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Issue No. 202 10 November 2003  

Governing the Corporates
Suburban branch manager Joy Buckland’s bid for a position on the ANZ Board raises important questions about the way our major companies are governed.


Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
The Welfare Rights Centre's Michael Raper on 20 years of activism, the politics of punishment and how to make Australia egalitarian again.

Unions: Joel's Law
Building Workers have overcome powerful forces to push workplace safety back up the national agenda. But, Jim Marr writes, their "success" has come at an unacceptable cost.

National Focus: Spring Carnival
It must be spring: punting in Victoria, singing in South Australia, fighting in America. It’s all there in the national wrap from Noel Hester plus an Australian union movement rugby world cup class consciousness poll.

Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
They sacked the job delegate, reinstated him after an IRC hearing, and sacked him again two weeks later. But that was just the beginning.

Industrial: The Price of War
Mass industrial action is brewing in Israel as the policies of the right-wing Sharon Government come home to roost, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Who's Got What
Frank Stilwell pours over the latest BRW Rich List to build a picture of the increasing gap between the haves and have-nots.

History: Containing Discontent
Racism against minorities has always been a stock in trade of politicans, writes Phil Griffiths

Review: An Honourable Wally
Most Australians probably look at our politicians and feel they could do a better job but when redundant meatworker Wally Norman gets the chance to find out he realises getting elected is a major hurdle, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
A thousand blossoms bloomed during the US President's spring-time colonial visit last month.


 Taskforce Sleeps As Cranes Crash

 Scabies, Filth in Upmarket Annandale

 ANZ Jumps For Joy

 Race That Couldn’t Stop Nangwarry

 Mandarins in $120m Disappearing Act

 BAT Stubs Out Junta

 Millions on Entitlements Line

 Workcover in Hold-Ups Gun

 Phoenix Rises … Again

 TAFE Takes To Thong Slapping

 Casual Work Is Health Hazard

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Bush's Faith-Filled Life
The President's conversion, 'sense of divine calling' and struggle with sobriety are subjects of a forthcoming book, writes Bill Berkowitz

The Not So Smart Money
Phil Doyle is sick of big money ruining grass roots sport, and he’s taking his bat and going home.

The Westie Wing
The ongoing challenge for Labor members of parliament is to make what the Premier calls the ‘creative partnership’ between the Government and the union movement a reality, writes our favourite MP Ian West.

Behind the Junta
Saw Min Lwin, Secretary for Trade Union Rights/ Human Rights for the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB), outlines the struggle for workers in his country.

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BAT Stubs Out Junta

Human rights campaigners around the globe are celebrating British Amercian Tobacco (BAT) being "dragged kicking and screaming" out of Burma.

BAT’s withdrawal, announced in London last week, came on the first anniversary of an international campaign to force the tobacco giant to stop profiting from its relationship with Burma’s military dictatorship.

The ACTU's aid and development agency, APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad, says the "huge victory" is a pointer to what can be achieved by ordinary people and trade unions campaigning for human rights.

"They had to be dragged out kicking and screaming but at least they're out," Union Aid Abroad campaigns officer, Sally Castle said. "If a company like BAT can be forced out of Burma, any company can.

BAT has faced mounting pressure since campaigners began drawing attention to its 60/40 shareholding with the military dictatorship, last November.

Last week, the world's second-largest tobacco company announced it was pulling out of Burma with "regret", saying the decision had been based on a request from the British Government.

The request followed a crackdown by the Burmese military junta, earlier this year, in which prod-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi was re-arrested. Human rights campaigners allege dozens of her supporters were killed in an ambush by government backers.

Suu Kyi won the last election staged in Burma but the result was over-ruled by the defeated military.

BAT has completed an agreement to sell its 60 percent stake in Rothmans of Pall Mall Myanmar to a Singapore-based investment company.

The company had been deluged with thousands of postcards and emails from campaign supporters in more than 50 countries.

Burmese Federation of Trade Unions Human Rights Department secretary, Saw Min Lwin, hailed BAT's withdrawal as "a blow to the military regime".

BAT is the latest company to pull out of Burma. Earlier this year, Intrepid Travel announced it was ending tourist trips. The Burma campaign has also succeeded in getting Premier Oil, Triumph International, and almost every major steel retailer out of the country.


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