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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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Activists Notebook

Labour relations and regulatory approaches to health and safety management in Europe - including small firms

Professor David Walters

University of Cardiff, Wales, UK

The seminar will discuss the development of arrangements for regulating OHS management in health and safety in the EU and will focus especially on the role of worker representation in this process. Starting from the adoption of supra-national measures at the level of the EU, it will trace their implementation in different EU countries against the background of change in the structure and organization of work and fragmentation of the labour market. It focuses particularly in trade union responses to these changes and comments on the role of work environment issues in trade union labour relations strategy currently and for the future.

David Walters is TUC Professor of Work Environment at Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. He has researched and written widely on the subject of regulation and labour relations of health and safety in Europe. He is editor of the journal Policy and Practice in Health and Safety. Recent publications include Health and Safety in Small Enterprises (2001) and Regulating Health and Safety Management in the European Union (2002).

Date: Friday, 22nd August 2003

Time: 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Venue: TMP/HUDSON Global Resources

Level 12, 123 Pitt St (between Hunter St and Martin Pl.), Sydney

Sponsored by:

School of Industrial Relations and Organisational Behaviour, UNSW

Industrial Relations Research Centre, UNSW

OHS/Risk Management Special Interest Group, Australian Human Resources Institute

For more information contact Marie Kwok on 9385 7156 or [email protected]

Tom Keneally and Malcolm Knox at Gleebooks


author of The Tyrant's Novel

in conversation with MALCOLM KNOX

WHERE: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd. Glebe

WHEN: Thursday 14th August, 6:30 for 7:00pm

COST: $8/$5 conc & gleeclub

BOOKINGS: ph: 9660 2333 or email: [email protected]

An oil rich country. A tyrant. A deadline to die for ...

Trapped behind barbed wire in an alien land, a man used to guarding his secrets is compelled to set the record straight ...

$8/$5 conc gleeclub welcome

Gleebooks: 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe 2037

Please RSVP to gleebooks - ph:

British Trade Union Campaign Seeks Solidarity from Australian Workers

Supporters of two victimised British trade unionists are asking their Australian brothers and sisters for support in their campaign to get justice for the two men, Michael Herbert (TGWU) and Leslie Asher (GMB).The two men are active union representatives at Manchester City Council in England, which hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002. Leslie Asher is a leading rank and file trade union representative and also active in the black workers movement, while Michael Herbert is also editor of the North West Labour History Journal.

For the past 7 and 10 years respectively they have represented their unions in a joint management/trade union team on Best Value, a team seen by many as

a model of best practice and good industrial relations.

On 25th April the Town Hall management unilaterally tore up the agreement and gave notice that Michael and Leslie had to leave the team on 31st May, claiming that after 7 and 10 years they were still „on secondment‰! They also drastically reduced their grades and salaries, slashing a total of eleven thousand pounds from their joint pay at a stroke, and ˆ without discussion or consultation - ordered them into jobs at much lower grades.

The Council is refusing to discuss the issue with the trade unions.

Both men are currently off sick with stress and also suffering financial hardship. Friends and colleagues have formed an independent support group to publicise the case to the labour movement at home and abroad, The Friends of Michael Herbert and Leslie AsherThe campaign is supporting Michael and Leslie‚s request that their status and salaries be restored and that the Council find them posts at that level of responsibility. Supporters includes trade unionists, academics, labour historians, artists, musicians, writers, pensioners and many others.

The campaign is asking Australian workers to do the following;

1. Sign the online petition which can be accessed through the website

2. Send an email to the following people at Manchester city Council

expressing concern about the case and asking that they recommence immediate

negotiations with the trades unions. (When doing so it would be a good idea

to indicate that people are writing from Australia, mention their union and

ask for a reply as soon as possible)

Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive, Manchester City Council

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester city Council

Email: [email protected]

Mr Jon Redfern, Head of Personnel, Manchester City council

Email: [email protected]

3. Raise the issue in union branches. The more emails they receive, the quicker the employer will see sense on this issue!.

For more information contact Bernadette Hyland, Campaign Co-ordinator for The Friends group, [email protected]


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