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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 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.


 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


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
 Tomís History Of The World
 Tony Is A Tool
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Qantas Woes Set To Soar

Qantas looks set for an increase in injuries and accidents amongst its workforce if it presses ahead with the use of labour hire employees after new information was released this week.

The AMWU has released a pamphlet on occupational health and safety aimed at improving safety for labour hire and contract workers.

With injury rates for labour hire workers higher than for other workers in the same industries the AMWU is moving to increase protection for this often under represented area of the workforce.

"We're driving to ensure that the permanent workforce realise that contract and casual workers have a say in their occupational health and safety,' says the AMWU's David Henry. "Their lives are as important as any other worker."

In comparison to direct hire employees, the injuries to on-hire workers occur more often, occur early on in the placement with the host employer, are more severe and the on-hire worker is off work longer.

Qantas Remains Hard Nosed Despite Safety And Security Risks

Qantas unions, under the umbrella of the ACTU, are continuing talks with the airlines management, who show no sign of relaxing their hard-line position on the use of non-union labour.

"Health and safety is paramount, not just for Qantas workers, but for the safety of fellow workers and, of course the public," says Richard Watts from the ACTU, who points out that security is also a paramount issue, being a great concern to staff. Airlines are at the front line of security concerns in the current world climate.

Talks between the parties are continuing.

Ansett Workers Engineer Pay Claim Win

Aircraft Engineers had a victory in the Federal Court this week after the Ansett administrator ordered approximately $7 million in additional severance pay entitlements be handed over to members of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association.

The move opens up an opportunity for other Ansett unions to claim another $15 million in entitlements for other employees of the collapsed airline.

The administrators, Mark Korda and Mark Mentha, opposed the Engineer's claim on the bass that it would lead to further claims from other former employees.

Media reports state that the administrators have approximately $400 million to carve up between Ansett's creditors, which including its former employees. Other airline unions are suing the creditors for $200 million in employee superannuation entitlements.


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