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Issue No. 185 04 July 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

A Recipe for Conflict
Without making any excuses, Tony Abbott’s hand wringing at this week’s airing of a secret video of picket line violence was a bit like watching Don King condemn boxing.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: As They Say In The Bible ...
One the movement’s great characters, Public Service Association general secretary Maurie O’Sullivan, is calling it a day. He looks back on his career with Workers Online.

Industrial: Just Doing It
Sportswear giant, Nike, is the first company to sign off on an agreement that purports to protect Australian clothing workers, wherever they labour, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Breaking Into the Boys Club
For a 23-year-old woman who has never worked in the trade, recruiting young construction apprentices into the union has its challenges, reports Carly Knowles.

Activists: Making the Hard Yards
Mal Cochrane came to the smoke as part of an Aboriginal avalanche that redefined the face of Rugby League. Today, he serves his community through the trade union movement.

Bad Boss: In the Pooh
What do you give a boss who makes his workers labour in raw sewage? A nomination for the Tonys.

Unions: National Focus
In the national wrap Noel Hester finds a Victorian Misso delo who is redistributing lucre from Eddie McGuire into workers’ theatre, South Australian unions taking that Let’s Get Real stuff seriously, an American unionist fronts up at a distinguished ‘meeting of the brains’ in Adelaide and a look at the line up for ACTU Congress.

Economics: Pop Will Eat Itself
Dick Bryan wonders if we can be insured against pop economists promising financial nirvana as well as financial market instability.

Technology: Dean for President
Paul Smith looks at how the internet is helping one Democrat candidate to the front of the primary pack

International: Rangoon Rumble
Union Aid Abroad's Marj O'Callaghan looks at Australia's weak response to developments in Burma.

Education: Blackboard Jungle
Lifelong learning shouldn’t mean cutting jobs, but that's exactly what the Carr Government is proposing, argues Tony Brown

Review: From Weakness to Strength
Labor Council crime-fighter Chris Christodoulou catches up with his boyhood hero, the Incredible Hulk

Poetry: Downsized
Resident bard David Peetz pens the song the Industrial Relations Commission needed to hear

N E W S

 Aussie Workers Cradle-Snatched

 Morris McMahon Workers Say Thanks

 Violence: Emerson Fingers Abbott

 Cowboys Face Contracts Ban

 TUTA Rises From the Ashes

 Teased Teachers Fight Back

 Labor Fails TAFE Test

 Coke Called on to Stop the Rot

 Bridgestone Drops Doughnut on Workers

 AIRC Locked in Dark Ages

 Maternity Breakthrough in Hotels

 Labour Rights: Even Bush is Better!

 Long Winter for Seasonal Workers

 Activist Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Cleaning Up
Rabbi Laurie Coskey from San Diego adds her voice to the global campaign for just for cleaners in Westfield malls.

The Locker Room
The Name In The Game
In an age of the sportsperson as celebrity it seems that names are overtaking the games, writes Phil Doyle.

Postcard
The Beach
Southern Thailand’s terrorist activities: facts or fiction asks HT Lee

L E T T E R S
 A Tribute to Brian Miller
 Orange Peel
 After the Accident
 Cuba - the Debate Continues
 Old Ted
 Greetings from Japan
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News

Morris McMahon Workers Say Thanks


After 15 weeks on the picket, Arncliffe factory workers returned to their jobs, thanking the union movement for “crucial support” and singling out embattled CFMEU chief John Sutton for special mention.

Representatives of Morris McMahon workers addressed the NSW Labor Council after winning their battle for a collective agreement the day after a national furore broke over a picket line confrontation.

The CFMEU national secretary apologised unreservedly for aggressive picketline actions, caught on video, diverting attention from the longest-running picket in recent memory.

Delegates thanked all unions who supported the picket including the MUA, CFMEU, ETU, RTBU, NUW. LHMU, NTEU, IEU, Teachers Federation, PSA and CPSU, saying their support was "indispensable in the final victory".

But they singled Sutton out for special recognition.

"We're sorry about the opposition to you last night but we thank you for your support on the picket line," Edith Rapana said.

Her Morris McMahon colleague Keith Brown echoed the sentiment: "John Sutton came down on numerous occasions; he's been a big supporter of ours and we're very sorry he's been singled out."

AMWU state secretary Paul Bastian says the dispute centred around issues fundamental to Australian workers: the right to belong to a trade union, the right to have a union bargain on their behalf and the right to a decent wage.

Bastian says key points in the settlement are:

- a legally enforceable, certified union agreement

- a fair and reasonable pay increase

- recognition of their union

- rights for union delegates

- and limits on the use of casual contract labour.

"Importantly, they have not signed individual contracts," Bastian says.


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