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Issue No. 187 18 July 2003  

Hearts, Minds and Other Body Parts
Thanks to advances in technology, workers are being asked to expose more and more of themselves to their employer: their emails, their genes, even their urine.


Interview: As They Say In The Bible ...
One the movementís great characters, Public Service Association general secretary Maurie OíSullivan, 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 workersí theatre, South Australian unions taking that Letís Get Real stuff seriously, an American unionist fronts up at a distinguished Ďmeeting of the brainsí 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 shouldnít 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


 Authority Shafts Excessive Mine Hours

 Insurance Quiz: Money or the Baby?

 Monk Lined up with Jihad Masters

 Rat in Ranks, Tubner Warns

 Hard Drug Stance Stoned

 Vote Snooping Bosses Out of House

 Termination Battle Hots Up

 US Actors Back Aussie Comrades

 TAFE Students Called to Arms

 Teachers Caught in Family Feud

 Longer Strikes Spark Picket Code

 Max Sets Athens as Airport Standard

 Indigenous First for Construction

 Call Centre Jobs Diverted From Delhi

 Activist 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 Thailandís terrorist activities: facts or fiction asks HT Lee

 Feedback on Feedback
 Sid Einfield Would be Proud
 Tom in the Manger
 Sermon on the Mount
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Tool Shed


The man who has made a career out of hypocrisy, Paddy McGuinness, waddles into the Tool Shed this week after presenting Sydney Morning Herald readers with a thundering tirade against logic and reality.


Professional weirdo Paddy McGuinness presented his twisted parody of satire this week in the pages of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Under the headline 'What Corrigan did for the wharfies' McGuinness, with his eye firmly set on the nineteenth century, claimed that Chris Corrigan "creates wealth for everybody". The fact that a damn sight more of that wealth ends up in the bank account of Corrigan, C. - rather than the people who actually do the work - flew blissfully over the sad shambles that passes as Paddy's head. Anyone with half a grasp of what ensued during the waterfront dispute knows the best thing Corrigan could do for wharfies is to stick his head in a bucket of water twice and take it out once.

Paddy starts his creative rant by cloaking himself in the mantle of fact, but immediately disrobes by citing a Productivity Commission report that offers no support for the bizarre assertions that follow.

"Most union militancy these days is directed towards protecting the vested interests of union officials," rails Paddy, who obviously hasn't been near the real world for some time. Poor deluded Paddy obviously believes the campaigns at Ansett, One.Tel, Morris McMahon and Metro Shelf are some bizarre conspiracy bankrolled by Moscow gold.

McGuinness has obviously been an insecure man through his life. He took the criticism of his lazy engagement with the left in his younger days personally and has spent the remainder of his sorry existence crawling to the loony right for acceptance. While some go to extremes to win the acceptance of their peers McGuinness's efforts are truly remarkable.

In an unusual show of bravery, Paddy takes his attack right up to a dead man. After claiming that attack dogs and security guards wearing balaclavas weren't "thuggery" Paddy rounds on Tas Bull, the recently deceased leader of the MUA, citing Bull's autobiography.

"At no point in this book does Bull ever admit that anything good happened on the ships and wharves that was not the work of the union." This, Paddy old chum, is largely because nothing good did happen that wasn't the work of the union. The idea that working conditions in the maritime industry improved because of the generosity of ship owners is not borne out by the experiences of seafarers. If it comes down to the generosity of shipping companies Paddy may wish to take his next "pleasure cruise" aboard a Panamanian registered container ship.

Bull's autobiography is a great read and sets out exactly how the maritime unions managed to improve conditions over the middle part of the twentieth century.

McGuinness's bizarre fulmination on Bull's choice of abode, Hunters Hill, reeks of a conservative tantrum. Obviously Tas couldn't have lived in "working class" Balmain as all the housing there has been taken up by the gentrification that Paddy will no doubt be familiar with. Clearly, it sticks in Paddy's craw that someone who worked so hard for so long for their fellow workers didn't end up living in a caravan park in Leppington. The fruits of labour, in Paddy's world, are obviously not to be shared with the great unwashed.

Paddy's assertion that the Seamen's Union of Australia is responsible for the collapse of the coastal shipping trade will bring a bemused smile to anyone who has actually bothered to look beyond the Darling Street Wharf when evaluating this country's shipping industry. The Howard Governments green-light for substandard, flag of convenience ships to work Australian waters is the real death knell for domestic shipping. Its ramifications for working conditions, national security and the environment are big negatives for Australia. Yet, according to Paddy, its because the MUA won't let Australian companies pay their employees in salt.

Paddy is a truly amusing caricature of the blustering paranoid right in full cry. His brain explosions must be embarrassing to the very people whose support he craves. Is he Mad? Possibly. Just out to lunch? Probably. Irrelevant? Certainly.

Readers may wish to email Paddy and congratulate him on being our Tool Of The Week at [email protected]


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.


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