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Issue No. 180 30 May 2003  

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.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Mouse that Roared
Labourer Allan Mallard returned to work in triumph this week after being locked out, alone, for 10 weeks by an anonymous South Australian abbatoir.

The employer, who we are not allowed to name, locked the 56-year-old Meat Workers Union member out when he refused to join hundreds of colleagues on AWAs that stripped them of award minimums, including penal rates, long service and holiday entitlements. [full story]

Abbott: Look After Number One
Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott has told a Sydney job delegate to cut and run, leaving striking workmates to fend for themselves.

The extraordinary piece of industrial advice was offered after Abbott was badgered into talking to Morris McMahon delegate, James Bridge, by radio shock jock, Stan Zemanek. [full story]

Entitlements Revamp – Acid on States
With millions of Australians now denied basic entitlements states will be urged to establish a portable national fund to circumvent Federal Government inaction on the issue.

The coast-to-coast state system would ensure access to, and safety for, billions of dollars in workers money at risk from business failures. [full story]

Strong Stuff – Commission Star in Court
Cole Commission star witness Stephen Strong is trying to avoid paying $26,000 he owes to tip-truck drivers.

Strong, having been found to have owed the money to five drivers by the IRC last November, tried unsuccessfully to have those orders overturned mid-May. This week he was back in Local Court attempting to have proceedings stayed. [full story]

Think Before You Drink
Coffee drinkers are being asked to think about where their daily caffeine hit comes from as a global meltdown in the coffee market devastates producers in developing countries.

It's part of a push by Oxfam-Community Aid Abroad to promote consumption of 'Fair Trade' coffee sourced from worker cooperatives that ensure a decent return to the farmer, rather than the mass-produced poor-quality coffee that appears on most supermarket shelves. [full story]

Maritime Hero Takes Final Journey
Tas Bull, former general secretary of the Waterside Workers' Federation, died at his Sydney home last Thursday.

A seafarer, waterside worker, socialist and union activist, Bull was elected a WWF official in 1967, becoming general secretary in 1984, a position he held until his retirement in December, 1992. [full story]


 Sanitarium Casts Democracy into Hell’s Fire

 All Ding but No Gong

 Aged Care in Terminal Condition

 Strathfield Joins War on Shonks

 AMWU Returns to the Fold

 Green Jobs In Offing

 Register for Action

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Sanitarium invoked the Devil in its bid to keep workers out of the union. Then it sacked the elected delegate. Now it is in court facing unjustified dismissal and freedom of association actions.

The irony is that the man who saved the constitutional monarchy from the Republicans has now profoundly weakened it through his ill-advised decision to appoint a conservative member of the clergy.

Ziggy The Pinhead


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

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

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.

LETTERS to the Editor
 Language Most Foul
 Unions Deserve Reputation

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