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Issue No. 163 29 November 2002  

Interview: Trade Secrets
Federal Labor�s trade spokesman Craig Emerson is on a mission to bring the shady world of trade talks into the open

Industrial: It�s About Overtime, Stupid
An overtime free-for-all is at the heart of Australia�s hours explosion and it's time to look at a cap on hours, reports Noel Hester from the ACTU�s Working Hours Summit.

Unions: Full Steam Ahead
After two weeks of rallies around the state, rural Rail Towns are making a stand for jobs and safety. Jim Marr reports.

Bad Boss: The BBQ Battle Axe
Manly restaurateur, David Diamond, is a shoo-in for this month�s Bad Boss nomination, leaving Workers Online looking for a good employer who can undo some of his damage.

Economics: Different Dimensions of Debt
Professor Frank Stilwell presented the big picture on debt policy at the Evatt Foundation�s Breakfast Seminar

History: Raking the Coals
Labour historians Rae Cooper and Greg Patmore explain why today�s organisers have much to learn from the lessons of the past.

History Special: Wherever the Necessity Exists
Rae Cooper tracks NSW union organising between 1900-1910 to argue that today�s activists should be looking closer to home for inspiration

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.

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

Politics: Regime Change for Saddam
Labour lawyer Jim Nolan looks at the challenge for the Left in the current geopolitical stand-off in the Middle East.

International: World War
Europe has suddenly come aflame with industrial action, Andrew Casey reports.

Corporate: Industrious Thinking
Neale Towart looks at the influence of German immigration on Australian industry policy in the post-war period.

Review: Jack High
Mick Molloy�s new flick Crackerjack tells the tale of a traditional bowling club struggling to stay afloat in an industry dominated by pokies, pokies and more pokies, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Culture: Duffy�s Song
Former Labor Council official Mark Duffy�s Sydney super band Sundial clocks in a bit of a corker.

Satire: A Nation of Sooks
The Strewth Institute's Tony Moore looks at the spate of defo suits and wonders if Australia has gone soft.

Poetry: Mr Flexibility
One of the key challenges facing unions, as the ACTU celebrates its 75th anniversary, is confronting the problems of increasing working hours and work intensity under the guise of "flexibility". Our resident bard, David Peetz, takes up that theme this week.

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And On the Seventh Day � Satan Joins Union
Sanitarium workers are rejecting the company�s �devil made him do it� defence for sacking their union delegate.

Workers from the company�s Berkeley Vale and Tuggerah manufacturing plants rallied last Friday against the dismissal of John Draper who was sacked after leading a successful campaign to reject a non-union enterprise bargaining agreement. [full story]

Security Masks Political Bans
The Howard Government is using heightened security fears to declare Australia off-limits to political opponents, blocking a US genetic engineering campaigner from our shores.

Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock gave Doyle Canning, 22, his personal seal of disapproval in signing off on a DIMIA report that stated refusal of her holiday visa should �discourage� other activists from visiting Australia.  [full story]

Members Offered Spotters' Fee
Unionists are being offered $50 to sign up a fellow worker, under an innovative scheme being trialed by the Health and Research Employees Association.

Members that take part in the trial, which is running through November and December, also go into the draw for a giant Christmas hamper. [full story]

Casuals Written Out of the Script
Teachers in the state�s prisons have arrested spiralling rates of casualisation by writing the casual classification out of the award.

After casual numbers reached a staggering 70 per cent in prisons, the NSW Teachers Federation and the Department of Corrective Services agreed all teachers would be employed on a permanent basis. [full story]

New Mining Bully On the Block
One of Australia's biggest and fastest-growing coal mining companies, Xstrata, has been warned it faces a concerted campaign of action unless it abandons an aggressive anti-union industrial relations strategy.

Xstrata is a Swiss-based multinational with extensive mining interests in South Africa and South America currently attempting to take over MIM - a move that would make it our third largest miner behind BHP-Billition and Rio Tinto.  [full story]

No Sweetener for Diabetic Workers
Concern is growing that diabetics may be unfairly discriminated against when looking for work after a Liverpool mechanic was refused compensation for an accident caused by a hypoglycaemic episode.

The worker suffered a �hypo� while delivering spare parts, causing his vehicle to veer through a red light and collide with a bus. [full story]


 ACTU Examines The Cap Option On Hours

 Pressure Goes on Apartheid Employers

 ASIC Turns Blind Eye on Dodgy Boss

 Family Test Case a Priority Campaign

 Echoes of Prestige Hit Home

 Brutal Bashing Sparks Prison Strike

 Minister Challenged by Cleaners

 ABC Journos Off The Air

 Union Says RSCPA "Kills"...

 Guards Demand Campus Security

 Uni Backs Down On Regional Review

 Peace Returns to US Docks

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
There has been a tendency for both unionists and labour historians to assume that unions in Australia never actively built their membership and that instead, they relied upon the state, and particularly the arbitration system, to 'deliver' for them - Rae Cooper, labour historian

Despite the zealotry of some, this is not some US import, but a social phenomenon as dinky-di as the barbeque.

Auntie Pete


The Soapbox
Economic Migrants
A man - a worker - risks death by machine gun to escape what he is told is a 'workers' state'. He flees East Berlin through a tunnel, dug beneath a cemetery.

And the Winner Is �
It�s that time of the year when we honour the best. In the past week, both the IR Writers fraternity and ACTU have got in the act with more to come.

The Locker Room
More Post-Colonial Madness
Phil Doyle joins the fools and Englishmen out in the midday sun, and finds that it all comes at a price.

Call Waiting
The Howard Government backs off its plans to privatise the rest of Telstra under market pressure. But it�s nothing like the pressure that former HIH directors are under.

Month In Review
Way Down
As Elvis might have said, if he had had a longer-term perspective �ooh, what a month it was, it really was such a month ��

LETTERS to the Editor
 Oh Bugger Me!
 State Based Organising
 Gino on the Gong

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