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Issue No. 183 20 June 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

A Beautiful Set of Numbers?
In the coming week the NSW Government will hand down the first budget of its third term. Few things are certain in politics, but rest assured the budget will be characterised as ‘tough and responsible’.

F E A T U R E S

History: Nest of Traitors
Rowan Cahill uncovers a ripping yarn that could redefine the way we look at Australian involvement in World War II.

Interview: A Nation of Hope
Former PM Bob Hawke bemoans the demise of industrial relations but takes heart from the prospect of peace in the Middle East

Unions: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on a soap star rebellion, Howard’s plans to renuclearise South Australia, more historical atrocities in the north, the redundancy test case plus more in the monthly national wrap.

Safety: The Shocking Truth
It’s every power worker’s worst nightmare – and it happened to Adrian Ware. In a flash of voltage, his life changed forever, as Jim Marr reports.

Tribute: A Comrade Departed
From Prime Ministers to wharfies, the labour movement paid tribute to Tas Bull this week. Jim Marr was among them.

History: Working Bees
Neale Towart looks at a group of workers who got sacked so their boss could keep making the Bomb.

Education: The Big Picture
The NTEU’s Dr Mike Donaldson and Tony Brown join all the dots in the current debate around higher eduction.

International: Static Labour
Ray Marcelo argues there’s another side to the recent furore over Telstra’s use of cheap Indian IT contractors.

Economics: Budget And Fudge It
Frank Stilwell argues that Peter Costello’s latest budget plumbs fiscal policy to new depths.

Technology: Google and Campaigning
Labourstart’s Eric Lee argues the latest weapon for campaigning could be the humble search engine.

Review: Secretary With A Difference
Looking for a new job can be hard enough, without having to worry about sadomasochistic bosses and the threat of being spanked for forgetting to cross your ‘t’s, says Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Minimale
The Labor Party leadership is in the news again, inspiring our resident bard David Peetz to song

Satire: Howard Calls for Senate to be Replaced by Clap-O-Meter
John Howard released a controversial policy statement today, arguing that the Senate be abolished in favour of a device measuring noise from the gallery of the House of Representatives.

N E W S

 Task Force Sleeps Through Killing

 Go To Gaol – Do Not Collect $500,000

 Green Pollie in Picket Blue

 D-Day for Media Diversity

 Putting Steel into Government’s Spine

 Fortnight in Killing Fields Anyone?

 Underpaid Worker Fights Deportation

 Truckies Deliver Death Watch

 Job Cuts Caught in Spill Cycle

 Mum Wins Family Friendly Hours

 Allianz Plans Bite the Dust

 Aussies Back Zimbabwe’s Gaoled Strikers

 Boral Faces Stadium Stoush

 Drought Claims More Jobs

 Bridge Chaos Looms

 Activist Notebook

C O L U M N S

Politics
It’s Our Party
Long time union watcher Nicholas Way looks at the changing dynamics between the industrial and political wings of the labour movement.

The Soapbox
Grass Roots
In his Maiden Speech, new MP Tony Burke argues that the ALP’s union links are nothing to be ashamed of.

Media
Opinion Forming Down Under
Evan Jones condemns the mainstream’s media coverage of the War on Iraq and the damage it is doing to our national psyche.

The Locker Room
Location, Re-Location!
It’s all fun and games until someone loses a club, writes Phil Doyle

L E T T E R S
 Questions for Cuba
 Is Beazley's Popularity a Winner?
 Rank Marchers
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Fortnight in Killing Fields Anyone?


Australian workers are being urged to visit the most dangerous country on earth for trade unionists – Colombia.

Fifteen places are available on a two-week ACTU-endorsed trip aimed at pressuring the Colombian Government to halt killings and human rights abuses. The ACTU is backing the exercise at the request of Colombian counterpart, CUT.

Thirty five trade unionists have been murdered so far this year in the South American country, mainly by paramiliatry death squads. In the past five years thousands of worker and community activists have died or disappeared.

The CUT has tried to have the ILO impose sanctions on Colombia but the moves have been blocked by the US and multi-national employers. Now it seeks to draw attention to the plight of its people by inviting international guests to see the situation for themselves.

The Australian delegation will be away from October 2 to 22, visiting trade unionists, government officials, political leaders, Black and peasant communities on trips to Bogota, Cali and Medellin.

Colombian-born HSUA South Australian secretary, Jorge Navas, is urging Australians to support the initiative.

Navas hasn't been to his homeland in 14 years, during which time the political situation has deteriorated markedly. Even so, he knows what worker representatives are up against.

He has lost 17 members of his family to the war, including uncles and cousins. Two uncles were elected Members of Parliament before falling to the death squads, another was shot dead at only two years of age.

Navas said organisers have approached political parties, including Labor and the Greens, as well as unions and church groups to nominate people to join the delegation.

"We want a broad group to the show the Colombians how important this is to Australians," he said.

The all-inclusive cost is likely to be between $4500 and $5000 per head. Organisers are asking unions, churches and political organisations to subsidise the participation of their members.


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*    See the ICFTU's latest report on trade unionist deaths

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 183 contents



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