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Issue No. 166 14 February 2003  

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.


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.


 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


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.

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.

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

 Bouquets and Brickbats
 War Talk
 A Tale of Two Malls
 Talk Back Tom
 On The Beach
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Gnomes Fess Up – Unionism Best For All

Everyone benefits from trade union membership, but women do best of all, according to a World Bank study released this week.

The report from the conservative financial institution comes as New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark prepares to open a global union women’s conference expected to draw 500 delegates to Melbourne.

Clark will deliver the keynote address when the four-day ICFTU gathering - aimed at boosting the economic situation of women around the world - opens on Tuesday.

The conference will be staged against the backdrop of a World Bank study which confirms that everybody, but women especially, benefit from union membership.

In a report on the impact of globalisation, released this month, the Bank acknowledges that workers who belong to trade unions earn higher wages, work fewer hours, receive more training, and have greater security than non-unionised counterparts.

It also provides a ringing endorsement of collective bargaining, finding that those countries with highly-co-ordinated collective bargaining systems are associated with lower and less persistent levels of unemployment; and fewer and shorter strikes.

World Bank managing director, Mamphela Ramphele, says "co-ordination among social partners promotes better investment climates while also fostering a fairer distribution of output".

At the macro-level, the Bank says, societies with high rates of union membership have lower earnings inequalities, lower unemployment and inflation, and higher productivity.

The study says that union membership reduces wage differentials between men and women and the skilled and unskilled. It lists Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Unitied Kingdom as countries where unionised women have a greater advantage over their non-unionised counterparts than male union members.

Despite that report card, ACTU president Sharan Burrow says women have a number of problems to focus on.

"Despite large increases in the participation of women in paid work in almost every country over the last two decades, women still do about two thirds of the world's work for only five percent of the income," she said.


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