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Issue No. 192 22 August 2003  

Flexing the Muscles
If there was an over-riding mood from this week’s ACTU Congress it was one of pent-up energy, as if the time was fast approaching where the sleeping giant that is the Australian workforce must wake from its slumber.


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.


 Kids Win From Building Stoush

 Airline Bombs Staff

 Socialists Give Banks a Kicking

 Workers Bag Leave Entitlements

 Bosses Keep the Merc

 Canberra Off The Rails

 Australia in Terrorists’ Sights

 Labor Pledges Taskforce Fight

 Unions Go Back To School

 Yumaro Shows The Way To Go

 Rheem Taps into Lock Out Pattern

 100 Stranded in Bass Strait

 Call Centre Workers Cash In

 If It Looks Like A Duck...

 Stellar Dials an Ernie

 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.

 Misplaced Trust
 A Harsh Lesson
 Axe The Max
 India On A Dollar A Day
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Tool Shed

Family Values II

Wilson Tuckey takes his ironbar into the Tool Shed this week after his efforts on behalf of his constituents. Well, actually, a constituent. All right, it wasn’t a constituent, it was his son.


Wilson "Ironbar" Tuckey is a straight talking man. He is a fearless crusader for the rights of the underprivileged, such as his son.

Ironbar Junior got caught having to obey the law like everyone else and obviously, if you're a Howard minister's son, this simply will not do.

Fresh from his wonderful insight that a lot of bushfires are caused by trees burning Wilson strode to the dispatch box in parliament this week to assure the house that his latest crusade was sparked by his concern for children. Especially his own.

Tuckey the younger had been caught by the highway patrol and so his dad used his ministerial letterhead, as you do, to castigate the South Australian police minister and seek a more appropriate penalty, such as getting off.

Its not the first time that the Federal Minister for His Own Son has come out swinging for family values. A while back he tried to get some tax concessions up for a business that owed his son a few quid.

The slack jawed yokel from Western Australia tapped into the general consensus when he suggested that the ALP's campaign against him was driven by the fact that they hate children.

How long Wilson has been off his medication remains unknown.

Of course, because he hasn't bashed a pensioner or urinated all over the war memorial, Tuckey has not breached either the Howard Government's Ministerial Code of Conduct as enshrined in the Not Nailed Down Act.

In his correspondence Tuckey implied that the South Australian Ministers of the Crown presided over a marijuana crazed administration. The fact that he bothered to make this enlightening allegation on ministerial letterhead would indicate that Tuckey is, in fact, the one who could very well be in an unstable frame of mind.

The question for the Howard government now is not, as some churlish commentators have suggested, whether or not Tuckey should resign. Rather, the question is how does someone as obviously off his rocker as Wilson manage to avoid being incarcerated as a lunatic.

Obviously Tuckey needs help. The Federal government knows that the man could cause untold damage unless trained professionals closely monitor him. What more appropriate institution could their be for Tuckey to receive the co-counselling he so sorely needs that in the company of the other tragic victims of their own delusional psychoses that he will find in the Federal cabinet.

Our Tool Of The Week's shameful wringing of hands in parliament this week shows that he knows he has done a very bad thing. Not that Wilson has a problem with using his bully boy letterhead tactics, it was getting caught that upset Tuckey


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.


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