When the historians get down to chronicling 2002 their analysis will read simply: the Bali bombing brought the new era of terror home to Australians and heightened our feelings of insecurity and fear at our ill-defined place in the world.
Interview: Taking Stock
Labor Council secretary John Robertson reflects on 2002 and outlines the challenges for the year to come.
Bad Boss: Pushing the Envelope
Ongoing and resolute commitment to principles advanced by Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott have seen Australia Post make history as the first recipient of the Tony Award, recognising Australia's worst employer.
Unions: The Year That Was
From Cole’s witch-hunt to funky union tunes, Peter Lewis reviews the biggest stories from the world of work in 2002.
Republic: Still Fighting
Three years since the constitutional referendum, and despite constant reports of its impending demise, the Australian Republican Movement is still around and active
International: Global Ties, Global Binds
Labourstart's Eric Lee files his annual wrap-up of the year from an international perspective.
Politics: Turning Green
Union support for the ALP is no longer a given, with trade unionists turning to the Greens, as Jim Marr reports.
Technology: Unions Online 2002
Social Change Online's Mark McGrath looks at what worked best for unions online in 2002.
Industrial: The Past Is Before Us
Neale Towart argues that 2003 will be a year where traditional industrial campaigns come back into fashion.
Economics: Market Insecurity
Sydney University’s Frank Stilwell looks back at 2002 from a political economist’s perspective.
Review: Shooting for Sanity
Michael Moore's new movie Bowling for Columbine looks at America's love affair with guns, writes Mark Hebblewhite
Poetry: The PM's Christmas Message
Workers Online has secretly obtained an advance copy of the text of the Address to the Nation that the Prime Minister plans to make. We reproduce the text below.
Culture: Zanger's Sounds of Summer
If 2001-02 was the summer of political and musical terror then this summer 2002-03 is where irreverent Aussie music runs rife.
Abbott Gears For Grocon Stoush
Delo Brushes Taubmans Pay Off
Restaurateur Takes Knife to Wages Protection
Legal Double Whammy to End Year
We’re Dreaming of a Sweat-Free Christmas
Star Organiser Takes Off
Abbott's Xmas Message: Go To Jail
Nurses Perform Wage Surgery
Woolies Discount Spirit of Christmas
New Collapses Prove Entitlements Farce
Suncorp Ballot Draws Fire
Unions On Big Day Out
UN Migrant Worker Charter Welcomed
Tread Carefully - Very Carefully
Nick Housten argues that structural weaknesses could keep federal Labor in Opposition for many years to come.
The Locker Room
A Year Of Two Halves
It was one of those years. It started with a lot of sport and it ended with a lot of sport. Noel Hester and Peter Moss check the runes and dish out the gongs in this year’s Workers Online Sports Awards.
It was a year where the corporate world finally came close to consuming itself with bloated salaries, off the wall options and a string of mega-collapses
Into the Beyond
Every year we ask our readers to gaze into the crystal ball. While history shows the view is mirky, we’ve don it again.
Vale: Phil Berrigan
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We’re Dreaming of a Sweat-Free Christmas
Fair Wear is staging demonstrations in major cities to pressure retailers to sign the National Ethical Code of Practice or risk the Christmas dollars of people unwilling to support outworker exploitation.
In an effort to ‘name and shame’ retailers yet to sign the code, Fair Wear protestors have handed out information flyers telling shoppers which companies have, and have not, agreed to monitor their supply chains.
The loud and colourful demonstrations are designed to attract maximum attention.
At Fair Wear's Pitt St Mall protest in Sydney, shoppers lined up to hear the Solidarity Choir, which sang between speeches from clothing workers, activists, community and religious leaders.
The Choir sang renditions of classic Christmas carols with lyrics changed to reflect the outworkers' story behind many of the labels that could be given as gifts this year.
Present also was a real life Grinch, which had stepped out from between the pages of a children's storybook to set an example of bad yuletide sentiment gone right.
Grinch was a materialistic Dr Seuss character who wanted to stop Christmas so stole the children's presents but could not steal the spirit that made the day great anyway.
Fair Wear pinned him as the natural champion of unscrupulous corporations more concerned with maximising their profits that in ensuring exploited outworkers get a fair go by Christmas and beyond.
But by the time Workers Online caught up with the Grinch he was much reformed and had already seen the error of his ways. Having donated his profile to Fair Wear's outworker campaign, the Grinch now spends much of his time making guest appearances at shopping centres and malls around the country.
The Grinch (played by student and Fair Wear campaigner Ann Niddrie) said he could no longer stand by and watch the way outworkers were being treated, especially at Christmas.
"The exploitation of outworkers is about stripping the workers of their rights and doing anything to increase profits at the workers' expense," he said.
"Christmas is about people getting together and celebrating families and friendship but by not signing the code retailers are selfishly blocking the ability of outworkers to provide for their families and to really enjoy their lives," the Grinch said.
Fair Wear's list of retailers that have signed the new Retailers Ethical Clothing Code of Practice include Coles Myer (Grace Bros, Kmart, Target), Cue, David Jones, Sussan, Suzanne Grae, Sportsgirl, Gowings, Noni B, and Best & Less.
To access the complete list, click here.
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