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Issue No. 174 11 April 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

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?

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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

C O L U M N S

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

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

L E T T E R S
 Taking Stalin's Crimes Seriously
 Unfair Dismissals
 More Angry Trots
 Tom's Tirade
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Della Muscles Up to Abbott


Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca has vowed to resist Tony Abbott’s attempt to blackmail states into adopting his restrictive National Code of Practice for the construction industry.

The re-elected NSW Government will stand-up to federal attempts to use hospitals, schools and roads to “blackmail” it into signing up to the code and key recommendations from the controversial Cole Royal Commission.

Della Bosca's pledge ensures work, worth of billions of dollars, on the Western Sydney orbital and Liverpool-Parramatta Bus Link will not be subject to Abbott's rules.

"Mr Abbott is attempting to blackmail the states and this will be resisted by the NSW Government at every step," Della Bosca said.

Della Bosca endorsed union criticisms of the Abbott agenda as political hard-ball that could threaten the viability of a multi-billion industry.

"This is an ideological obsession to the detriment of employers and workers," he said. "Mr Abbott is putting at risk thousands of building projects."

Abbott has threatened to withdraw billions of dollars in federal funding from schools, hospitals and roading projects if states don't subjucate their industrial rules to a Canberra-driven regime that would make it extremely difficult for unions to recruit, organise or pursue improved wages or conditions.

He wants harsh penalties on individuals and organisations, including prison terms and six figure fines, to replace state systems that have conciliation and arbitration through the Industrial Relations Commission at their core.

"I advise Mr Abbott to refresh himself with his own submission to the Cole Royal Commission which stated that the cost of construction in NSW was 20-30 percent less than Victoria, due to a superior industrial relations climate," Della Bosca said.

Victoria is the one state that has signed up for the unitary system that Canberra is demanding.

By contrast, Della Bosca pointed out, billions of dollars worth of Olympic Games infrastructure had been built in NSW "on time and on budget by a fully unionised workforce".


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