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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 Pįdraig 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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Activists Notebook

Urgent Event on Monday 27th October


Meet: Sydney Town Hall Square 11am.

Regional Centres:

Wollongong: Amphitheatre, Wollongong City Mall.

Newcastle: Newcastle Trades Hall, Ground Floor meeting room.

Joel Exner was 16 years of age. He was killed on Wednesday October 15. Joel was killed when he fell 15 metres through the roof of a storage shed under construction at Eastern Creek.

The Building Unions intend to ensure justice for Joel and his family and friends. Joel had the right to live. He was a keen footy player for Blacktown City Rugby Club.

Joel was killed on his third day on the job. He left school to help his mum out with finances. Now he is dead.

Unions have been fighting for a long time for the implementation of a crime of industrial manslaughter. It was passed at ALP State Conference but this is not enough. It is a crime. We want laws that ensure that if workers are killed due to negligence, bosses can be and WILL be jailed. In NSW one worker dies every

TWO days from accidents and workplace diseases. Enough is Enough.

Please come and show your support for this important cause and remeber Joel

and every other worker who has been killed whilst at work.


commencing at 8.15am to meet DAVID BARSAMIAN, US journalist and media critic. A FREE breakfast will be provided (sponsored by JUST Super).

A brief CV for David is provided below. He is a well respected commentator on mainstream and alternative media. This is an opportunity for people working in the media to discuss and debate the role and function of the mainstream media, propaganda, corporate policy and US foreign policy.

Where: Alliance office, 4/221 Queen St, Melbourne.

When: 8.15am (until 9.30am), Tuesday 28 October.

RSVP: essential for catering purposes to email:

[email protected] or tel: 03 9691 7125 (by 3pm Monday 27 October).

Who is David Barsamian?

David Barsamian is the founder and producer of Alternative Radio, the award

winning independent public affairs program syndicated to over 125 radio

stations and millions of listeners across the United States.

He is the author of ten books including "Propaganda and the Public Mind"

with Noam Chomsky, "Confronting Empire" with Eqbal Ahmad, "Culture and

Resistance" with Edward Said, "The Future of History" with Howard Zinn and

"The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting".

David is the winner of the ACLU's 2003 Upton Sinclair Award for independent

journalism and the Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its

'Top Ten Media Heroes.'

David lectures widely on the role and function of the mainstream media,

propaganda, corporate power and US foreign policy.

From railways to information superhighways at Sydney's Eveleigh

railway workshops

linking history, heritage and business partnerships through time and space

Associate Professor Lucy Taksa

School of Industrial Relations and Organisational Behaviour

Date: Monday, 27 October 2003

Time: 12.00pm - 1.20pm

Venue: Room 2093, 2nd Floor

West wing, Quadrangle Building, UNSW


Patterns of Union Joining in New Zealand: Causes, Characteristics

and Consequences.

Results of the NZ Worker Representation & Participation Survey

Professor Peter Boxall

University of Auckland Business School

Do New Zealand workers join unions for ideological or instrumental reasons?

Is there an unsatisfied demand for union representation in New Zealand?

What are the consequences for NZ unions as they strive to increase

membership levels?

This seminar reports findings from the New Zealand Worker Representation

and Participation Survey conducted in January and February this year by

Peter Haynes, Peter Boxall and Keith Macky. One thousand New Zealand

workers were surveyed about their experience of work, including their felt

and desired levels of influence over a range of issues and their attitudes

to union representation.

Peter Boxall is Professor of Human Resource Management and Head of the

Department of Management and Employment Relations at the University of

Auckland. From 1990 to 1991, he was a Research Fellow in the National Key

Centre in Industrial Relations at Monash University and in 1998 was

Visiting Professor in the Work and Employment Research Centre at the

University of Bath. His work on HR strategy has appeared in such journals

as the Journal of Management Studies, the Human Resource Management

Journal, and Human Resource Management Review. His recent book with John

Purcell, Strategy and Human Resource Management (Basingstoke and New York:

Palgrave Macmillan), brings together much of his work in this field. His

work on union strategies and on the reform of the New Zealand labour market

has appeared in such journals as the British Journal of Industrial

Relations and the Journal of Industrial Relations.

