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Issue No. 178 16 May 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Shit Sandwich
It took a few well-chosen comments by the sole Howard Government minister with a grasp on reality - or at least a penchant for a bit of takeaway - to blow Peter Costello’s Federal Budget to pieces.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Staying Alive
CPSU national secretary Adrian O'Connell talks about the fight to keep the public service - and the union movement - alive.

Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Wollongong workers on poverty-level wages are losing up to $5000 for taking toilet breaks, according to the union representing staff at a Stellar call centre.

Industrial: Last Drinks
Jim Marr looks at the human cost of the decision to close Sydney’s Carlton United Brewery

National Focus: Around the States
If Tampa told us that John Howard circa 2003 is the same spotted rabid dog from 1987, this week’s assault on Medicare confirms it reports Noel Hester in this national round up.

Politics: Radical Surgery
Workers are vitally interested in Medicare, not least because they traded away wage rises to get it. Now, Jim Marr writes, the Coalition Government is tearing apart the 20-year-old social contract on which it was founded.

Education: The Price of Missing Out
University students and their families will pay more for their education following the May Budget, writes Tony Brown.

Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
Love is wonderful the second time around, goes the famous torch song. But is the same true for legislation? Asks Ashley Crossland

History: Massive Attack
Labour historian Dr Lucy Taksa remembers the general strike of 1917 to put the recent anti-war marches into perspective

Culture: What's Right
Neale Towart looks at a new book that looks at the failings of the Left, while reasserting the liberal project

Review: If He Should Fall
Jim Marr caught Irish folk-rock-punk legend Shane MacGowan at Sydney’s Metro Theatre. He was surprised but not disappointed.

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.

Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to monitor the Iraqi economy to ensure that the reintroduction of looting into the economy conforms with free-market theory.

N E W S

 Costello Whacks Women

 Abbott Picks Fight with Nurses

 Simon Slams Big End

 Hands-Off Howard Loses Seamen

 Safety Net Slips Disabled

 Clerks Put Boot In

 Bank Hold-Ups Expose Compo Failings

 Low Paid Dirty on Lawyer

 WIN Tactics a Big Turn Off

 ABC Jobs On Line

 Della’s Dallying Could Cost Miners

 Ministers of Misinformation Scoop Orwells

 Death Squads Strike

 Currawong Cottages Waiting for You

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
What May Day Means to Me
Reader Marlene McAlear penned this tribue to May Day and worker solidarity.

Solidarity
The Toast
Labor Council secretary John Robertson's toast to the annual May Day dinner in Sydney.

The Locker Room
The Numbers Game
In life there is lies, damned lies and sporting statistics, says Phil Doyle - but who’s counting.

Postcard
Brukman Evicted
ZNet's Marie Trigona reports from the streets of Argentina in the rundown to last week's presidential election.

Bosswatch
The Costs of Excess
Some tall business poppies had their heads lopped this week as the laws of economic gravity applied their always chaotic theory.

L E T T E R S
 Ron The Tool
 In Defence of Tom
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

In Defence of Tom


I regularly read your journal when viewing the Labornet web pages and some of the articles are certainly excellent, even the ones I find I am not in agreement with are usually constructive and I feel give an insight into the demise of organised Labor.

However, I cannot recall ever seeing such a malevolent and fuckin' offensive attack on an individual, possibly with the exception of politicians who are obviously public property and should expect this and most doing so gracefully although there are some exceptions such as Costello and more recently Bolkus suing the publisher of crickey.com.

Sadly your exception; was the publication of ignominious poison pen letters directed at one of your regular 'letters to the editor contributors' whom I have found at times extremely acerbic or even rancorous, but always ending with levity or explanation as to the purpose of the sometimes sharp comments.

Your own criticisms of Piers Akerman are more mellow than the attacks which were made on this individual who has apparently, after long-term unemployment succeeded in finding a work sweeping streets, a station which surely does not attract such venom, and raises the question of the morality of a person who would launch such an attack, an attack that could be compared to stealing from the blind, pulling the wings of a fly or crucifying a prophet.

I make no claim to camaraderie with this person, I did work along with him at Parramatta City Council, and as a casual employee I helplessly watch as futile attempts were made to remove him, not for incompetence but because of his folly in standing up against the fuckwits running that Bedlam.

Where shortly after his stand against blatant racist behaviors that pressure was put on everyone to get rid of this personality and after he had been made redundant (only this individual), we were collectively told in the depot that his name was not to be mentioned again.(This is no lie)

I know this guy has been doing it tough for the past couple of years, on a fuckin' Dole Cheque, because the fuckin' Union and the paroxysmal and mentally challenged yes men employed there screwed him, not the employer. He never explained why he focused on Sartor instead of the Union. However, has done alright without these fuckin' deadweight's around his neck despite the mounting expenses in his attempts to provide for his family and educate his children. Then, I read criticism clearly from the low Bastards who have obviously benefited from this man's efforts in a previous life, since he certainly did not, unlike other 'Union Employees' obtain any personal gain. These bottom dwellers deserve to have their balls cut off, that's if they ever had any.

Is it any wonder people treated in such a manner turn on those claiming to be looking out for the worker, I now only join a Union if I have to these evil cunts cost you the Unions more support than they are worth.

As for his turning on the worker, if even a fraction of what he has told me is true, he has turned against his own class, in support of the worker, but then it might be that he is just a fuckin' good liar.

Being objective there is not much else I can say, except that it appears you too have turned on a regular contributor possibly costing him his fuckin' shit job, you may have done him a favor, perhaps you can write to him explaining your warped fuckin' logic it might just take the pain from having to selling more of his assets to pay the bills.

I thought Workers Online was a fair dinkum publication and you, although never having to actually work yourself had a bit of understanding of those that have been disadvantaged you are just another up yourself fuckin' bogus socialist wanker.

Fuckin' Unions looking after the workers, Right!

Fuck the Unions and the political correct arse wipes, usually politicians incestuously retarded offspring passing as peoples representatives (DOGS).

Eddie Jagamarra Flynn

NSW


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