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Issue No. 200 24 October 2003  

The Hard Yards
Two hundred issues of Australia’s first and only online workers’ magazine is due reason to celebrate. It is also a good time to look at what we’ve achieved over the past five years and consider where we need to go.


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!


 Workers Rally For ‘Joel’s Law’

 It’s Official: Courts Weak on Safety

 Cole Insider Highlights "Agenda"

 "Racism" as Pacific Islanders Rorted

 Academics Appeal to International Umpire

 Conroy Crashes Boral Bash

 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


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.

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.

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.

 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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Memo ALP Members: Think About Unions

NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson today called on ALP members to pay close attention to the trade union credentials of presidential candidates when casting their vote.

"This is the first popular vote for president and was expressly promoted to compensate unions for the reduction of their institutional voting rights," Mr Robertson says.

"In this context it is vital that the popularly elected president is supportive of unions, union members and union values."

A recent survey of presidential candidates by the LHMU received the following responses from the candidates:

Robbo's Rundown

Mary Easson: Member of the United Services Union and has been a union member all her working life. Mary has also been a union organiser. She believes that unions, working in partnership with the ALP can change our society: to rebuild the public realm, to discover amongst all the modern pressures, the virtues of community, of tolerance, of decency, of respect. "Through solidarity we build a society in which collective strength compensates for individual weaknesses," Easson says. Mary was the member for Lowe from 1993 to 1996.

Warren Mundine: Member of the Australian Workers Union and has been a

union member since he was 18. Warren believes unions are the foundation rock

of the Labor Party and has vowed to fight to make sure our elected politicians never forget what the union movement has achieved for working Australians. "We need a partnership with the union movement to the future to make sure working men and women are never left behind by any government." If elected, Watte4n would be the first indigenous President of the Party.

Monica Gould: Member of the National Union of Workers and has been a unionist all her working life. She was also the first female president of the Millers and Grocers Union and was Minister for Industrial Relations in the first Bracks Government. Monica supported the move by Simon Crean to create an equal partnership between the industrial wing and the party's membership.

Barry Jones: Member of Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Barry

has been a union member since 1950, included an elected executive member of the Victorian Secondary Teachers' Association. He believes the ALP must build a firm alliance between unionists and on-unionists. "I would encourage public debate on making unions more responsive to the needs of workers," Jones says. Barry was National President from 1992 to 2003.

Duncan Kerr -Not a union member. He has a long history of working with unions including the LHMU. His vision is for unions to empower ALP members with the relevant knowledge to assist in industrial campaigns. "Unions should be able to rely on the ALP, which they founded, to support the mission of the union movement," Kerr says

Sarah Burke - Not a member of the union. Previously employed as a casual organiser for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. "As a lawyer, I practice mainly in the areas of employment law and enjoy achieving successful results for my clients, most of whom are employees." Burke says.

Grace Grace - Currently member of NUW, ASU Clerical and CPSU and has been a full-time union official for 23 years. Grace was an industrial officer for 10 years with FSU, elected industrial officer to Queensland Council of Union in 1989 and elected QCU general secretary in October 2000. Says she will encourage the ALP to strengthen its ties with unions. "It is crucial that the ALP reverses the legislative changes adopted by the Howard Government that restrict the rights of workers and unions to organise collectively," Grace says.

Michael Samaras - Member of MEAA and previously a member of the PSA, CPSU and the SDA. Michael believes that unions are central to the ALP and have a central role to play in reminding Labor Governments and Oppositions of the needs and priorities of people who otherwise would not be properly represented. He also proposes the 'radical' option of 'closed primaries' which would allow affiliated unionists to participate in ALP preselections.

Susan Ryan Not a union member.- Was inspired to join the Party and seek to represent itin Federal Parliament. Since retiring from Parliament in 1988, Susan has worked in the superannuation sector. She has retained her Party allegiance but until now has not sought any position beyond rank and file member. "In my role, I would take every chance to advocate the Party's principles, internally and to the world at large, supportive always of the parliamentary party in its efforts to win government," Ryan says.

Shelley Archer - Member and former workplace delegate for the CPSU/CSA and former senior industrial officer Australian Nurses Federation. She believes the union movement and the ALP could look at taking a more constructive role in encouraging union members to join their respective ALP branches. "The union movement founded the Australian Labor Party and as such must still remain integral to its functioning," Archer says.

Carmen Lawrence - Says union membership for MPs is not required under the WA rules, but before entering Parliament in 1986. She was a member of the University of Western Australia Staff Association and has had honorary membership of the MUA. She was prominent among MPs in WA supporting the MUA during the waterfront dispute. "Because of my involvement in the women's movement, I believe I could be particularly effective in urging more young women to join unions to improve their conditions." Lawrence says. Carmen Lawrence has however been a strong supporter of a reduced role for unions in the ALP for many years. Carmen Lawrence has been a long time advocate for a reduced role for unions in the Party.


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