Date: Monday, 3 November 2003

Time: 12.00pm - 1.20pm

Venue: JG Seminar Room 119, 1st Floor,

John Goodsell Building, UNSW

For more information contact Marie Kwok on 9385 7156 or [email protected]

Volunteering in Palestine: an Information Evening

6-8pm, Tuesday November 4th

1st floor conference room,

Unity House 79 Stirling Street, Perth

Two Western Australians - a union Organiser and an International Solidarity Movement activist - will share their recent experiences volunteering in Palestine.

Internationals perform an important role in bringing people's attention to the tragic suffering of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

˙ We listen.

˙ watch in horror.

˙ be the media.

˙ write about and tell people back home what we see and feel.

˙ By simply being there, provide protection for civilians against violent settler attacks and Israeli Occupation Force war crimes.

˙ reduce the risk factor for Palestinian farmers, women, workers, students and men to revitalise their history of nonviolent resistance against Israeli's policies of ethnic cleansing.

˙ participate in Palestinian-led direct actions.

˙ meet and work with amazing people from throughout the world.

˙ We learn and change before returning home, not seeing the world in exactly the same way as before we left.

We learn about love, community, a culture of serving, and of making others feel welcome because we are so welcome in the homes of the Palestinian people. We learn the amazing conditions to which human beings can adapt and still show dignity. We learn of the power of patient resistance.

Come and let us share with you our stories of solidarity work in Palestine.

For any who feel moved to consider coming to Palestine - out of a deeper sense of commitment than solely to consume excitement and dangerous experiences - we will answer any questions the best we can, especially concerning the International Solidarity Movement (, which is one of the main vehicles for volunteering.

We hope that out of this gathering will arise enough interest for a Perth-based Palestinian solidarity group, to raise funds to provide moderate subsidies for those wishing to do ISM work, and to send to ISM itself.

Please direct any questions to Rodney at [email protected] or (08) 9322 1384. or to Pat at 93610186 and at [email protected]


Is your organisation involved in merchandising? Do You Buy clothing to sell with your message? Do You Know if the workers making those clothes are receiving their legal wages? If you want to Be Sure that the clothing you sell is being made for fair wages, under fair conditions then this is the training for you.

Fair Wear is providing a free training day on how to get your clothing supplier accredited to the Homeworkers Code of Practice. This code was developed by the Textile/Clothing Union together with representatives of the retail and manufacturing industries. The code is a self regulatory system that monitors the production chain from retailer to outworker to ensure legal wages and conditions. Some outworkers have been paid their Award entitlements for the first time as a result of the accreditation process.

Once accredited, suppliers can display the No Sweatshop label: a sign of sweatshop free production. As organisations you have the power to demand companies you source from commit to sweatshop free conditions, and through demanding accreditation you can be directly involved in improving the conditions of outworkers in the Australian clothing industry.

Fair Wear is calling on all NGO‚s, charitable organisations and community groups to get behind the No Sweatshop Label and get their suppliers of T-shirts, windcheaters or any other garments, accredited to the Homeworkers Code of Practice.


Labor Council 377-383 Sussex St Sydney.

Executive Board Room, Lvl 9


Wednesday 5th November. 9am - 12.30


Dez Karlsson;

[email protected]

ph: 9380 9091

fax: 9380 8159

mob: 0403 128 013

NSW Labor Film Night - 'The Contender'

A presidential political thriller. After the Vice-President dies in office, the President decides it's time for a woman to take the job. Senator Laine Hanson gets the nod, but Republican leaks and disinformation threaten to derail her campaign.

'The Contender' (rated M) stars Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen and Gary Oldman.

Come and enjoy this Oscar nominated film & then enjoy some refreshments with other Party members.

6:00pm for 6:30pm start on Tuesday 11 November

Theatrette, State Parliament, Macquarie Street, Sydney

$20 / $15 concession (bookings essential)

Light refreshments will be served after the movie.

For more information please contact Paul Sekhon on (02) 9207 2000 or email [email protected]

*You must be a Party member to make a booking

Trading Australia Away?

Anthony Albanese MP and Grayndler ALP presents "Trading Australia Away?" - a

public forum to debate the important issues of free trade and globalisation.

7.30pm to 9pm Thursday 13th November, 2003

Marrickville Town Hall, 303 Marrickville Road, Marrickville,2204

Guest Speakers are Senator Stephen Conroy (Shadow Minister for Trade,

Corporate Governance, Financial Services and Small Business), Pat Ranald

(Convenor AFTINET) and Doug Cameron (National Secretary AMWU).

Contact Shane McArdle on 02 9564 3588 or [email protected]


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