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Issue No. 191 15 August 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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

C O L U M N S

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.

Education
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.

Postcard
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.

L E T T E R S
 Tom’s Tool
 Neighbourhood Watch
 MUA CD Launch
 Trainspotting
 The Remittance Man
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Public Backs Services Over Tax Cuts


Australians back the core trade union policy of devoting increased resources to health and education by a majority of three to one.

The polling results were released on the eve an ACTU Congress where 800 worker representatives will thrash out policies to rebuild social services, including Medicare.

A survey of 1000 voters nationally, conducted this month by Australian Research Consultants, found that 75 percent of voters would prefer the government to spend money on services like hospitals and schools instead of tax cuts.

Significantly, the proposal was endorsed by 69 percent of respondents who identified themselves as Coalition supporters.

"People are being forced to pay more for basic services like health and education which are now the fastest rising causes of inflation," ACTU president Sharan Burrow said.

"The government's changes to Medicare and university funding will shift even more costs onto individuals."

Burrow said low-paid and casual workers, an increasing percentage of the population, could not afford private health insurance or Medicare co-payments for GP visits.

Unions are expected to endorse a co-ordinated campaign in defence of Medicare at this week's congress.

The latest ABS inflation data shows the costs of health, up 7.5 percent, and education, 5 percent, were the fastest growing elements in the Consumer Price Index.

The ACTU congress will also consider policies to raise the legal minimum wage to $13 an hour and a Test Case to improve family leave rights. The Test Case would allow casuals to convert to permanency and set a 48-hour cap on weekly hours.

Congress speakers will include Federal Opposition leader, Simon Crean, NSW Premier Bob Carr, Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and leading unionists from the US, Canada, Europe, Africa and New Zealand.


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