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Issue No. 169 07 March 2003  

Re-considering The Accord
The twentieth anniversary of the Hawke Government�s election provides an opportunity to ponder the Accord�s historical conundrum: how at the moment of the union movement�s greatest influence did it suffer its greatest loss of members?


Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Through a distortion in the time-space continuum, we have found a recording showing how people a few years into the future will deal with health care.

Interview: League of Nations
ICFTU general secretary Guy Ryder on the war, core labour standards and why Australia is an international pariah.

Industrial: 20/20 Hindsight
A retrospective analysis of the Accord is needed to help develop future strategies. Is it worth trying again? And if so, what would need to be different?

Organising: On The Buses
A new rank and file leadership team is standing up for the harried bus driver in the run-up to the NSW State Election

Unions: National Focus
A gaze around the country reveals some inspiring and innovative organising initiatives, a fruitful connection with young workers in South Australia and some typically robust industrial campaigns reports Noel Hester.

History: The Banner Room
On the eve of it�s refurbishment, Jim Marr ventures into one of Trades Hall�s best kept secrets; the room that houses relics of labour�s halcyon days.

International: The Slaughter Continues
Chilling new statistics from Colombia's main trade union confederation CUT: nine trade unionists assassinated in the first two months of this year.

Legal: A Legal Case For War?
Aaron Magner looks at the legal implications of the crusade of the Coalition of the Willing

Culture: Singing For The People
When there�s a struggle for social justice, when a war is brewing or rights are being eroded, the first ones to pen, paper and protest are often the folkwriters.

Review: The Hours
On the eve of International Women�s Day Tara de Boehmler follows the tale of three women who would rather choose death than a life devoid of personal choice.

Poetry: I Wanna Bomb Saddam
Scarier than Star Wars, the latest weapon to be deployed in the battle for Iraq is the Singing Dubya.

Satire: Diuretic Makes Warne's Excuses Look Thin
Australian cricketer Shane Warne today admitted that he was still feeling the after effects of the diuretic he tested positive to.


 Sacre Bleu � It�s �La Gong� Now

 Mum Raises Labour Hire Bar

 Investigate the Buggers

 NSW Libs Madder Than The Monk

 Kits Strike Terror into Govt

 West Braces for Shelling

 Executive Pay Under Senate Spotlight

 Clean Energy�s Jobs Bonus

 Zoo Workers Buck �Mercy Killing�

 Canberra Firefighters Win Union Backing

 Global Equity Under Spotlight

 Aussie Workers Fight Indian Child Labour

 Water on the Brain

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Workers Friend
Shock jock Alan Jones snubbed his Liberal mates to bucket the Cole Royal Commission and launch Jim Marr's book

The Locker Room
Boer Bore Boring
In the face of oppression Phil Doyle falls asleep in front of the TV

Guest Report
Dead Labor
The Hawke and Keating legacy is John Howard, Leonie Bronstein argues.

Hands Off, Tony
John Della Bosca argues the NSW Industrial Relations System gives his State a competitive advantage.

Groundhog Day
Another year, another round of corporate excess. Bosswatch returns from its summer slumber to find the same old dogs up to the same tricks.

 Re - Core/Non Core promises.
 Strangers in the House
 Nursing Home Concerns
 Catholic Tastes
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Kits Strike Terror into Govt

Postal workers have exposed Federal Government efforts to fudge the figures on anti-terrorism kits being returned in a massive anti-war protest.

Australia Post management was looking at another backflip over the kits after hours of negotiations with the CEPU Post and Telegraph branch, this week, averted threatened mail disruptions across NSW.

Government promised to count returned terrorism kits after anti-war activists organised a "return to sender" protest but conflicting instructions to postal workers saw some put aside, others returned to Canberra, and an increasing number destroyed.

"Some workers were throwing them in the bin as unadressed junk mail while others were putting them in the Canberra mail as part of the protest," CEPU branch secretary Jim Metcher revealed.

Then, suddenly, the Attorney General's department revealed it had given instructions for them to be destroyed because, it alleged, some had been contaminated with an unidenfied white powder.

That was the cue for postal workers to move, threatening to ban collections from street boxes on health and safety grounds.

"Obviously the Government wanted to play down the numbers but we didn't get into that game," Metcher said. "They didn't inform the union or workers of the danger so we could only take Senator Ellison at his word. This was a health and safety issue for us, nothing more or less."

Metcher said postal workers had reported tens of thousand or returns. The Canberra Mail Centre, he said, had been swamped.

But Australians will never know how many of their number joined the protest, despite Government assurances to the contrary. Australia Post first justified the destruction of returned kits on the basis of "storage problems", then the white powder line materialised.

Now it is arguing privacy restrictions prevent it giving the number of returns to either the Government or Senate Estimates. Metcher refused to comment on claims, made in Parliament, that someone had leant on the corporation.

Workers Fly Peace Flag

Meanwhile, NSW workers are gearing up for March 14. Public transport workers will wear badges, building workers will hold stop work meetings and schools will conduct peace assemblies as part of coordinated action under the 'Unions Work for Peace' Banner.

The day has been earmarked to send a public message of opposition to John Howard's handling of the war and is part of a series of events in the lead-up to the next major peace rally on Palm Sunday.

The Labor Council's Peace Committee has produced badges, posters and fliers for the day, all available through our No War on Iraq '' campaign page


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