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Issue No. 174 11 April 2003  

Might Does Not Mean Right
So the Americans have removed the dictator Hussein, the right wing press are firing more pot-shots than the Republican Guard and George W. Bush can ride into the sunset having liberated the Middle East. Game over – or is it?


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.


 Carr: Workers Won It For Me

 Nursing Crisis Bites Elderly

 Judge Puts ‘Predator’ Before Workers

 WA Court Undermines Cole

 Mexican Chain Gangs Win NSW Work

 Della Muscles Up to Abbott

 STOP PRESS - Brewery Goes Flat

 ACCC Urged to Consider Jobs

 Unions Stats Track Armageddon

 Cameron: Feds More Interested in Iraq

 SARS Lays Jobs Low

 Working Hours Benefit Millions

 Journos Urge War Crimes Prosecutions

 Unions Support Displaced in Iraq


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.

 Taking Stalin's Crimes Seriously
 Unfair Dismissals
 More Angry Trots
 Tom's Tirade
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Judge Puts ‘Predator’ Before Workers

A Campbelltown judge this week put the rights of an alleged sexual predator over those of a DPP worker taking industrial action to improve the service.

Justice Goldring threatened PSA member, Beth Walker, with contempt of court after she indicated she would back a legal strike by workmates protesting staffing shortages.

When Walker, a prosecuting lawyer, returned to the court she made it clear she did so out of respect for the victim of the sexual assault, rather than the court, drawing attention to the judge's implicit threat to scupper the prosecution.

PSA spokesman, Stephen Spencer, says Goldring's actions will be referred to union lawyers.

"We fully support Beth's actions," Spencer told Worker Online. "We now need formal legal advice about how far protections extend when workers are taking legal industrial action.

"The law is clear on victimisation by employers but judges are not employers. Contempt of court is a serious issue for solicitors. It can mean losing their practising certificates."

Last week's 24 hour DPP stoppage was supported by 300 PSA members, lawyers and clerks, up and down the state. It was most noticeable in busy courts like Sydney, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Penrith where matter had to be adjourned.

In an unexpected display of solidarity, the DPP workers' action was publicly endorse by defence lawyers who said resourcing issues threatened the NSW criminal justice system.

The PSA has been negotiating over DPP staff shortages, a situation conceded by the director himself, for months. The situation came to a head with last month's decision to cut 15-20 temporary workers.

"The workloads are unsustainable," Spencer said. "We have situations where our members are presented with a brief at 5 oclock to be presented in court the following morning.

"There must be a question mark over the standard of prosecutions in this state simply as a consequence of the case load placed on each individual."


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