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Issue No. 200 24 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

Workers Rally For ‘Joel’s Law’
The mother of a 16-year-old killed on an Eastern Creek building site will join thousands of workers at a Sydney rally on Monday as pressure builds on the NSW Government for industrial manslaughter legislation.

Thousands are expected to rally across the state on Monday, October 27. The Sydney protest will be addressed by Sue Exner, mother of Joel Exner, who was tragically killed on October 15.  [full story]

It’s Official: Courts Weak on Safety
The Carr Government’s legal adviser has backed the need for tougher workplace safety penalties stating there is ‘evidence of excessive leniency’ in the way courts deal with workplace deaths.

According to the Crown Advocate, the state government’s senior criminal law barrister, 75 per cent of workplace deaths have attracted penalties of less than 20 per cent of the statutory minimum. [full story]

Cole Insider Highlights "Agenda"
Legislation arising from the Cole Royal Commission is "narrow, divisive and confrontational", says an academic who wrote key Commission discussion papers.

Martin Loosemore, professor of construction management at the University of NSW, warned Tony Abbott’s reform package could create more problems for the construction industry than it solved. [full story]

"Racism" as Pacific Islanders Rorted
A North Sydney company has been accused of "racist exploitation" after seafarers from Fiji and Vanuatu were stranded for months in Bangladesh without food or water, and dudded of tens of thousands in wages.

ITF co-ordinator, Dean Summers, is pointing the finger directly at Faymon Shipping Pty Ltd, of Chatswood, after more than a year of trying to get someone to accept responsibility for 33 officers and crew who worked the ill-fated Pacific Emerald. [full story]

Academics Appeal to International Umpire
Frustrated university academics and general staff have referred Federal Government’s harsh workplace laws to the International Labor Organisation as industrial resistance continues.

Seven trade unions covering university staff throughout Australia struck last week as part of an ongoing protest against proposals to tie $404 million in education funding to hard-line industrial requirements. [full story]

Conroy Crashes Boral Bash
Corporate giant Boral may have gagged shareholder activist drivers at its AGM this week, but it has bought itself a bigger fight with the ALP which has vowed to change the law to prevent its bully boy tactics.

Labor’s Stephen Conroy who is preparing the changes to company law, was at the meeting as big investors backed Boral boss Ken Moss’s motion to deprive shareholders of a voice if they didn’t hold five per cent of the company. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Poll Points to Hospital Overload

 Aussie Icon Set To Head Overseas

 China Gaols Union Activists

 Victory in Dili

 AWU Rejects Bid to Fleece Shearers

 People’s Bank to Hear From People

 Unions Put Students in Picture

 Memo ALP Members: Think About Unions

 New Face in the Hunter

 Activists Notebook

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Workers Online gets a hard edge. We celebrate 200 issues with a special souvenir hard copy.

E D I T O R I A L
We believe that a workers press must explore all aspects of working life, not just a narrow industrial agenda; and that until unions take this wider view, we’ll be consigned to fringe players in our members’ lives.

TOWN HALL TOOL

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
 Child Labour
 Advance Australia Where?
 God Save Us All
 US Seeking Aussie Info
 Call The Doctor
 Bring Back Gough
 Bring Back Social Democracy
 Look East, Look West

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