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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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News

Printerís Win Drink Stink


The re-instatement of four workers dismissed for drinking at the Nationwide News printing plant at Chullora has been hailed as a "victory for common sense".

The win comes as unions call for the focus of drinking to be on impairment, its occupational health and safety implications and its wider causes such as fatigue, overwork, and the use of casuals and outsourcing.

"We will not tolerate drug and alcohol stories being dealt with in isolation," says Paul Bastian of the AMWU, who pointed to impairment being the real issue that needed to be addressed

Brian Agnew, Barry Jelly, Frank Peinado and George Mandilakis had been dismissed for drinking under what ultimately proved to be an unclear workplace policy.

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission in its ruling recognised the culture of the industry was a contributing factor, with the ruling appearing to confirm that the application of the company's anti-drinking stance had been inconsistent.

"The company can't form arbitrary policy [in regard to workplace drinking],' said Bastian.

No Numbers On Workplace Drinking At Alcohol Summit

Meanwhile the NSW Government's Alcohol Summit covered the area of drinking and the workplace this week but found that there was a lack of statistics on the Australian situation.

In the absence of statistics there was no real evidence to prove that drinking was a problem in Australian workplaces.

The summit issued a recommendation that employers and employees establish clear guidelines regarding the use of alcohol in the workplace.

NSW Labor Council representatives at the summit noted that the need for this course of action stemmed from unscrupulous employers instigating unilateral and inappropriate policies on alcohol in the workplace.

Of more concern to the NSW Labor Council was the failure by employers to address the issue of fatigue. This problem is as equally debilitating as alcohol abuse, but is caused by management factors such as excessive workloads and placing unrealistic demands on employees. The failure of employers to address fatigue while concentrating on alcohol abuse was seen as inconsistent.

The summit also recommended the establishment of a Drug and Alcohol Workforce Development Council.


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