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Issue No. 170 14 March 2003  

Coke or Pepsi?
And so the battle of the NSW political brands enters its final week – and at times it seems more like the Coke and Pepsi Taste Challenge; only this time the brown syrupy liquid is power.


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.


 Travelex Wrong-un Stumps Staff

 No Utopia In Lifetime Contracts

 Della Renews Jobs Pledge

 Chef Roasts Double Standard

 Howard’s Navy – Aussies Need Not Apply

 Bank Lockout Mars Peace Day

 Intrepid Tourists Buck ILO Bans

 Whistle Blown on Second Hand Rail Safety

 Back-Packers Used to Break Hotel Strike

 Qantas for High Jumps

 Burrow Calls for New Family Formula

 Central Queensland Sucks on Roche

 Cabbies Hail Fair Deal

 Smoke Free St Patricks Day

 Workers Flush on Poo Pay

 Activist 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.

 Addicted to ANZUS
 A Plea for Legal Action
 Accord Reconsidered
 Johnny's Green Card
 Veto The War
 Law and Order
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Intrepid Tourists Buck ILO Bans

Australian travel companies are defying an international call to boycott Burma on the grounds of the military regime’s support for slave labour.

Despite a call by the International Labour Organisation for all member countries to cease trade with Burma, Australian travel companies Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel, say "bad luck we're coming anyway".

Travel company bosses Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet and Darrell Wade of Intrepid Travel say things are getting better in Burma and that the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest last year is high on their "positive signs" list.

But the democracy movement inside Burma - including Suu Kyi - are appealing to Westerners to observe the ILO boycott as a means of maintaining pressure on the regime.

Reports from the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions from October 2002 indicate that forced labour is actually increasing. And reports from an ILO officer in Rangoon just this week indicate that plans by the military to end forced labour are not yet adequate or plausible. There are also extensive reports of the use of rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minority women and children.

The travel gurus argue that they've been to Burma and spoken with people on the ground who are overwhelmingly in support of tourism in Burma. But who were Tony Wheeler and Darrell Wade talking to?

For many people in Burma their only connection with tourism will be as forced labourers on tourism infrastructure projects.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is a market leader in small group adventure travel, leading groups from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand on tours in Asia, Russia and the Middle East.

The company withdrew from operations in Burma after consulting with stakeholders in 1999, running its final trip to Burma in January 2000. Intrepid's commitment to "Responsible Travel" is used as a key marketing strategy and the company emphasises its respect for the social, cultural and environmental aspects of the destinations it visits.

Intrepid Travel has recently announced that it will resume selling holidays to Burma. We are looking to send a strong message to them that we disagree.

Please consider writing to Intrepid Travel Director, Darrell Wade, about

the company's recent decision to resume selling holidays to Burma.

A suggested draft email follows:

Dear Intrepid Travel,

I am deeply concerned to hear that you are about to resume selling holidays

to Burma. It is impossible to operate in Burma without providing hard

currency and legitimacy to the corrupt military regime. You will be helping

to fund a regime that routinely uses rape, torture, murder and forced

labour to oppress its own people. Democracy leaders in Burma have said that

the time is not right for tourism in Burma.

If you are concerned for the people of Burma, please listen to the people

who represent them. Please reconsider, don't go back to Burma.

Yours sincerely,

Send your message to:

Intrepid Travel

11 Spring Street

Fitzroy VIC Australia 3065

Telephone: 1300 360 667

Facsimile: +61 (0)3 9419 5878

email Darrell Wade, Director of Intrepid Travel

For more information about the issue of travel to Burma, visit


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