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Issue No. 188 25 July 2003  

Solidarity Gets Sexy
Here’s an image of modern trade unionism: articulate soap stars gives evidence to Senate inquiry into free trade; young IT workers pressure the government to get Big Brother out of the workplace and strapping young footballers join the union to take on the might of Murdoch’s NRL.


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


 Gloves Off Over Workers’ Rights

 Win for Victims of Rio Tinto "Blood Sport"

 League Players Join Union Team

 The Stack Goes On

 Trolley Rort Gathers Pace

 Allende Comes to Fairfield

 Vale Ernie Razborsek

 Kodak Chops Workers from Picture

 Stool Lady’s Stand Vindicated

 Nurses Seek Work-Based Elder Care

 Aussie Stars Buck Trade Off

 High Tech Pokies Threaten Jobs

 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

 The New Globalism
 Does This Make Me a Raving Trot?
 More on Bullies
 And More …
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Vale Ernie Razborsek

An effective commitment to Indigenous workers was a highpoint of Ernie Razborsek’s working life which will be celebrated by friends, comrades and colleagues at the Cardiff Workers Club, next week.

Razborsek died of cancer last week after 12 years as the NSW Labor Council's face in Newcastle and Northern NSW.

He is remembered for bringing warring labor tribes together under the banner of the Newcastle Trades Hall Council and, particularly, for a breakthrough agreement covering Indigenous employees of community development programs.

Razborsek worked long and hard on that campaign, in tandem with Labor Council's Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Joyce Clague.

Their success was recognised by Industrial Relations Commission president at the time, the Honourable Bill Fisher, who recognised the significance of the achievement.

Fisher paid tribute to their efforts in winning award coverage.

"The parties," Fisher said, " have expressed the hope that, in part or in whole, it might serve to encourage other co-operative and land councils to utilise the techniques described here and to advance the cause of a part of Australian society which for far too long was overlooked and neglected".

Labor Council secretary John Robertson said Razborsek would always be "fondly remembered and respected" for his commitment to Indigenous people of the NSW North Coast.

Another of his achievements was bringing Labor Council and Newcastle Trades Hall offices together.

He was centrally involved in co-ordinating improvements for workers on key Hunter Valley projects, including the Tomago Aluminium Smelter extension and the Port Waratah Coal Loader. In recent years he led electricity industry negotiations with Eraring Energy and Macquarie Generation.

At the time of his death he was Labor Council's Newcastle Industrial Officer and assistant secretary of the Newcastle Trades Hall Council.

Razborsek is survived by wife Venetta, daughters Angela and Jessica and son-in-law Tony.

His funeral will be held on Monday, July 28, at the Macquarie Memorial Park, Cessnock Rd, Ryhope, followed by a celebration of his life and achievements at Cardiff Workers Club, Munibung Rd, Cardiff.


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