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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Woolies Discount Spirit of Christmas
Retail giant Woolworths has a Christmas message for 40 redundant clerical workers - it will not recognise their accrued holiday pay.
The NSW Labor Council has accused Woolworths of 'penny-pinching' for refusing to pay the women a loading on their accrued leave when calculating redundancy payments.
The total in dispute is less than $12,000 or just $300 per worker, some of whom have been with the company more than 20 years.
"While $300 may sound like a trivial amount to a Woolworth executive, it is a further kick in the head for these women who Woolworths has thrown on the scrap heap," NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson said.
The redundancies arose after the Tasmanian Government induced Woolworths to move its finance department from Sydney.
The 40 women, through their union, the Australian Services Union, have been arguing their redundancy payment should include loading on accrued leave, in line with the industrial award covering their employment conditions.
"This is a corporate giant turning its back on faithful employees, trying to wriggle out of its legal obligations," Robertson said.
"It would be unacceptable any time of year; at Christmas it's downright heartless."
BHP Workers Fight XMAS Hamper Censor
Meanwhile, Australian Workers' Union steelworkers walked off the job for 24 hours this week in a symbolic protest against the company's censure of steelworkers' use of the Internet.
The workers used the email system to complain that there will be no Christmas hamper gift from the company this year.
About 300 steelworkers met at 7am and voted to stop work for 24 hours, and for the union to meet with BHP to discuss its email policy.
The dispute erupted last week when a senior AWU shop steward was reprimanded for using the internal email system to criticise BHP's decision to cancel the Christmas hamper.
He said the decision to cancel the hamper was a Scrooge-like act. "While we are disappointed the company did not consult the workers about sacking the hamper we can live with that decision, what we can't live with is workplace censorship,'' he says.
"Freedom of speech should not be parked at the company gates. Modern workplaces understand the value of sharing positive and negative information in the workplace,'' he said.
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