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Issue No. 191 15 August 2003  

Three Year Itch
The triennial ACTU Congress meeting Melbourne this week comes at the most difficult of times for the union movement, as the horror prospect of seven years of conservative government becomes an ongoing reality.


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.


 Public Backs Services Over Tax Cuts

 Seafarer Awards – Full Steam Ahead

 Sunnybrand Plucks Workers

 Call Centre Stink Over Time in Loo

 Reynolds Banks on Safety

 Workers To Back League Stars

 Witnesses Line Up for Test Case

 Unfair Legislation Dismissal

 Tax Office "Bites" Its Own

 Bosses Grab Massive Pay Hikes

 IR Staff Walk Over Job Cuts

 Government Kills Manslaughter Bill

 Rail Workers Spitting Mad

 Activists 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.

 Tom’s Tool
 Neighbourhood Watch
 MUA CD Launch
 The Remittance Man
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Letters to the Editor

MUA CD Launch

The Maritime Union of Australia is an extraordinary organisation to be able to count so many playwrights, poets, painters, cartoonists and writers amongst its friends. In the 1950s the union had it's own documentary film unit.

For a time Sydney's New Theatre was housed in the wharfies' headquarters in Sussex Street. Artists like Noel Counihan, Rod Shaw and Herb McClintock worked with the union for many years. Writers such as John Morrison, Frank Hardy, Dorothy Hewitt, Merv Lilley, Wendy Lowenstein and Denis Kevans were among the many supporters of the union.

With These Arms is a compilation of songs and poems from many sources, from emails from old LPs and tapes, from CDs, pamphlets, magazines, and books.

From the picket lines and support concerts during the lockout in 1998 are songs and poems written and performed at that time.

These new songs and poems are from Tim O'Brien, Peter Hicks, John Dengate, Wendy Lowenstein, John Warner, John Hospodaryk, Maurie Mulheron, John Tomlinson and Penny Harrison. There are also songs and poems spanning the last 70 years or so, including many from the musicians of the folk revival movement like Don Henderson, Chris Kempster, Bill Berry, Declan Affley, Harry Robertson, and Clem Parkinson.

It's hard to think of another union in the world that has had so many songs written about it. Is to do with the constant global traveling of sailors? Or the multicultural mix of waterside workers? or the union's long history of active interest in Australian theatre, film, art and music?

The union campaigned hard over the years for Aboriginal rights, have supported fellow unionists both at home and around the world, have been involved in the anti-colonial, anti-war and anti-apartheid movements. For over a hundred years the MUA has made firm friends at home and abroad, friends who stood by union when it came to face the might of government and employer combined in illegal conspiracy in 1997-1998.

With These Arms will be launched at

Politics in the Pub

The Gearin Hotel Katoomba

Saturday August 23rd at 2pm

courtesy of Politics in the Pub and the Blue Mountains Unions Council

The launch will take the form of a concert with many of the performers from the CD including

Margaret Walters

Chris Kempster

Alison Jones

Bill Berry

Tom Flood

John Hospodaryk

Mark Gregory


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