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Issue No. 194 05 September 2003  

Interview: Crowded Lives
Labor frontbencher Lindsay Tanner talks us through his new book on the importance of relationships and why politics is letting the people down.

Activists: Life With Brian
Work by men like Brian Fitzpatrick is exposing new Australians to old truths. Jim Marr reports

Industrial: National Focus
A showdown looms in Cancun, Qantas gets bolshie, casual and lazy in its response to aviation challenges, and long festering disputes fester on in Victoria and Tasmania reports Noel Hester in this national wrap.

Unions: If These Walls Could Talk
Trades Hall is preparing for a major facelift but first, Jim Marr reports, it must bid farewell to the colourful bunch who have populated its dusty corridors in recent years.

Economics: Beating the Bastards
Frank Stilwell looks at some of the proposals for building a fairer finance sector.

Media: Three Corners
So its come to this. Four Corners, one of the world's longest running television programs is now under pressure from an ABC Executive that is less cultural visionary than feral abacus.

History: The Brisbane Line
Percy Spender was Menzies' foreign minister, but, Neale Towart asks, was he also prepared to serve as Prime Minister in a Japanese controlled Australia?

Trade: The Dumping Problem
Oxfam-CAA helps set the scene for this month's World Trade Organisation in Cancun.

Review: Frankie's Way
In The Night We Called It A Day Frank Sinatra learns 'sorry' Down Under is a loaded word and refusal to say it when due will lose fans in important places, writes Tara de Boehmler.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Truckies Tip Safety on AGM Floor
Truck drivers doubling as shareholder activists will put health and safety fears before the AGM of a publicly-listed concrete company, already facing fines and Supreme Court action over its OH&S record.

Boral owner-driver, Dudley Wellard, unveiled the ground-breaking campaign to NSW Labor Council delegates, inviting other workers to turn up at an opening barbecue outside the Australian Stock Exchange, next Wednesday morning. [full story]

Geelong Lockout Claims Family Homes
The Geelong Wool Combing lockout that has cost three local families their homes was this week branded "criminal".

Workers Online understands another three families have approached real estate agents about the prospects of selling their homes as 93 employees bid to hold out against company demands for massive clawbacks. [full story]

Aussie Labour Laws Fail US Test
Australia�s much hyped free trade agreement with the US faces being derailed by the Howard Government�s failure to adopt basic labour standards.

The US Department of Labour has received a key report slamming the Australian IR system as an "imbalanced, inadequate system of labor laws that fails to fully protect workers� core rights".  [full story]

No Accident � Insurance Dough Rises
IAG bosses voted to stuff tens of thousands of extra dollars onto their pay packets in the same week that employees reaffirmed their priorities lay with children and familes.

While workers across the vast group controlled by Australia�s largest general insurer were returning an 87 percent vote to continue resistance to the company�s call for some to work an extra half hour a day, directors behind the demand were voting themselves pay increases of between 37 and 43 percent. [full story]

Union Mum Wins
The Melbourne Mum shown the door by Australia�s largest company only hours after returning from maternity leave is back on the job � thanks to her union.

Mother of two, Anne-Marie, pronounced herself "ecstatic" with this week�s Telstra about-face and said it wouldn�t have happened without the intervention of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU). [full story]

Rheem Runs Cold On Entitlements
Millions of dollars in accrued entitlements are on the line as Rheem plays hard ball in EBA negotiations. Workers, including one with 43 years of service to the Aussie icon, are dismayed by the company�s attempt to dodge its responsibilities to protect employee entitlements

In a bizarre twist the company, headed up by Human Resources manager and Australian Industry Group (AIG) board member Peter Ross, is only prepared to guarantee workers' entitlements once its cash reserves have evaporated.  [full story]


 Unions Take It Up for Footballers

 Drug Boss Fails Workers

 Ministers Urged to Take Responsibility

 Museum Jobs Face Extinction

 Less News And More Of It

 Legal Costs Threaten Access

 Learning for Life

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Trades Hall is living history � industrial, political and architectural. It is also a bit of a shambles.

The experience of modern Australia is that while all the economic indicators say things have never been better, the people who are meant to benefit are over-worked, stressed and increasingly alone.

His Masters Voice


The Soapbox
Staking Our Territory
ACTU secretary Greg Combet argued for a fairer Australia in his keynote address to last month's ACTU Congress.

The Locker Room
Seasonally Agisted
Spring is a season when a person�s thoughts turn to�horse racing. Phil Doyle reports on the fate of nags and folk heroes.

Beyond the Block
We are wild about the people who live in The Block but not too interested in those who are on the streets outside, writes Michael Rafferty.

The Westie Wing
Workers friend Ian West MLC, reports form the Bearpit about a project to raise awareness about trade unionism amongst young people.

The Awkward Squad
Paul Smith meets one of the new generation of British union leaders who is taking the ball up to the Blair spin team.

LETTERS to the Editor
 Lyon Roars
 Spicey and Tart
 Tony and Pauline
 PNG Bags Plastic
 Fighting Words Craig Emerson

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