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Issue No. 167 21 February 2003  

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.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Cole Commission: The Rort Goes On
CFMEU lawyers are being denied legal aid as the Federal Government lavishes millions on Counsel Assisting the Building Industry Royal Commission.

The Attorney General’s office has knocked back bills from the three-person legal team that represented around 40 individuals before the Commission, after the union’s NSW branch was denied representation. [full story]

Penalty Rates Under Attack
NSW employers have embarked on a radical assault on late night and weekend penalty rates, seeking to drastically reduce entitlements in a key state award.

Under the plan, the definition of ordinary hours would be extended to 6am to 10pm Monday to Sunday, while the loading for hours outside this time would be significantly reduced. [full story]

Abbott Brushes Ripped Off Aussies
Tony Abbott’s Department of Employment and Workplace Relations is washing its hands of workers who have been ripped off by less than $10,000.

The policy, revealed in a paper released by the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry, means rogue employers can help themselves to up to $10,000 worth of workers money without fear of departmental prosecution. [full story]

Overworked Seaman’s Painful Hangover
An overworked crew member was so fatigued he might as well have been drunk when a “guest worker” was seriously injured on Ship of Shame, the CSL Pacific, an official investigation has found.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Marine Safety Investigation report, blamed chronic fatigue and systems failure for an accident that left a Ukranian seaman in hospital with a fractured pelvis, broken vertebra and ribs, a dislocated hip and groin damage, after being trapped in moving equipment, off Melbourne, on February 18. [full story]

Australia Snubs International Body
The Howard Government stands accused of ignoring its international obligations after walking away from the International Labour Organisation.

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions secretary-general Guy Ryder told Workers Online the Australian Government had failed to nominate for any positions or committees at the ILO for the past four years. [full story]

Women Attracted to Unions
Australian women have more positive attitudes to trade unions than men, with just 13 per cent believing Australia would be better off without unions, according to new research commissioned by the Labor Council of NSW.

The nationwide survey of 1,032 workers conducted by ACIRRT found women more receptive to unions than men, 20 per cent of whom believed Australia would be better off if there was no organised labour. [full story]


 Murdoch Hacks Dropping Like Flies

 Peace is Union Business

 Qantas Takes Big Stick to Cabin Crew

 Sheltered Workshop in Orange Squeeze

 Carr Govt Commits $13m To Safety

 Monk Puts IR in Test Tube

 Concreters Bury Six-Day Week

 Graincorp Boss in Cyber War

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Jim Marr's book 'First The Verdict' lifts the lid on the Cole Royal Commission. To order your copy at a special discount union rate drop us a line at [email protected]

In short, the Cole Royal Commission was a $60 million political witch-hunt that selected evidence on its capacity to embarrass the CFMEU.

Mob Violence


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.

LETTERS to the Editor
 This Means War
 Who Let The Troops Out?
 Wagga Wagga Calling
 Ode to Johnny

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