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Issue No. 193 29 August 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Smells Like Community Spirit
Over the past view weeks Labor Council has been undertaking some focus groups to gauge community perceptions to unions. The result is a massive wake up call for those of us who want a union culture to survive into the 21st century.

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 monthís 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

 Iranians Expelled Over Teen Affair

 IR Promises Crash on Motorway

 Telstra Pigs Out on Indian

 Teachers Fight Casual Attitude

 Superstars in EBA Showdown

 Sink One with Billy

 Abbott Asked to Consider Honesty

 Printerís Win Drink Stink

 WorkCover To Take Robbery Seriously

 Power Blackouts Expose Jobs Shortage

 Qantas Woes Set To Soar

 Sports Workers Walk

 Bigger Money Player Equals Job Cuts

 Indonesian Human Rights Appeal

 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
 A Nice Letter
 Tomís History Of The World
 Tony Is A Tool
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Tool Shed

BAD MEDICINE


It is into the shed this week for the man who represents the private health industry in Canberra, Russell Schneider, who seems to be the only person in Australia who thinks Kay Patterson can do her job. *****
 

Big Russ has been around a long time in Canberra - just ask him. The self-proclaimed longest-serving health lobbyist in Canberra has dealt with at least six health ministers and more than a dozen shadow ministers; so he reckons he knows his way around the paddock.

He has also delivered big time for his constituents - the private health funds - by getting the Howard Government to agree to one of the public policy crimes of the century - committing over $2.3 billion worth of taxpayers funds every year to prop up a bloated unreformed private health insurance industry.

Not only that but he has shown up with a straight face every year and explained to the government that the money is not enough and private health insurance premiums will have to go up or the funds will go out of business.

Every private health insurer should have a gold bust of Big Russ in the lobby for his efforts in protecting that gravy train and it now seems to be the reason he gets up in the morning.

But what a terrible price he has paid and helped force taxpayers to pay. To keep in sweet he said of the former health minister Michael Wooldridge: "The best health minister I have known in the last 30 years observing federal health policies and politics. Unlike any of his predecessors he put public health on the agenda."

Fair dinkum. You would have thought the introduction of Medibank and Medicare by Labor ministers would have been putting public health on the agenda but not according to Russ.

This week though he went about as far as any man should have to go. Kay Patterson is doing an outstanding job, he said. This the minister who has delivered a Medicare package roundly condemned by everyone including herself, refused to even meet the state ministers to discuss health funding and reform of healthcare and sparked panic among thousands of women by questioning their pap smear results.

Ask anyone, including her staff, how bad she is for health and the nation.

But not according to Big Russ, our worthy winner of Tool of the Week.



Show Us YOUR TOOL!

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.

 
 

Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

View our Gallery of Tools

Nominate a Tool!

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