media

Dr Tim Anderson (Political Economy, University of Sydney) The law and civil disobedience

Chair: Dr James Goodman (Social Inquiry, UTS)

4-6pm, activist panel: civil disobedience today

Paula Abood (anti-racism)

Sean Chaffer (Maritime Union of Australia)

Danny Kennedy (Climate Action Network Australia)

Kanthi Lewis (Woomera 2002 + Queer student network, NUS)

Jesse Wyndhausen (September 11 2000 protests against the World Economic Forum, Melbourne)

Chair: Lee Rhiannon (The Greens)

Organised by the Research Initiative in International Activism,

Hosted by Lee Rhiannon, The Greens

Further Information: James Goodman, 9514 2714



Wednesday November 13 at 6.30PM


Waiting for the barbarians: borders of Europe.

The multicultural challenge for social democracy

Paul Scheffer is Holland's leading and controversial public affairs commentator. He is a distinguished author and journalist specialising in European affairs and multiculturalism. His articles are widely published in European journals such as Die Zeit, Le Monde des Debats, Politiken.

He is a member of the Advisory Council of Foreign Affairs and governor of the European Cultural Foundation.

Where: Upstairs Cafe, Berkelouw Books, 70 Norton Street, Leichhardt

Admission: $10/$5 - Coffee/tea included in admission price


The Australian Fabian Society (NSW Branch) invites you to ...

A forum on public education

This forum examines public education in Australia today and the work of the NSW Government's current inquiry into public education. This forum considers what is the purpose of public education and what are the resources needed to realise our goals in the provision of public education today.

With special guest speakers:

* Emeritus Professor Tony Vinson

Chair of the Inquiry into the Provision of Public Education in NSW and Emeritus Professor at The University of NSW

* Dick Shearman

NSW-ACT Secretary of the Independent Education Union

* Third Speaker (TBC)

Time: 6.30 pm start

Date: Wednesday, 20 November, 2002

Place: Upstairs Caf�, Berkelouw Books, 70 Norton Street, Leichhardt

Entry: $5 members/$10 non-members

Bonus: Entry price entitles you to a free coffee/tea/soft drink in the cafe

For more details:

Contact Tony Moore on 02 9692 5111 or Troy Bramston on 0412 508 580


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