||Issue No. 168||28 February 2003|
Interview: Agenda 2003
Peace: The Colour Purple
Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
Solidarity: Workers Against War
Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
International: Industrial Warfare
History: Unions and the Vietnam War
Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Poetry: Return To Sender
Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
The Locker Room
More Talk Needed on War
Keep Vultures out of Culture
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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