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Issue No. 184 27 June 2003  

To the Victors The Spoils
Revelations that private American lawyers, rather than the ILO, will rewrite the labour laws of countries levelled by the American military vindicate the warnings of those concerned by US unilateralism.


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.


 Rail Chaos Looms

 Electrolux Blows Fuse at Fundraiser

 ACM Loosens Handcuff on Democracy

 Sick Call on Mum’s Job

 Now For Industrial Shock and Awe

 Brian Miller – Working Class Hero

 Dynamite: Howard Handout for Rorters

 Family Case to Nurture Mothers

 Militants Lock Out Another 600

 Tipping the Turtle – Fijian Style

 Carr Goes Private

 Wages Blemish Sound Budget

 Westie Takes On Westfield ‘Hypocrisy’

 Eleventh Hour Reprieve for Women's Centre

 Activist Notebook


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.

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

 In Defence of Cuba
 The Story in General
 Thinking of America
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Tipping the Turtle – Fijian Style

Workers on Fiji’s luxurious Turtle Island earning $A1.65 per hour to serve drinks to western tourists paying $US1500 per night are denied their fair share of tips.

For the last two years the owner and chief manager of the resort, Richard Evanson, has done everything in his power to deny workers the right to a union of their choice.

Now the workers are getting serious, with a Fijian court this week commencing an inquiry into why the owner has not complied with Ministry of Labour orders to recognize their right to bargain collectively through a union of their choice.

While the resort is billed as paradise, workers' receive wages as low as Fiji$1.65 (A$1.35) an hour, about F$66 per week, which is below the Fijian poverty line.

Tips are not paid to workers; rather guests pay a single large recommended 'tip' in US dollars (US$400 for a week's stay) to a staff 'fund', but workers only receive about F$6 per week from the fund. They are fired for joining a union, while union members are denied access to their representatives.

The attitude of management is clear - they would not even talk with National Union of Tourism, Catering and Hotel Industry Employees until 48 hours before investigations were to begin in court concerning their failure to meet their legal obligation.

In an interview given to Radio Australia on the 20 June 2003, general manager of the resort Rob Besford claimed: "Well, I went along to start negotiations [on 18 June] on their log of claims and they suddenly produced a new document they wanted us to sign prior to commencing those negotiations. It was a document that was totally illegal, that is not required by law."

"The document being referred to is a Memorandum of Agreement on union recognition," Timoce Naivaluwaqa, General Secretary of the National Union of Catering, Hospitality and Tourism Industries Employees told Workers Online.

"This is a standard industry document that NUTCHIE has signed with numerous employers across Fiji. Clearly, to call it illegal in an international broadcast is in total bad faith and dishonest."

NUTCHIE has resolved to continue its struggle on trade union recognition at Turtle Island Resort and through its national centre, the FTUC, and its international federation, the IUF, will continue to campaign for this right.

Email the managers and tell what you think about the workers treatment. Let slip you have a sly 1500 greenbacks and won't be spending it on Turtle Island until they clean up their act [email protected]


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