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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 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


 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 Thailand’s 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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Longer Strikes Spark Picket Code

The ACTU has developed a national code for pickets, recognising that federal laws removing the industrial umpire form disputes has created a recipe for drawn-out confrontation.

Citing ABS statistics showing that proportion of industrial disputes lasting 10 days or more had tripled from 1997 to 2002, the ACTU Executive this week recognised the need for a set of rules.

"The AIRC no longer has the power to intervene and resolve potentially lengthy disputes," the guidelines say

"As a result more industrial disputes are taking longer to resolve, and the use of lock-outs and aggressive industrial and legal tactics against workers by some employers has become more common.

Under the code all pickets and demonstrations should:

- Be coordinated and organised by a person or committee with the authority of the union(s).

- Have a clear and understood plan of action.

- Be peaceful and absent of acts of violence, intimidation or the intentional destruction of property.

- Not permit drunkenness or the drinking of alcohol.

- Honour agreements or understandings that exist or are reached between police authorities and unions or Trades and Labor Councils in respect to picket or demonstration activity.

- Have a union officer or delegate appointed as the principal union representative responsible for making decisions, and ensuring these guidelines and the agreed plan of action are observed.

- Have a group of identifiable marshals who should work with the principal union representative to establish and maintain observance of these guidelines the agreed plan of action.

- Establish protocols with police that ensure potential issues or areas of conflict between police and unionists are notified in the first instance to the principal union representative who should endeavour to resolve the issue before police are required to take further action.

- Ensure the responsibilities of marshals include dealing peacefully and effectively with any group or individual seeking to disrupt or hijack the demonstration for their own political or other reasons, or any unionist or demonstrator who acts in a way that threatens the success of the demonstration or the achievement of its objectives.

Abbott Invited to Wool Lock-Out

Meanwhile, the ACTU has invited Federal Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott to visit a group of textile workers who have been locked out of their jobs at Geelong Wool Combing west of Melbourne for the last 11 weeks.

One hundred workers have been locked outside the company's Corio plant since May 1 for refusing to accept a pay cut.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow says that as the responsible minister, Mr Abbott should explain why the government's industrial laws allow employers to lock out workers who refuse to accept a pay cut.

"The workers at Geelong Wool Combing had not taken any industrial action," Burrow says. "They have been locked out of their jobs for refusing to accept a 25 per cent reduction in their pay and conditions."


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