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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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SARS Lays Jobs Low

Airline workers are on the front line of OHS and job security battles that could decide the war against the SARS virus.

The full impact of the deadly virus is being felt in aviation where 1000 Qantas employees have been given their marching orders and hundreds more face redundancy or reduced hours. Qantas says the war is partly responsible but blames SARS for pounding the final nail into the employment coffin.

Health care workers, community care workers and anyone dealing with an individual are also at risk. The World Health Organisation has documented 2671 cases of SARS in 17 countries, with a total of 111 known deaths.

Unions around the world are scrambling to ensure members are protected. But with new information coming to light almost daily it is hard to say how much risk workers face and the most appropriate precautions would be.

The Flight Attendants Association of Australia maintains that the actual risk to cabin crews of contracting SARS appears low but that while so many questions have yet to be answered it will support members taking precautionary measures, such as wearing facemasks or gloves.

The FAA is encouraging thorough and regular hand washing. It has also set up a dedicated webpage to share new information as it comes to light and to provide access to other SARS information sources.

The World Health Organization says that SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, is a deadly strain of pneumonia first recognised at the end of February 2003. It includes in its list of early SARS symptoms fever, malaise, chills, headache and dizziness. Some victims also experience coughing, a sore throat and a runny nose, it says. The incubation period is believed to be from 1 to 10 days from the first exposure to the onset of symptoms.

The most common mode of infection is thought to be entry through mouth, inhalation and eyes, with the disease potentially transmitted through droplets traveling through the air when people cough or sneeze. It is not yet certain if it can also be transmitted through other bodily secretions but close contact with an infected individual does increase the risk of the virus being spread from one person to another.

Aside from the FAAA, many other unions are putting measures in place to support members and are pushing to ensure employers do the same.

Meanwhile, several hundred workers screening travelers at a Canadian airport were provided with protective facemasks by their union but were told to take them off by management. According to a Toronto Sun report five screeners, including a pregnant worker, were sent home for the duration of their shifts when they refused to remove their masks.

In Australia Qantas is now permitting its workers to wear masks and gloves.



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