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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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Indigenous First for Construction

Fourteen young Indigenous men received certificates for their successful completion of the Job-Ready Course in construction at Lidcombe TAFE last Friday.

That might not be remarkable, but the six-week course is the first of its kind specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the NSW construction industry.

And this Awards ceremony, during NAIDOC week, had a particular energy and enthusiasm -- because it marked the fulfillment of long-held dreams for the organisers and their hopes for the future to benefit Indigenous youth and the wider Australian community.

The course was developed thanks to the initiative of CFMEU Aboriginal Liaison Organiser, Les Tobler, along with Indigenous construction company, Gunai Constructions.

They found strong support for the idea at Lidcombe College of TAFE and a partnership between the CFMEU and Lidcombe College was quickly formed. Head Teacher of Construction, Colin Warn enthusiastically took on the program and played a key role, along with Tobler, and Gunai Constructions Murray Free and Chris Bell, in making it all happen.

"My main function," says Tobler "is to try to break the barriers down for our young people, to give them access to the industry and an opportunity to get the skills that other people obtain; to enable them to be their own self and start to do things for themselves in their own community."

That meant doing the hard yards, to raise money for the course and generate the community and industry support that would make it work.

But Tobler and his mates pulled it off. Besides the CFMEU and Labor Council, the list of supporting organisations included major and medium-sized construction companies; Comet and Metro Skills Training, ATSIC, Naamoro Employee Services, Western Sydney Aboriginal Corporation and the Eora Centre


Tobler told Workers Online there was something magic about the way those shy young men had bonded and worked together during the course. They encouraged each other when the tasks were difficult, ensuring that even those who'd started with very few skills completed the program successfully.

Even those, like Tommy Stewart, who'd previously worked at a variety of different jobs, was glad to hear about the course through the local CDP. He's now starting an apprenticeship as a bricklayer. Mark Smith heads to Jacksons' Landing. Dave Whitton has an apprenticeship with Bovis Lend Lease.

Andrew Pye - the 'quiet achiever' who took out the Award for Excellence -- has a job with De-Martin Gasparini.

All 14 students are ready to work in the construction industry or to go on to complete apprenticeships. The course has allowed them to obtain their Green Card induction into OHS standards and to gain basic skills in plan reading, carpentry, concreting and scaffolding, with tickets for hoist and forklift handling and driving and explosive tools operation.

Tobler is already receiving calls from other young Indigenous people keen to sign up for the program. "We want to build up this program and branch out into other areas," he says.


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