|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
Bloody Noses for Sticky Beaks
AWU national secretary, Bill Shorten, puts genetic testing at the top of a list of employer-driven privacy invasions that should be resisted by the labour movement.
"Your DNA can tell the story of your heritage, your present and potentially your future health," he said. "What right does any employer have to such personal information? And yet it is not science fiction. In the name of security, some companies are already using fingerprints as a swipe card for access to the workplace.
"They intrude by psychometric testing to discriminate between prospective employees; by spying on emails under the pretext of ensuring the content complies with company policies.
"Companies are trying to introduce drug and alcohol policies, which punish workers.
"A modern role for unions is to protect our members' rights to a private life."
The AWU national conference passed a resolution commiting it to protecting workers from random drug and alcohol testing and biometric technology.
Warning As Barrier Council Turns 80
The Barrier Industrial Council has marked its 80th Anniversary with a warning that unions needed to regain its heartland, including the Broken Hill mines, if it is to survive into the 21st century.
Barrier Industrial Council president Brett Campbell told the dinner that unions needed to increase membership and forge close relationships with each other if they were going to continue to be a force.
The eighth and youngest president of the BIC told guests that in Broken Hill, that included greater union representation at the local mine.
" The very workforce upon which the BIC was created has in recent times abandoned the union movement," Campbell said. "This shows disrespect to those who fought for the conditions workers enjoyed today.
Campbell said in the absence of a strong mining union it was being left to other unions and groups in the city to continue the fight for workers' rights.
But he said the union movement generally, including Broken Hill, needed a return to activism, where more people were prepared to get involved with unions at every level.
About 200 people, including former union leaders, attended Friday night's dinner at the Trades Hall. The night was also used to present a number of union service awards.
NSW Labor Council president Sandra Moait later told the dinner that a battle was currently being waged between those who viewed unions as part of the solution to today's workplace pressures, and those who didn't.
She said Federal Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott's vision of a world where bosses and workers have equal bargaining power was an insult to the memories of the visionaries who built unionism.
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