Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 16 Official Organ of LaborNet 04 June 1999  

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Features
*  Interview: Opening Australia
Lindsay Tanner talks about new ideas, new policy and new politics in the Information Age.
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*  Unions: An Educated Fightback
A visiting US trade unionist reveals how training better union delegates is the key to reversing the membership slide.
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*  Legal: A Fair Case for Free-Rider Laws
The proposal to enable unions to charge non-members a service fee for negotiating enterprise agreements is consistent with the principle of freedom of association.
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*  History: New Ideas in Labour History
See the latest from the May issue of Labour History, A Journal of Labour and Social History.
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*  International: Tiananmen Square Ten Years On
We remember the massacre and the role that working people continue to play in fighting injustice.
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*  Review: Organising Our Future - What Use the US??
A new paper looks at what Australian unions can learn from the experiences of their American colleagues.
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Lindsay Tanner in the Online office

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News


Thanks for the free press, Piers!


State Wage Highlights Case for User-Pays
The Labor Council says this week’s State Wage Case increase adds weight to its push to be allowed to charge non-members service fees for securing them pay rises.
[ Full Story » ]

Labor Hire Cowboys - the NFF Link
A key player behind a company offering no-strings-attached body hire is the son of a former head of the National Farmers Federation who backed the anti-union Troubleshooters case which rocked the building industry a decade ago.
[ Full Story » ]

Murder Call: Charge Bosses Who Kill
The Maritime Union says it’s time for the criminal law to deal with employers who ignore safety -- even if it means charging them with murder.
[ Full Story » ]

Braddy Bunch to Lift Contractor Veil
The Queensland IRC will be able to declare a worker is legally an “employee” regardless of their formal employment status, under a reform package being pushed by Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Paul Braddy.
[ Full Story » ]

Rural Redundacies - Redeployment Confusion Reigns
Retrenched rail workers in Goulburn were told there were no alternate public sector jobs the same week another government department advertised for 60 vacancies in the area.
[ Full Story » ]

Woolies Shopfitters Win Back Jobs From Body Hire
Sacked shopfitters who were sacked and replaced by body hire workers last month, have won back their jobs after a community campaign headed by the CFMEU.
[ Full Story » ]

Political Payback: NSW Targetted in Costello Cuts
The Howard Government’s job cuts in it’s first three years in office were heavily weighted against NSW -- the only state to have a Labor Government for the entire period of conservative rule.
[ Full Story » ]

Rio Tinto Buries the Truth
Miners have called on Rio Tinto to reveal where the statue to the world's most productive underground coal miners has been secretly buried, after it disappeared from Gordonstone.
[ Full Story » ]

Child Care Campaign out of the Blocks
Child care workers in NSW are fighting to protect their working conditions as part of a campaign by the Australian Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union.
[ Full Story » ]

East Timor Mercy Ship heads for Dili
In response to the humanitarian crisis in East Timor a Mercy Ship will be sailing from Darwin to Dili in time for the 8 August independence referendum.
[ Full Story » ]

Fabian Society Reforms
The last time Sydney hosted a functioned Fabian Society it was being run by an up-and-coming solicitor named Mark Latham and aspiring state MP Bob Carr.
[ Full Story » ]

Industrial Who’s Who Head for Geneva
Ever wanted to see Peter Reith, Jeff Shaw and Arch Bevis in the same room? Head for Geneva next week and you could get lucky.
[ Full Story » ]


Letters to the Editor
  • Language is Important

  • Kids Know Best

  • Unions to Thank for Women's War Wages

  • Editorial

    The Free Media

    Events of the past week show the shifting sands of media power in the Information Age, as a little on-line workers newspaper was propelled into the centre of a media storm.

    For those who don't read the Telegraph, Piers Akerman ran last week's Workers Online front page photo of Michael Costa in reverse baseball cap in a full-page attack entitled "Labour's man from the Hood".

    The attack on Costa and his "childish website" was a strangely desperate payback for our pursuit of Piers and our constant ridiculing of his bilious column. But while Piers was trying to hurt Costa, he was betraying his own discomfit with a new media voice.

    Piers' overkill reflects growing uncertainty in the established press with the Internet, a new medium which challenges its very being. Who needs an all-encompassing voice to interpret the world for you when you can so easily do it for yourself? Who needs an editor, when you can be your own?

    What I suspect we'll see over the next few years, are newspapers moving more and more towards this interpretative role, rather than the mere dissemination of information. In the short term the columnists and opinion makers may thrive.

    But what happens if more people decide they want a dialogue, rather than a sermon? The utility of the newspaper will fast decline.

    It's no surprise to see the younger Packer and Murdoch ploughing millions upon millions into the Internet to establish market share, but I wonder if it is a market that any one outlet will ever be able to dominate.

    If they do, it will only be from facilitating a diversity of views rather than imposing the one authoritative line. Either way, Piers and his like will soon be museum pieces from the era where the media told us how to think.

    PETER LEWIS
    Editor


    Columns

    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Darryl Snow: Of Elvis, Reith and the Stats that Lie Aussie Bastardry - A Kiwi Responds Dierdre Mahoney on Reconciliation - Where to Now? The Hubris of Ignorance

     


    
    

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