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Issue No. 163 29 November 2002  

Lessons from History
History has a seemingly infinite capacity to create and debunk myths, as the latest offering from the Journal of Labour and Social History shows.


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.


 And On the Seventh Day � Satan Joins Union

 Security Masks Political Bans

 Members Offered Spotters' Fee

 Casuals Written Out of the Script

 New Mining Bully On the Block

 ACTU Examines The Cap Option On Hours

 No Sweetener for Diabetic Workers

 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


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 ��

 Oh Bugger Me!
 State Based Organising
 Gino on the Gong
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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.

Her likely crime? Associating with anti-globalisation activists during a six-month "field semester" in Tasmania and Victoria undertaken as part of her education degree.

The Vermont-based genetic engineering campaigner told Workers OnLine she was "shocked" to find herself on a Government blacklist.

"It's a bit of a worry to be barred from a country like Australia, especially when they refuse to give you the reasons," the US citizen said. "I have never engaged in violent activities of any kind but, I can only presume, they class me as a terrorist.

"I met some great people when I was in Australia two years ago. I wanted to visit some of my friends and comrades, it was going to be a holiday, I wasn't going to do any work at all."

Canning addressed workshops in the lead-up to S11 during her six-month study tour here and assumes that is behind Government's holiday ban.

Her record sports one trespass conviction, arising out of the "peaceful occupation" of a US Congressman's office in Vermont, for which she was subseqently fined $50. That conviction was recorded before her last visit to Australia.

Canning works in Vermont as a biotech researcher-activist, supporting local communities opposed to the arrival of GE operations in their regions.

She explained that, unaware of her undesirable status, she made a standard internet application for an Australian holiday visa on September 1, 2001. She was turned down, on line, and told to contact the Australian Embassy.

After being refused entry under Section 501 of the Immigration Act she wrote to the Minister. Ruddock responded in July of this year, endorsing an 11-page DIMIA report, including "attachments A, B and C" which she was not allowed to see.

"He said he had considered the evidence and decided I was not of good character," Canning said. "It's indicative of the global political climate in which organising so people can live in peace and dignity is now regarded as a criminal activity."

She filed a complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman who sough access to the contents of the mysterious "attachments A, B and C" on her behalf. Ruddock's office refused to make them available to the Ombudsman.

Workers OnLine understands the Ombudsman has sought a ruling from the Attorney General on the hush-hush element of the Immigration Department decision.


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