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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

Long Winter for Seasonal Workers


A summit to gauge the impact of drought on seasonal workers is at the heart of a log of claims for rural workers put to the weekend Country Conference of the NSW ALP.

The Australian Workers Union presented the log, a comprehensive agenda of reforms needed to improve conditions for workers outside the major metropolitan areas.

AWU state secretary Russ Collison the worst drought in twenty years has made life a lot tougher for the average shearer, farm hand and horticultural worker whose reliance on seasonal work has always made life a struggle.

The Log of Claims consists of five key demands:

- A State Drought Summit - to bring together stakeholders to guide and develop Government policies to ensure the survival of the bush.

- Reform to the Rural Accommodation Act - to ensure farm and property workers are housed in adequate dwellings when working.

- Development of a National Water Policy - all state Labor Governments working together to ensure Australia's water supplies survive.

- A new Government Purchasing code - ensuring that Agriculture Department contractors' employees have a right to organise and are protected by the relevant OHS and Industrial legislation.

- Reforming Rural Workplace Safety practices - a new focus on changing rural work practices to minimise workplace deaths and injuries.

"Government has a responsibility to the bush and a Labor Government has a special responsibility to rural workers," Collison says.

" With the Carr Government's victory in March we have a unique opportunity to set the framework for rural NSW over the next four years with a special focus on improving the lives of average country workers, who have never done it so tough."


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