||Issue No. 203||14 November 2003|
Beyond the Workplace
Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
Unions: Joel's Law
National Focus: Spring Carnival
Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
Industrial: The Price of War
Economics: Who's Got What
History: Containing Discontent
Review: An Honourable Wally
Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
Perils Of Pauline
Put A PM On The Barbie
Tom Holds Water
Beyond the Workplace
While there are several thousand union members employed providing transport services, the vision of the report commissioned by the Labor Council and transport unions goes way beyond wages and conditions.
Their's is an agenda that looks at the way the transport system impacts on the lives of every worker in the state
- how they get to work and get back home, how much time they spend with families, their stress levels, their general health.
What the report, prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, shows is that governments make decisions that affect our lives in such fundamental ways guided by a narrow view of the public interest.
While the Carr Government applies a crude economic analysis to determine whether the system is cost-effective, unions join the community in demanding a broader vision.
Our challenge is to shift the transport debate from being about a problem to be solved to looking at how to enhance this valuable public asset.
It's an important shift to make. In the problem model, rail services are cut because they cost money, new projects are shelved and more toll roads are 'privately built to meet our transport needs'.
But if we use the asset model, we invest in regional rail because it strengthens communities, we encourage workers to use public transport because it makes our air cleaner and we realise that for every bum on a train seat there's one fewer driver clogging our city arteries.
We invest in public transport and we fund it through our taxers, targeting those who benefit from the billions ploughed into road: including the developers whose projects add to the demands on our infrastructure every year.
The message is loud and clear: NSW has a choice - a connected series of communities, with public investment and strategic planning; or a series of wastelands where the private motor vehicle is the only transport option.
In leading this debate unions are staking out a broader agenda than the workplace - an agenda that should over time move into housing, health, education.
Working people don't just need a bargaining agent, they a need an advocate for their interests in an era when big business and compliant governments with deficit fetishes run the world.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|
© 1999-2002 Workers Online