The Monk Off Our Back
It should come as no surprise that Tony Abbott has been dragged from his workplace relations portfolio just as his $60 million assault on the CFMEU finally unravels.
Interview: No Ifs, No Butts
Rugby League Professionals Association president Tony Butterfield on his battle to deliver a collective agreement for NRL players.
Unions: National Focus
In this month’s national wrap: Noel Hester meets a heavy hitter talking up open source unionism, truckies front the suits at Boral’s AGM, tales of corporate bastardry and Medicare birthday revelry.
Industrial: Fools Gold
Unions have thrashed out a string of protocols with the NSW Labor Government. Some, now, are questioning whether they are worth the cheap, imported paper they are written on, reports Jim Marr.
Bad Boss: Bones of Contention
Byron Bay chicken boners have nominated thier boss for a Tony after seeing their entitlements plucked.
History: The Gong Show
In late September the South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) celebrated 75 unbroken years championing the rights of workers in the coastal Illawarra region 80 kilometres south of Sydney, writes Rowan Cahill.
Politics: The Hawke Legacy
The election of the Hawke Labor government twenty years ago holds some salient lessons for today’s Labor Party, writes Troy Bramston.
International: Sick Nation
As Australia celebrates 20 years of Medicare’s universal health coverage the crisis facing American workers in need of medical care is a useful reminder of what we’ve got – and what we stand, writes Andrew Casey.
Economics: Closed Minds
Philip Mendes looks at the political influence of right-wing think tanks, their financial backing and asks why the left hasn’t been able to get its ideas out there.
Review: Mixing Pop and Politics
He's had relations, with girls from many nations... but Billy Bragg seems to like us Aussies as much or even more than any of the others, writes Pádraig Collins.
Poetry: One Size Fits All
There once was a man from the Lodge - Who tried hard, our poems, to dodge... Resident bard David Peetz is back!
Concrete Boot for Democracy
Picketers Get Blue Ribbon Result
ICAC Call at Mudgee Abattoir
Telstra on Charges
Unis Walk Over Federal Bullying
IRC Shoots Rooster that Quacked
Ugly Australian Riles Timorese
Medicare Gets Abbott For Birthday
Business Council Opposes Salary Vote
Rail Workers Call For Self Defence
ACT Leads On Industrial Manslaughter
Thumbs-Up for Awards Binding Subbies
Entitlements Crash into Hangar
Blackouts on NSW Horizon
State Govt Told To Clean Up Contracts
Would-be Presidents Face Union Probe
North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.
The $140 Million Patriot
It would be hard to imagine a steeper slide from hero to zero than the experience of Richard Grasso, the now-deposed head of the New York Stock Exchange. writes Jim Stanford.
Bush's Bad News Blues
The Bush Administration is cooking up a new campaign 'to shine light on progress made in Iraq', writes Bill Berkowitz.
The Locker Room
A Tale Of One City
Phil Doyle gazes into the crystal ball for signs of life, and finds that somewhere the horses are running in the wrong direction.
With Banners Furled
There is no better account of the glory that was the annual Labour Day marches than that given by Kylie Tennant in Foveaux, her fictional account of life in inner Sydney in 1912, the year she was born.
The Westie Wing
Our favourite Macquarie Street MP, Ian West MLC, reports on the world of NSW politics.
A Hard Act To Follow
The Cancun Wash-Up
The dramatic collapse of the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, last month has been followed by a deafening quiet from Geneva, Brussels and Washington, writes Peter Murphy.
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Rail Workers Call For Self Defence
Beware – your bus driver could be a karate expert if a recommendation to stem rising public transport violence wins government support.
Violent incidents, including assaults, have led to calls from NSW public transport workers for management to provide self defence classes for employees.
The call came from a Labor Council of NSW forum on the issue. The forum released a five-point plan as the basis of a campaign to tackle the escalating problem of "commuter rage".
The workers' five-point plan calls on the Government to:
1. Review NSW Police (Transit) and Transit Officer numbers across the State to identify appropriate staffing numbers, resources and key locations for them to be stationed;
2. Increase penalties for any person who assaults transport employees;
3. Ensure no staff member works alone between the hours of 6pm and 6am or in identified high-risk situations;
4. Launch a public awareness campaign to ensure commuters do not blame front line staff for system problems; and
5. Ensure the Department of Transport complies with OHS requirements, including that it:
* Conducts risk assessments and implements systems to address the risks;
* Appropriately trains all staff;
* Provides self-defence training for staff who request it;
* Provides conflict resolution training for all staff dealing with the public; and
* Provides personal alarms for all staff and stations deemed at risk.
A number of other suggestions were made to the forum, including the provision of self-defence lessons for public transport workers.
Workers in the industry face being spat on, assaulted and pulled from moving trains and even being urinated on in the course of their jobs.
"We want the public to be able to enjoy their trip," said State Rail train guard John Henry. "We're just normal people going about our jobs."
Forum Delegates called for the establishment of a Campaign Committee made up delegates from Transit Police and Officers, Train Guards and Station Staff, the private and public sector bus industry and ferries.
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Issue 198 contents