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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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Activists Notebook

Conference: Education and Social Action 2002

You are all invited to attend a special seminar in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies' Seminar Series. Presented by:

Sarah Oxenbridge, Cambridge University

Emerging trade union - employer relationships in Britain.

11.00 - 12.30, Wednesday, 11 December, Room 330

New Economics and Business Building, Codrington Ave (opposite Noel Martin swimming pool) Darlington, Sydney University

Some of you would have read Sarah's work on New Zealand organising strategies, where she did an detailed analysis of the SWU's organising strategies and internal changes. Sarah is currently working on a major research project, part funded by the TUC, on employer union relationships. She is particularly interested in issues relating to 'partnership', which is pretty popular with UK unions at present.

You and anyone in your organisation is more than welcome to come along. Please pass to anyone you think would be interested and give me a call if you'd like directions or have any questions.

Refugees and Asylum Seekers Strand

Centre for Popular Education, University of Technology Sydney

Venue: Building 10, 235 Jones Street, Broadway

Dates: 11 to 13 December 2002

You are invited to attend the third Education and Social Action Conference being held at the UTS from

11th to 13th of December 2002 and take part in our sessions about Refugees and Asylum Seekers.


This strand features presentations by:

� Kathy Richards, Amnesty International;

� Howard Glenn, Australians for Just Refugee Programs;

� Pam Christie & Ravinder Sidhu, Faculty of Education, Queensland University;

� Paula Abood, Community activist and writer;

� Maqsood Alshams, Coalition For Justice For Refugees;

� Nicola Gates & Dianne Hiles, ChilOut(Children Out of Detention);

� James Thomson & John Ball, National Council Of Churches of Australia;

� Denis Voight, Coalition For Justice For Refugees;

� Jaquie Everitt, Lawyer, refugee advocate;

� Kara Beavis, Community cultural development worker, Brisbane;

� Kathryn Choules, School of Education, Murdoch University, Perth;

� Hermine Scheeres, Sallie Saunders, Nicky Solomon, Faculty of Education, UTS;

� Dr John Falzon, St Vincent de Paul Society's National Council;

� Jeannie Blaker & Maria McDonald, ESOL Home Tutor Scheme, Auckland, New Zealand.

The conference is building on the tradition of previous conferences organised by the Centre for Popular

Education and will:

� bring people engaged in different fields of social action and education together

� be a forum where activists, workers, policy makers, artists and scholars are encouraged to participate

� encourage research & enquiry to promote practice that helps analyse & address social injustices

� have workshops that are sufficiently long to have decent discussions or engage in hands on activities

� have plenty of music, theatre and dance; and opportunities for collaborative art-practice.


� Democracy and Community

� School - Community Relationship Building

� Facilitating Change for Healthy Environments

� Celebrations for Change and Development

� Arts and Social Change

� Community Leadership.


The full Conference Program can be accessed from our website


A copy of the conference Registration Form is also available on the conference page of our website at


For further information about the conference, please contact Daniel Ng on 9514 3843

E-mail: [email protected] or visit our website


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