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Issue No. 173 04 April 2003  

The Fog of War
As the War Without a Mandate proceeds apace, any notion of a domestic political agenda has become surplus to requirements.


Interview: Picking Up The Peaces
Walk Against the War Coalition convenor Bruce Childs outlines the challenge for the peace movement in the lead up to Palm Sunday.

Unions: The Royal Con
Jim Marr argues the Cole Commission can only be taken seriously by people kept ignorant of the way it actually operated.

National Focus: Around the Grounds
Unions maintain the pressure for peace as the upcoming organising conference takes on added significance, reports Noel Hester.

Economics: The Secret War on Trade
Overseas-based multi-nationals are coming after our film industry, electricity, water, pharmaceutical benefits and even childcare. Or are they? Nobody knows, as Jim Marr reports.

International: United Front
Workers and their unions around the world have possibly never been as united in their commitment to campaign together against the War in Iraq, writes Andrew Casey

History: Confessions of a Badge Collector
Bill Pirie has one of the largest collections of trade union badges in the world. After 20 years the collection now numbers some 6,000 badges.

Politics: Stalin’s Legacy
Fifty years ago last month Josef Stalin died. How could it be that a democratic and socialist revolution produced one of the monsters of the twentieth century, asks Leonie Bronstein.

Review: Such Was Not Ned’s Life
The life of Ned Kelly is what we in the world of journalism term a “ball tearing yarn” so why have writers of the movie adaptation felt so impelled to dress it up with fiction, asks Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Osama's Top Recruiter
Through our extensive intelligence networks, we have managed to track down the top recruiter for the global terror network of Osama bin Laden.

Satire: Woolworths CEO Denied Bonus After Company Posts Profit
Woolworths chief executive Roger Corbett was devastated today to report an 18.3% rise in profit under his management over the last year.


 Cole Launches Civil Rights Assault

 Protests Target Arncliffe “Shocker”

 Commerce Swallows DIR

 Abbott, Bosses Turn Guns on Low Paid

 Fat Cats Should Justify Salaries - LHMU

 Black Humour for a Dark Issue

 Minister on Threats, Coercion

 Bosses Stonewall Union Dues Ruling

 Private Hospitals Pay Out on 15 Percent

 Councils on Hotel Workers’ Agenda

 Sharon Hammers Israeli Workers

 Shangri-La Blue Ends

 Inaugural Orwell Awards

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Factional Free-For-All
Chris Christodoulou looks at the fallout from the selection of the new Carr Ministry and what it means to the factional warlords.

The Locker Room
The Best Season Since Last Year
Phil Doyle goes trudging through the mud in search of the heart of the matter beneath the corporate biffo

Books on Bombs
In times like these, reading inevitably turns to America and war. Chris White wades through Pilger, Chomsky, Eco, Moore and Vidal.

Postcard from Harvard
Labor Council's Michael Gadiel was elected to give the valedictory speech to this year's Harvard Trade Union Program.

 The Rule of Law
 Trots Bomb Back
 Tom's Turn
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Councils on Hotel Workers’ Agenda

Hotel workers are putting the acid on Sydney City and South Sydney Councils in the wake of the Millennium Hotel debacle.

Their union, the LHMU, is seeking support from councils in local government areas most affected by the push to close hotels and redevelop the sites for upmarket apartments.

"There are about a dozen major residential hotels in Sydney and South Sydney where members are fearful about their futures," LHMU Hotel Union spokesman Mark Boyd said.

"We will ask those councils to work closely with us to ensure better treatment of hotel workers during the shutdown process.

The 150 cleaners, housekeepers, office and restuarnt staff at Kings Cross' Millenium Hotel have been fighting for a better deal for weeks. Their employer, a UK-based chain, refuses to meet the 16-week NSW redundancy standard.

The severance deal offered by the Millenium was less than that struck when the Sydney Hilton closed late last year.

As part of the union-negotiated Hilton deal, workers were offered options on jobs when the establishment reopened. That possibility does not exist for Millenium employees because the hotel is shutting its doors.

Central to the union's claim is lifting the Howard Government's eight-week redundancy cap, applicable to Federal Awards. LHMU research shows the average period of unemployment for redundat hotel workers is 22 weeks.

Cleaners Back $45 Deal

Meanwhile, a new LHMU award will deliver pay rises of up to $45 a week to more than 20,000 NSW cleaners over the next two years. It will apply to workers in the commercial and government contract sectors.

Under the new agreement, fulltime day shift cleaners will get a $35.50 increase over two installments. Those working broken or early morning shifts will get an extra $40, while those on night shifts will benefit by $45 a week.

Over the next two years, part-time rates will increase by 57 cents per hour.

Meetings of cleaners across NSW backed the settlement.


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