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Issue No. 186 11 July 2003  

Beyond the Possible
For a union movement that is struggling to break through the constraints of time and place, the visit of US union leader Amy Dean this week has been a breath of fresh air.


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


 Stop Thief: Shelf Company Owes Millions

 Axed Workers Take on Max

 Seven Bowls Bouncer at Umpire

 Smokescreen Clouds Morris McMahon Win

 Rail Boss Locked In

 Actors To Be Paid Their Dues

 Ruddock Urged to Block Immigration Scam

 Silicon Workers Seize Their Valley

 Wage Case Swings on Fare Go

 Fire, Pepper Spray all in a Day’s Work

 Taking It Up for Medicare

 Shelved Worker Fights Back

 Activists Notebook


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.

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

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Tool Shed

Crash Landing

Former head of the office of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Max Moore-Wilton, flies into the Tool Shed with plans to slash 40 percent of the workforce at the privatised Sydney airport.


Sydney airport boss, Max Moore-Wilton, is living up to his nickname Max the Axe. This time - in yet another shining example of how privatisation works - Max has put 160 livelihoods on the line in order to appease the fatcats at Macquarie Airports.

Macquarie has promised its shareholders a $380 million profit in year one of airport privatisation, when the current operation isn't even breaking even. Max the Axe is obviously under a pay deal to achieve the target, and bugger the human consequences along the way. Unfortunately we don't know exactly what this greedy bludger is getting out of his campaign of misery as his salary from the Bermuda-registered organisation has never been revealed.

Max has never been a friend of his fellow human beings, unless they were members of the Liberal Party. With such a history of strong and impartial contribution to public life one can only estimate the quality of his advice during his reign as head of the Department of Prime Miniature and Drinks Cabinet. In a ringing endorsement of the independence of the public sector Max the Axe appeared rather tired and emotional at the Liberals last Federal election celebrations. He was so loyal to the Howard camp he drummed up the energy to throw the Chaser team out of the Libs' post election knees up.

Of course only a genius such as Max or a market analyst would think that the best thing to do during the greatest crisis that has ever faced the airline industry is to demoralise and decimate the workforce.

During the week Max pulled the baby entrails from out of his mouth for long enough to declare that his plan was the best way to get the planes running on time as most jobs at Sydney airport had been outsourced anyway.

Those staff that are to remain are expected to go cap in hand to Max and sign on for AWA's rather than receive the protection of their current EBA, recently negotiated by the CPSU and other unions. The smartest thing to do would be to keep the 160 jobs and sack Max.

Max has form. During his reign in Canberra this grubby little operator was famous for removing a bus shelter outside his office - thus forcing lesser beings to wait in the freezing Canberra weather rather than have his aesthetics disturbed.

This bottom-feeder is one of the chief architects of Howard's way. He is a man who, when he was pillaging for the Federal government, reduced the term Public Service to an oxymoron. Now he has been pulled in by the corporate sector to paper over the cracks in what was always going to be a dodgy deal - the privatisation of Sydney Airport. Any idiot can raise the share price of an organisation and increase its profits in the short term by throwing fellow Australians out of work, but managing infrastructure is not about keeping shareholders wealthy - it's about making sure that the infrastructure works and can be safely used by the general public.

Our Tool Of The Week is a dinosaur that belongs to a different age and. His unique way of getting the planes to run on time, calls Mussolini's Italy to mind.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

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Nominate a Tool!

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