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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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Abbott Asked to Consider Honesty

Confirmation that construction heavyweight Harold Clough poured money into Tony Abbott’s political slush fund has brought demands for the Workplace Relations Minister to come clean on other industry donors.

Clough, former CEO of Clough Constructions and Engineering, admitted donating thousands of dollars to "Australians for Honest Politics" - a front organisation established by Abbott to fund prosecution of One Nation

leader, Pauline Hanson, when it became apparent her race-based policies were luring away Coalition voters.

At the time, before much of her agenda had been adopted by the Howard Government, Abbott publicly denied the existence of such a fund.

In the face of court evidence produced during Hanson's prosecution in Brisbane, Abbott this week recanted, sparking CFMEU insistence that he reveal the extend of construction industry backing.

National secretary, John Sutton, has written to the Minister seeking information on other construction companies that chipped into the hush-hush account.

"Considering Tony Abbott's position as Workplace Relations Minister and his establishment of a Royal Commission which white-washed building industry

employers, we believe the community should know whether or not other industry employers donated to his fund," Sutton said.

"We've little sympathy with Pauline Hanson's racist policies; what we're committed to is politics that's above board in practice, not just in theory."

The union's call comes one year after Abbott's $60 million Building Industry Royal Commission went through its funds with a fine tooth comb.

In the face of independently audited accounts, Counsel Assisting and the Commissioner, himself, publicly raised questions about the propriety of donations made to union funds.

They had to withdraw some claims, and apologise for others, but earned a lot media coverage on the way through. Twelve months after those proceedings

finished none has resulted in legal action, despite Abbott funding a follow-up Interim Taskforce to the tune of another $10 million taxpayer dollars.

Labor front bencher, Mark Latham, has joined the chorus for Abbott to level with Australians about the identities of slush fund donors.

The Minister's failure to disclose, Latham said, raised important questions, including ...

- do donors include business people who Abbott has favoured and assisted in his capacity as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations?

- do they include corporations Abbott has mentioned and assisted in Parliament?

- were the donations organised by Ian Harley Macdonald, Abbott's campaign director and fundraiser who was subsequently gaoled for embezzlement?


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