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Issue No. 195 12 September 2003  

Coalition of the Swilling
As the world stopped to mark the second anniversary of the September 11 attacks and its horrendous human toll, attempts at writing new rules for global trade were hitting their own immovable object


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.


 Teachers Attack National Stitch-Up

 Safety Off The Rails

 Lion King Delivers for Kids

 Five Grand Extra for Unionists

 Telstra Gets Curry for Take Aways

 WTO Trips on Cancun Hurdle

 Workers Kicking Goals

 Dial NRMA for Stuff-Up

 This Is Your Operator Freaking

 Millionaire Takes Candy from Carers

 Working Women Get New Voice

 Community Burns Rubber Giant

 Grass Roots Campaign Beats Bush

 Unions-Council Strike ‘Clean Hands’ Partnership

 Call For Campaign To Save Bush Trains

 Activists Notebook


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.

 Life Wasn’t Meant To Be Frankie
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Telstra Gets Curry for Take Aways

Australia’s largest company is being accused of misleading the public over job cuts as it confirms up to 400 high tech jobs will be outsourced to India.

Melbourne workers objected to the job exports at a rally outside Telstra’s corporate headquarters, only months after company spokespersons publicly denied any such intentions.

CPSU national secretary Adrian O'Connell accused the corporate giant of "blatant hypocrisy" after its announcement that hundreds of IBM GSA jobs would go as a result of contracting IT services to Indian firm, Infosys.

IBM GSA, part-owned by Telstra, was initially established to contract out IT work. Most of its employees work exclusively on Telstra projects.

In March, the CPSU alleged Telstra was negotiating the export of IT jobs but the company responded with adamant denials.

"No Telstra jobs have been lost or will be lost as a result of our IT sourcing arrangements with these Indian companies," a spokeswoman told ABC Television.

O'Connell called on politicians from all parties to level with the electorate on where they stood over Telstra's drive to deny Australians IT jobs.

"Do they think it is in Australia's national interest to have our IT industry moves overseas?" he asked.

"Let's not forget that Telstra is Australia's biggest and most profitable company and the Federal Government is Telstra's largest shareholder."

Doctoring Figures

Meanwhile, the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union (CEPU )is accusing the company of doctoring annual accounts to hide $281 million specifically used to sack another 2913 Australians.

It said Telstra had listed the figure under the seemingly-benign heading "operating expenses" in its annual account.

He predicted continuing cutbacks would leave the company without the skilled staff required to maintain services to the public.

CEPU NSW spokesman, Jim Metcher, said Telstra had axed more than 37,000 jobs since the Coalition came to power in 1996.

"Without a contingency staff plan, Telstra's phone network will soon be in disrepair," he warned.


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