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Issue No. 190 08 August 2003  

Border Protection
The High Courtís decision that Australian labour laws should apply to cargo ships plying our shores could be the first shot in the fight back against the excess of corporate globalisation.


Interview: The New Deal
US union leader Amy Dean expands on her agenda to give unions a real political voice

Unions: In the Line of Hire
Unions have lobbied and negotiated in a bid to stem casualisation and insecurity. Now, Jim Marr, writes they are seeking protection through a formal Test Case.

Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
Young people are amongst the most vulnerable in the workforce. So why aren't they joining the union, asks Carly Knowles

International: The Domino Effect
An internal struggle in the biggest and strongest industrial union in Germany IG Metall has had a devastating wave effect across not just that country, but also the rest of Europe, writes Andrew Casey.

Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
Max Ogden looks at the vexed issue of Works Councils and the differing views within the union movement to them.

National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
Achieving a fairer society and a better working life for employees from across Australia will be key themes at the ACTU's triennial Congress meeting later this month reports Noel Hester.

History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Rowan Cahill looks at the role Australia's conservatives played in supporting facism in the days before World War II.

Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Frank Sartor might have shot through but Robert Domm still calls the IR shots at Sydney City which pretty much explains why the council is this monthís Bad Boss nominee.

Poetry: Just Move On.
Visiting bard Maurie Fairfield brightens up our page with a ditty about little white lies.

Review: Reality Bites
The workers, united, may never be defeated but if recent episodes of Channel 10 drama The Secret Life Of Us are to be believed, this is not necessarily a good thing, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Legal Missile Holes Ships of Shame

 Labour Rights Threaten Trade Deal

 Workers Sharpen Community Clause

 "Puppet" Sparks Appeals

 FiFo, FiFo Ė Out the Gate We Go

 SRA Chief Off The Rails

 Qantas: Long Lunches on Rocks

 Water Crisis a Mist for Sell-Off

 Aussies Enter Karoshi Zone

 Combet Flies Ansett Plan

 Westfield Workers Seek Clean Start

 Rubber Workers Stretch Bridgestone

 Workers Art in Broken Hill

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Fighting Words
Craig Emerson gave what could be the most spirited Labor spray in a decade to the NSW Labor Council this month. Here it is in all its venom.

Out of Their Class
Phil Bradley argues that Australia's education system should not be up for negotiation in the global trade talks.

The Locker Room
The ABC of Sport
Phil Doyle argues that the only way to end the corporate madness that is sport, is to give it all back to the ABC.

Locks, Stocks and Barrels
Union Aid Abroad's Peter Jennings updates on the situation in Burma, where the repression of democracy is going from bad to worse.

 Workplace Bullying
 Casual TAFE
 Wage Rise
 The Fifth Column
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Tool Shed

Family Values?

By Phil Doyle

Itís life John, but not as we know it. John Howard takes his place in the Tool Shed this week after committing himself to the survival of the species. Just which species he was talking about remains a mystery to us all.


John Howard showed this week that his belief in social Darwinism is no idle boast as he declared that marriage was essentially about the "survival of the species".

It is important in this day and age that our leaders illustrate the moral grounds on which our institutions stand. In Howard's case he has shown that the primary role of marriage is about producing offspring. None of this namby-pamby nonsense about love, happiness or respect from Dear Leader Howard. Nope, after the altar it's off to the conjugating room to pump out a few healthy units of factory fodder. Who said romance was dead? Just lie back and think of Australia.

Once this has been achieved then the family can invest in other morally enlightening pursuits, such as nepotism. Howard showed his commitment to this ideal by ensuring that his own species survival unit (known to the rest of us as his daughter) received a wage courtesy of Dad's old law firm. Well, he had to do something with her before he could marry her off to a member of the landed gentry. Also, if you are on first name terms with the emperor, you have the opportunity to foist your other species survival unit (also known as his son) onto George Bush's doomed 2004 Presidential election campaign.

No doubt both are highly capable people who were the best choice for the job, that there wasn't a hint of favouritism and that pigs fly overhead.

Of course John is merely upholding the sanctity of marriage - especially when he bails out his brother's company. If another business faces the same difficulties in meeting their employee's entitlements well it's just their own fault that they're not related to the sanctity of the Howard marriage.

And all this sanctity doesn't end there, in fact the whole shebang is downright sanctimonious. Family man Howard showed how in touch he is with the average Australian family by letting us all know that his government has the work/family mix "about right". This will gladden the hearts of many whose sanctity of marriage is driven spare by trying to balance the demands of work, family, affordable childcare, maternity leave and managing the household budget to hear that things are, apparently, "about right".

Working longer for less and being denied the opportunity to actually have a life are all good for us, according to John Dubya Howard.

Another great way Howard has found to ensure the survival of the species is to beat up on cripples. What a better way to celebrate the sanctity of marriage than to penalise people if they've produced one that takes a bit more looking after. No doubt the ongoing review of carers' allowances will, in time, bring about John's dream of a muscular Aryan race that will conquer morally degenerate societies like New Zealand and South Australia. The man is truly a visionary.

No doubt Howard also adheres to Jonathan Swift's modest proposal that the poor support themselves by selling their children as food.

It is a bit disturbing that someone who lived at home with his mum until he was 30 would put themselves in a position to offer relationship advice to anyone.

Meanwhile the only same sex relationship that really does threaten the survival of the species is that between George W. Bush and our very own Tool of the Week, John Howard.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

View our Gallery of Tools

Nominate a Tool!

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