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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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Aussie Stars Buck Trade Off

Film and TV star Claudia Karvan says she wouldn’t have a job if Australia trades off local content rules in the upcoming trade talks with the USA.

Karvan was amongst a group of actors, campaigning to protect Australian culture by opposing the free trade agreement who took their message to a Senate inquiry this week.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance has made the trade agreement a priority issue, recognising the massive impact it would have on members in the entertainment industry,

"The regulations that we have in place for our industry are totally crucial," Karvan told ABC radio.

"I mean, they're just not something that can be negotiated in any degree whatsoever... we almost wouldn't have an industry if we didn't have the regulations we have and I wouldn't have a job. I wouldn't be earning a living. "

Karvan says that up against an industry like America, it already has 90 per cent of the Australian film box office.

"Really, we can provide about 25 films a year because of the subsidies," Karvan says. "If we just rely on the private sector to produce films it's going to be really slim pickings."

Howard Told to Come Clean

Meanwhile, the ACTU is calling on the Howard Government to reveal all the details of its proposals for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States amid concerns that the deal could threaten major Australian industries, jobs and essential public services.

Trade Minister Mark Vaile has been in Hawaii this week for talks on the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which reportedly includes plans for zero tariffs between the two countries.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow says that Australia's car and textile industries, film and television production, financial services sector, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and government procurement programs were at risk from the proposed US Free Trade deal.

Burrow also called on the Government to end the secrecy surrounding its negotiating position on upcoming world trade talks on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

"Australia's existing health, housing, education, childcare, water, energy, postal and telecommunications services are threatened by the GATS proposals," Burrow says.


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