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Issue No. 199 10 October 2003  
 
F E A T U R E S

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!

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Rail Whistleblower Attacked - Again
A woman who blew the whistle on escalating violence against railway workers has had her workers comp claim knocked back by State Rail.

Isabelle Wilks who told Workers Online of being urinated on, spat on and physically assaulted in the course of her job, blamed the knock back on her decision to go public.  [full story]

Royal Con on Tape
Accusations of Cole Commission bias have been strengthened by a taped interview, secretly recorded by South Australian contractors.

In one convoluted sentence the head investigator gives the lie to claims the $60 million inquiry was an open, even-handed investigation of all sectors of the construction industry. [full story]

Call Centre Stumps Umpire
An up-and-coming cricket umpire has had dreams of a first class career stumped by a La Trobe Valley call centre that won’t give him Saturdays off.

Bjorn Hoekstra’s talents in the middle saw him given a first-class call-up by cricket authorities but TeleTech’s Moe management had other ideas, even though the required leave had been cleared through the company’s Melbourne head office. [full story]

Breakthrough for Email Privacy
A three year campaign to secure email privacy rights for workers has finally borne fruit, with the NSW Premier Bob Carr committing to pass surveillance legislation.

Under the changes, outlined at the NSW ALP Conference, employers would be prevented from spying on workers emails and blocking union access to the workplace during industrial disputes. [full story]

Harbour Sell Off Sparks Occupation
White Bay wharfies are ready to occupy the facility in a bid to force the NSW Labor Government to hold a public inquiry into its shock decision to shut Sydney Harbour as a working port.

"There’s plenty of empty containers for our members to camp in," MUA secretary Robert Coombes warned after the protest vote. [full story]

Harvey World Travel Locks Up Tour
Workers are being urged to flood Harvey World Travel with protest messages following the arrest of Australian union official, Mick Killick, at a peaceful protest in Dili, East Timor.

Principals of Harvey World Travel, Darwin, own Timor Air Services, the company which has sacked two local union delegates and ignored repeated reinstatement directions from that country’s Labour Department. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 STOP PRESS: Telstra Drops Out

 Workers Voice Gets Hard Edge

 Employees Disable Hard-Ball Bosses

 Canberra Eyes Crash Windfall

 Bush Whacker - Dubya Fingered

 Assault Costs Education Department

 Uni Workers Stand Up To Feds

 Thousands Say No to Cole

 The Town that Struck

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Sydney siders are invited to take the micky out of the Leader of the Free World on Sunday, October 19

E D I T O R I A L
If the anti-Bush protests make Australians – and the world - laugh at Bush’s ignorance, they will play a small part in strengthening the hands of the only people who can remove him from power – the American people.

The Toolinator

C O L U M N S

Postcard
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 Soapbox
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.

Media
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.

Culture
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.

Politics
The Westie Wing
Our favourite Macquarie Street MP, Ian West MLC, reports on the world of NSW politics.

Postcard
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.


LETTERS to the Editor
 On The Waterfront
 An Honest Job
 Letter From America

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