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Issue No. 193 29 August 2003  

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.


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.


 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

 Printer’s 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


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.

 A Nice Letter
 Tom’s History Of The World
 Tony Is A Tool
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Superstars in EBA Showdown

Rugby League superstars Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Gorden Tallis and Trent Barrett will gather at NSW Labor Council on Wednesday to pass judgement on an NRL EBA offer.

The giants of the game have taken lead roles in RLPA demands to be cut into a stake in the professional sport and will be among 30-40 player delegates to consider the NRL’s latest offer.

Rugby League Professionals Association (RLPA) chief, Tony Butterfield, praised the efforts of his high-profile members, saying their commitment had raised the prospect of players being taken seriously after generations of being side-stepped by administrators.

"Frankly, the association can't do a lot for these guys but they have become involved because they want to leave a legacy for the kids coming through," he said.

In a major step forward, two or three delegates from every NRL club have attended the last two EBA report back meetings. Fittler, Tallis and Barrett have attended both while Johns tuned in by mobile phone to the one he couldn't attend in person.

Key issues dividing the parties, after months of negotiations, include a minimum wage; intellectual property rights; insurance; NRL rights to intrude into the personal financial affairs of players, their partners and families; education and welfare.

Footballers are understood to be questioning why the News Ltd-backed NRL signed off on a media deal that narrowed players' ability to make money outside the game, when C7 had tabled an offer that would have pumped an extra $300 million into the sport.

Butterfied said the NRL response to his members' core issues, to be delivered on Wednesday, would be "interesting".

"We have been through the front door and done everything right for three years," he said. "We have produced document after document but had no success.

"It's up to the NRL now. They need to respond and the players will consider what they have to say.

"The players have bought into this in a way we haven't seen before because it's about their lives and the future of their sport."


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