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Issue No. 168 28 February 2003  

Abbott�s Rules
Tony Abbott is at it again, with a wicked plan to cut research funding to universities that do not put their workers onto individual contracts.


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.


 Report Derails Freight Plans

 Journo Embarrasses Cole

 CASA a Safety Threat

 Howard Shafts Battlers

 Sparks Fly at Sydney Uni

 Unions Target March 14 For Peace

 Tongans Play Shame Game

 Palestinians Question ICFTU

 Neanderthals Roll Back Safeguards

 Keep Vultures out of Culture

 Bloody Noses for Sticky Beaks

 Warning As Barrier Council Turns 80

 Faint Praise for Labor Education Stand

 Staff Bogged Down

 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.

 Johnny Goes Marching Off
 Misled Artist
 Penalty Shoot-Out
 More Talk Needed on War
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Keep Vultures out of Culture

Laws protecting Australian cultural jobs, such as TV content rules and quotas on international productions filmed in Australia, could be trashed under the proposed US-Australia Free Trade agreement, unions have warned.

The Australian Coalition for Cultural Diversity - which includes the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, the NSW Musicians' Union and the Australian Writers' Guild - is fighting plans to include cultural industries in the trade talks.

They've taken their battle to the global stage, receiving the backing of delegates at the recent 2nd International Meeting of Cultural Professional Organisations in Paris.

More than 400 delegates from 35 countries and over 100 organisations endorsed a resolution for cultural services and industries to be exempted from the bi-lateral trade negotiations.

And they warned that current negotiations between Australia and the US could set an international precedent of aggressive liberalisation of cultural services if left unchecked.

Opening the Conference, last month, French President Jacques Chirac warned that culture must never bow under to trade. " Culture will give us the weapons we need to deal with globalisation, this new challenge in the adventure of the human race," Chriac siad.

Coalition member, Megan Elliott, who was in Paris for the Australian Writers' Guild, says she's concerned that unless workers understand the issues and assist in the campaign, the Australian Government might not realise the danger to Australian jobs and culture until it is too late.

The Coalition is warning the Australian Government not to make any agreements in bi-lateral negotiations until a proposed UNESCO treaty on cultural trade has been fully considered.

Writers Registered As A Union

Meanwhile, the Australian Writers Guild has formally applied to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to be registered under the Workplace Relations� Act, 1996 and be registered as an Industrial Organisation.

Elliott says the move has full support of the membership and is partly responsible for the seven per cent increase in membership experienced in the past three months.

"Stronger industrial muscle, our continued commitment to lobbying Government and representing our members interests on issues as vital as culture and trade and the development of a more robust professional development plan, means that more than ever performance writers are ensuring that they're part of the AWG," Elliott says.


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