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Issue No. 192 22 August 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

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

 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

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
 Misplaced Trust
 A Harsh Lesson
 Axe The Max
 India On A Dollar A Day
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Unions Go Back To School


With over 200 000 Australian school aged kids already in the workforce trade unions will now be on the syllabus for school students across New South Wales.

The move was welcomed by NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson, who believes that teaching about the history and role of unions will help people understand what unions have done for Australian society.

"It's also about telling young people about their rights,' says Robertson.

The change to the syllabus comes after a 15 year campaign by the NSW Labor Council to include unions as part of a curriculum that supports Vocational Education in Schools in the Work Education Syllabus in NSW.

"In a democratic society like ours its hard to read anything about the history of commerce without mentioning trade unions,' says NSW Teachers Federation industrial officer Peter Walsh.

Apart from the academic side the education will also have a practical effect with Walsh pointing to the number of existing school aged workers.

"We already have instances where kids are doing shifts where they should be studying for important exams," says Walsh. "The kids don't really know their rights are and how to stand up for them.'

The situation was brought home for Walsh with his own son employed as a supermarket casual. He was able to exercise his OHS rights but saw other instances where people were pressured to perform activities that were clearly outside the award.

By Year 10 many students are about to enter the workforce and education about the Industrial relations system takes a practical dimension. Young workers and those entering the workforce will now be able to learn where and how they can access information and assistance if they have problems in the workplace.

The education will be able to show that unions play a role not only in the workplace but in the broader community.

Teachers have been involved in the process and they have evaluated this project as something that has not only been useful for all teachers who are teaching these subjects but as great professional development.

The Labor Council, and the education unions have also committed their own money into the project.


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