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Issue No. 190 08 August 2003  

Border Protection
The High Court’s 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 month’s 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 – 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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FiFo, FiFo – Out the Gate We Go

AMWU members at Note Printing Australia took management’s ultimatum to "fit in or f… off" to heart, this week, and walked out the gate for 36 hours.

The 170 workers who manufacture bank notes at Craigieburn, north of Melbourne, took exception to more than what they have dubbed the "FiFo principle", alleging intimidation and harrassment had become routine management practice.

Affidavits, going to company attitudes, allege one representative told underlings "I bash people up with my brains until they break", and that another had claimed, approvingly, that Eskimos disposed of their elderly by cutting a hole in the ice and "putting them under".

AMWU Printing Division secretary, Steve Walsh, said the possibility of further action would "depend entirely" on whether or not Note Printing Australia addressed "serious" health and safety matters at issue.

"An independent consultant, employed by the company, found that management had caused significant distress and anxiety amongst many of the staff by using abusive language and inappropriate behaviour," Walsh said.

"These people are supposed to be managing change but what they have delivered is bullying and harrasment.

"Our people are prepared to work in a constructive manner but there are limits. We won't put up with this sort of behaviour."

Note Printing Australia is a Reserve Bank subsidiary, responsible for printing the nation's currency. It has slashed its workforce by more than 600 since the introduction of plastic banknotes.

This week's stoppage was the first in 17 years, reflecting what, Wash said, had traditionally been a positive relationship between company and workers.

He called on board members to involve themselves in the issue in a bid to restore harmony to the site.

"All our members want to do is get on with their jobs, but in an environment free from management bullying and harrassment," he said.


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