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Issue No. 166 14 February 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

A Call To Arms
Workers Online returns from our summer break to face a world on the brink, the structures of global cooperation being crushed by the iron will of the earth’s last remaining superpower.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Agenda 2003
ACTU secretary Greg Combet looks at the year ahead and how a union movement can keep the focus on the workplace at a time of global crisis.

Peace: The Colour Purple
Local communities across Australia are taking stands against war by displaying purple banners. Jim Marr visits one.

Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
As Workers Online took its annual break, the world kept turning – at an increasingly alarming velocity.

Solidarity: Workers Against War
Joann Wypijewski reports on how union locals in the USA are fighting the hounds of war at home.

Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
With all the talk of terror, the Howard Government’s Achilles heel is its tolerance of Flags of Convenience shipping , writes Rowan Cahill

International: Industrial Warfare
Scottish freight train drivers have already acted to disrupt the war effort in the UK with crews of four freight trains carrying war supplies to ports walking off the job, writes Andrew Casey

History: Unions and the Vietnam War
The Vietnam experience steered some unions towards social activism for the first time. Unions are today key players in the anti-war movement, writes Tony Duras.

Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Mark Hebblewhites looks at two summer movies that tap into different sounds of American culture - white boy rap and motown blues.

Poetry: Return To Sender
Resident bard Divd Peetz discovers that Elvis has become the latest shock recruit to the peace cause.

Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
CIA Director George Tenet announced today that the agency has begun recruiting future enemies for the year 2014.

N E W S

 The Cuffe Link – Taxpayers Cough Up

 Carr: Secret Lib Plan to Slash Public Sector

 Abbott Comes Out Swinging

 Thanks a Million: Cole’s Lawyers Clean-up

 Corrigan Dogs On Jobs Promise

 Gnomes Fess Up – Unionism Best For All

 Owens Survives 30-Year Ban

 Ribs and Rumps Something for Government to Chew On

 Badges of Honour

 Guards Rail Against Assaults

 Workers Online Scoops Global Prize

 Currawong Must Pay It’s Way

 Let’s Get Real! 2nd Australasian Organising Conference

 Guard Knocked Out in Villawood Escape

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Getting On with The Job
Premier Bob Carr chose Trades Hall as the venue to launch Labor's IR policy for the upcoming state election.

Postcard
Justice in Bogota
Sydney lawyer Ian Latham knows how to pick them. He’s gone straight from the Cole Royal Commission to justice Colombian-style.

The Locker Room
Heart Of Darkness
There is a school of thought that there is, in fact, only one World Cup - and it doesn’t involve cricket, writes Phil Doyle.

Politics
Danger Mouse
John Howard's politics have trapped him into supporting an unpopular war. He is in political trouble, Leonie Bronstein argues.

L E T T E R S
 Bouquets and Brickbats
 War Talk
 A Tale of Two Malls
 Talk Back Tom
 On The Beach
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Bouquets and Brickbats


Workers Online - Labour Website of the Year. Congratulations to Peter Lewis and his editorial team for W.O.L. being voted the website winner against international competition. Truth in reporting is all we demand.

Pity the Dailies don't follow suit.

You do good work.

Paul Reid

****************

Congratulations on winning the Union Web Site of the year.

Also congratulations to the Federal ALP , in welcoming Kim Beasley back into the fold. There can be no doubt that, with his extensive knowledge and some have said 'excessive' interest in the American Civil War , the proposed embrace of Kim Beazley back into the fold of the Federal Inner Sanctum as Minister of Defense will go long way in dragging A.L.P. polices from the Mediaeval era and into 19th century emancipation , this will certainly close the gap between the party and the electorate.

It would appear that the wheels have not , as some wag suggested, fallen off the NSW Branch of the ALP , and they appear to be not only headed for another landslide , but have been overwhelmed with volunteers. Our family was very disappointed when our offer to help out in Rockdale was not accepted , but we have found an excellent candidate to work for in Penrith , which is closer to home , and with any spare time , we will maverick as boundry riders on the dog watch in Rockdale.

As they say , you get the government you deserve!

Tom Collins

******************

Good God, Lewis, what planet are you living on? Do you inhabit some kind of parallel universe? I read the last editorial for Workers On-Line and what do I see:

"We sit cowed in a corner, braced for war, too scared to think beyond the next attack".

Aren't you being a tad too melodramatic here? I mean, do you really know *anyone* who is sitting "cowed in a corner" or "too scared to think beyond the next attack"? Because I sure don't. In fact, I don't even know anyone who seems to be slightly worried, in any meaningful sense of the term, although most people are more *aware* of the issue of terrorism and are maybe less likely to ignore frankly suspicious actions. And that's not such a bad thing, really, given that we are a potential terrorist target.

Are the circles we move in really so different or are you just gilding the lilly with undergraduate rhetoric?

Moving on I see other gems like:

"This white noise has drowned out the other trend in 2003: the continuing mutations of global capital as it spirals out of control" So capitalism is "spinning out of control" because of a few company collapses, hey? Pardon me for not noticing. The Glorious Age of the Workers' Paradise and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat are surely at hand!

To be honest, your editorials have been becoming sillier and sillier over recent months. That's a shame because Workers On-Line continues to be packed with good content. Unfortunately, its Editor, who I would have thought would be aligned to the ultra-realistic NSW Labor Council Right, is increasingly pumping out the sort of Trotty rubbish that fills the pages of immature rags like Green Left.

You are not doing your readership a favour - please treat us like we have a brain and some experience of the world, rather than nongs who can get all excited by stupid, inflammatory and vacuous rhetoric.

Bob Bunnett

***************

Just read the story on ninemsn about your 'Tony' Award to Aust Post. Not that i'm any great lover of Aust Post but the reply.....

' Australia post complained that the award was misleading, maintaining it had a good employment record.

The company said it was recently named the top corporation for employee management - and one of the judges was the ACTU.

Australia Post said wage rises were above inflation, no redundancies were involved in restructuring and the latest enterprise agreement was reached without losing a single day to industrial action.

"These incidents (which earned the Tony), while they generate their share of publicity, involved a handful of staff out of a generally harmonious workforce of 36,000 people," Australia Post spokesman Gary Highland said.

"These kinds of tongue in cheek awards are not in the interest of working people and do nothing for cooperative workplace relationships." '

see what happens when u try and be a smartarse...ya come out looking like the pencildicks you probably are.

Steve Watson

********************

You recently published this letter "Why does it take a 9-11 to move people to help?" by Sean Mason. Except, he works for CCBC (ccbc.ca). From the company's web site: "Sean Mason joins the CCBC team as Public Relations Manager, with a commitment to increasing CCBC's local, national and international exposure."

So in fact you actually published free advertising for this lame "school" he works for. He's just a PR flack spinning something so tragic into a "good news" item that would get your attention and publish it. Shame on you.

Warren Shiau


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