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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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TAFE Takes To Thong Slapping

Massive fee hikes have led TAFE students to ask NSW Treasurer Michael Egan to take a reality check and ‘walk a week in their shoes’.

The NSW Teachers Federation, who have slammed the increases, are supporting the student's campaign. TAFE fees are set to rise by as much as 300% if the government's proposal goes ahead, this is in addition to a sharp increase in the costs for course materials in many subjects.

"Education is a right, not a privilege and the politicians don't know what it's like in a real persons life," says Kylie Druett of Nirimba TAFE. "People are not looking for a handout but a hand-up."

"The fact is that many people of western Sydney are stretched to the limit as it is."

Druett pointed to instances of students taking out loans to afford a TAFE education, with some students looking at having to fork out $3000 to complete courses.

"TAFE is available for people who can't go to university," said one TAFE student. "By increasing the fees you are increasing the gap between the poor and the wealthy. Instead of raising the level of education politicians are pushing people down."

The students have organised a campaign, 'Free TAFE', to reverse the fee increase. The campaign's name recognises that ALP policy is for TAFE education to be free.

Free TAFE believes that the increases will hit low-income earners hardest. Many students are on benefits and TAFE is a vehicle for them to be able to re-enter the workforce.

"For some people this means the difference between having a job and not having a job," says Druett.

Another group to be hit are apprentices who must attend TAFE to complete their trades' courses.

"Why is it that the rich get richer and the poorer just get screwed?" Asked a TAFE apprentice student. "You mightn't think that a couple of hundred dollars isn't much but it is for a poorer student like me."

The TAFE students are asking people to donate thongs in support of their campaign. People are asked to write where they live and their suburb on the thongs. The students will be rallying outside the State Parliament on Thursday November 13 at 12.30pm.

The TAFE Students' Free TAFE campaign has a website at


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