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  Issue No 19 Official Organ of LaborNet 25 June 1999  




*  Interview: Moore for the Battlers
NCOSS director Garry Moore gives the community sector's response to this week's State Budget
*  Unions: AWU's Bush Blitz
"This is AWU Country". That's the slogan for the Australian Workers Union as it launches its campaign to address the specific needs of workers throughout regional and rural Australia.
*  Indigenous: Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
A United Nations committee slams Australia on indigenous native title rights.
*  International: Unions Post-War Stand
The world labour group demands KFOR track war-crimes authors and says social dimension central to Balkan reconstruction.
*  History: How Swede It Was
Swedish seafarers play an important role in South Australia's maritime history.
*  Review: If He Had Only Listened To Me ...
If Michael Thompson had listened to me the current debate raging in the nation’s opinion pages about his book may not have been as hysterical.

Gary Moore Addresses Post-Budget Rally Organised by the ASU

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Hyde Park Hyatt Workers Celebrate Victory

Dirty Linen: Cleaners Beat Hotel Giant
A major hotel chain has abandoned an anti-union push after the NSW labour movement threatened unprecedented opposition to its plans to push housekeepers onto individual contractors.
[ Full Story » ]

New Years Pay: Casino Workers Win Triple Time
Workers at Sydney’s Star Casino have won triple time to work New Years Eve in a deal which could set a benchmark for the hospitality industry and beyond.
[ Full Story » ]

Budget Gaps Tell Bigger Story
This week’s State Budget has fallen short of the labour movement’s expectations, with no provision for public sector pay increases and a surplus which could have been better spent on important social services.
[ Full Story » ]

Oakdale Miners Take On Canberra
Hundreds of CFMEU coal mining delegates marched on Parliament House in Canberra this week demanding the Federal Government act to secure the entitlements of every worker in Australia.
[ Full Story » ]

Second Wave Means Zero Tolerance
ACTU President Jennie George has blasted Peter Reith's new laws claiming they mean "zero tolerance for the industrial rights of working people in this country."
[ Full Story » ]

For Olympic’s Sake Let’s Become Weekend Warriors
A new development seems to be occurring in Sydney as we head towards the Olympics—peaceful demonstrations and street marches will no longer be allowed between Monday and Friday.
[ Full Story » ]

Brassed Off: Birch Not Out of the Woods
Unions have called on Olympic Minister Michael Knight to guarantee that all performers at the 2000 Games are Australian after he overturned a plan to use foreign marching bands at the Opening Ceremony.
[ Full Story » ]

No Ship is an Island
The International Transport Workers' Federation and the Maritime Union of Australia have set a new legal precedent in the courts, which will help save seafarers worldwide from abuse and exploitation.
[ Full Story » ]

Firey Country Conference to Fuel Bush Resurgence
Rural unions are approaching this week’s ALP Country Conference as a first step in reclaiming the bush with resolutions on a social audit and industrial relations reform to become a rallying point.
[ Full Story » ]

Pay Anniversary Marks New Challenges
The ACTU President, Jennie George, has called on women around Australia to speak up in the debate over the nation’s industrial relations laws.
[ Full Story » ]

Join the Labor Council Team!
Labor Council is looking for someone with passion to help run our new Organising Centre.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Has Labor Lost the Plot? You Bet!

  • Freedom of Choice - What About Tax?

  • Why Are We Trying To Be Torn Apart?

  • Thanks to Randwick Council

  • Editorial

    Tearing the Social Fabric

    It was just before Christmas 1996 when John Howard made his timeless promise that no worker would be worse off under a Coalition Government.

    Four years on we're beginning to see the real impact of the changes to industrial relations that Howard so skilfully wrapped into a benign little ball. With a second wave on the horizon it's about time to take stock of the impact of this subterfuge.

    So what's been happening? Beyond the simple legislative changes - constantly making life harder for unions to look after their members -- there has been a fundamental shift in corporate culture.

    Companies across the economy are using smart corporate manoeuvres to shed themselves of responsibility to their workers. Contracting out, labour hire, casualisation are all the vogue as the traditional employment relationship comes under unprecedented attack

    After imploring corporate Australia to use their new workplace laws, the Federal Government stands by aloofly as workers are thrown out, their livelihoods threatened with nothing to protect them.

    When Oakdale miners are shown the door, stripped of their entitlements the government says it's someone else's problem. Reith claims Labor did not nothing to close the entitlements loophole while in power. This is disingenuous. The problem has only arisen in the climate his government has created.

    As it spends our taxes on anti-union advertisements from its Employment Advocate, even hotel housekeepers are harassed if they decide to join a union.

    The irony is that the Howard Government is really undermining its own arguments. by destroying the structures unions worked so hard to erect to protect their members, the Government is not killing unions off, but reasserting their relevance.

    As the Hyde Park Plaza housekeepers must be saying tonight: thank God for the unions.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Nick Lewocki on Tribes and Factions Terry O'Brien on the Games We Play Jennie George: Women and Reith's Second Wave Piers Takes a Break



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