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Issue No. 203 14 November 2003  

Beyond the Workplace
The NSW union movement’s intervention this week into the debate over the future of public transport is an important step in redefining what unions are all about.


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.


 Hamberger Bad for Kids

 BHP Faces UN Sanction

 Hardie Shareholders Face Death

 Road Workers Swing Left-Right Blows

 Joy Battles Goode at ANZ

 Developers To Kick Transport Can

 ACTU Names Its Price

 Death By A Thousand Cuts

 Ban Holes Water Police Deal

 Cleaners Mop Up Contracts Mess

 Workers Entitlements Dumped

 Overtime Goes Bush

 Libs Push Lawyers Picnic

 Unions Set To Stand Up To Bullies

 Jack Thompson Headlines Launch

 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.

 Burma Up In Smoke
 Super Solidarity
 Perils Of Pauline
 Put A PM On The Barbie
 Tom Holds Water
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Activists Notebook

Support Indonesian Workers

Please take 2 minutes to support young women and men who have been unfairly fired from the PT Busana factory in Indonesia by going to this web-page - - and adding your name to the petition there.

The factory has dismissed 166 people, and is in the process of dismissing a further 8, for their participation in a four-day strike in July this year.

The workers went on strike because they are subjected to verbal intimidation and sexual harassment, are frequently paid less than the

Indonesian minimum wage and because they work in a dangerous environment where serious accidents are commonplace. PT Busana makes sportswear for US and European brands, including: Bear USA, Le Coq Sportif, Head and Lotto.

Your support will make a difference.

Crowded Lives - A New Agenda for Social Sustainability

Lindsay Tanner , Federal Labor Communications Spokesperson discusses his new book, Crowded Lives, which argues that relationships need to be at the center of government policy.

Dr Ariadne Vromen, Lecturer in Government,University of Sydney

discusses the family/work/public life pressures on people and the

changing political participation of young people.

Dr David McKnight, left activist and Lecturer in journalism, UTS,

discusses the conservation of the human in progressive politics.

Where: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

When : 6pm for 6.30pm, Monday 17th November

Concluding at 8pm

Entry Fee : $10/$5 Fabians and concession

To book phone Gleebooks on 96602333 or [email protected]

About Crowded Lives, published by Pluto Press

HEAR! Shadow Attorney General Robert McClelland MP on Howard's IR agenda

and Industrial law experts from Turner Freeman Solicitors on recent IR changes and what they mean

FREE! all welcome

Meeting room

Newcastle Trades Hall Council

Devonshire House

406 King Street Newcastle West 2302

5 pm Thursday 20 November 2003

Refreshments served

Call 02 4929 1162 or email [email protected] to register or make enquires

Trade union futures - Sydney symposium

Thursday 27 November, 2:00 to 5:00pm Darlington Centre

A symposium to examine contemporary problems faced by the trade union movement and to discuss a number of key questions about future directions: Partnership or organising; What future for the factions; What of the link with Labor; What visions are there for regulating wages and work; How do unions speak to and for new constituencies.

Speakers include:

· Greg Combet, Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions

· John Robertson, Secretary, NSW Labor Council

· Kristyn Thomson, Secretary, NSW Branch, Australian Services Union

Convenors: Dr Rae Cooper & Dr Bradon Ellem

To register for this free symposium please complete the following and

return to Vera Differding by email([email protected]) or

fax (02 9351 4729) or go to and download the faxback.

Australian Writers' Muster Update

Less than a month to go until The Australian Writers' Muster in Sydney on

5-7 December.

Check out the latest additions to our illustrious list of speakers and


SUE WOOLFE author of the enthusiastically reviewed "The Secret Cure" (and

previously "Leaning Towards Infinity") is joining PETER GOLDSWORTHY on the

Arts & Science = Great Leaps of the Imagination panel.

TONY McNAMARA playwright ("The Virgin Mim", "The Unlikely Prospect of

Happiness" which is in the 2004 STC Season) and screenwriter ("The Rage in

Placid Lake") is taking the Playwrights' Master class and is a panelist on

the Global/Local discussion.

TIM PYE Deputy Commissioning Editor ABC TV Drama 1999-2001, Executive

Producer "Changi" and whose credits include "White Collar Blue", "Water

Rats", "Wildside", "Seachange" to name a few and winner of a handful of AFI,

AWGIE and LOGIE awards joins the Pushing the Envelope panel.

Actor AARON PEDERSEN (Water Rats, Wildside, Floodhouse) who has played an

active role in pushing writers and producers to create story-lines that more

accurately reflect our times (especially issues of urban aborigines) also

joins the Pushing the Envelope panel.


Due to the length of the film 'MASTER AND COMMANDER - The Far Side of the

World' this session will now start at 6.30pm which means the previous

session 'Billy Sind - a Week on West Wing' will now start 30 minutes earlier

at 4.30pm Saturday, 6 December.

There are a number of really terrific writers still to be confirmed in the

next few days, so WATCH THIS SPACE!



To register go to to download a brochure or call us at the national office on (02) 9281 1554.


With Special Guest Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Australian Democrats'

Spokesperson on the Republic

Date: Friday 12 December 2003

Time: 5:30-7:30pm

Venue: The Glover Cottages

Address: 124 Kent Street Sydney

Tickets: $15 / $10 concession (finger food provided; drinks to be purchased

on day)

RSVP: Friday 5 December 2003

Further details and booking form at

Better Leaders For A Better World - International Youth Parliament 2004

Call for Applications

The International Youth Parliament is a dynamic global network of creative young people working for social change - people turning ideas into action.

Run by and for young people it is a global network of the next generation of social change leaders working to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world. The second sitting of the International Youth Parliament, IYP2004 will take place in Sydney, Australia from 5 to 12 July 2004. We ask you to assist us find the right delegates. Applications close 15 January


Application form >

Delegates selected to attend IYP 2004 will receive a unique opportunity to exchange their experiences and the strategies they employ to confront local and universal challenges. They will leave with skills, networks, inspiration and an international context to assist them with their endeavours in their own organisations and countries.

The Parliament agenda will focus on twelve major areas; education, HIV/AIDS, labor and employment; indigenous rights, migration, trafficking and displacement, agriculture and sustainability, peace building, human rights, health and clean water; youth culture, technology, and global trading systems. Across these areas special attention will be paid to the themes of diversity, equity, governance and basic social services.

We are seeking applications from people aged 18-25 who are passionate about and have been actively involved in projects aiming at positive social change in the above areas.

Please forward this message to other organisations and individuals you believe might be interested.

Please contact me if you need further information. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Kelly Betts

[email protected]

International Youth Parliament 2004


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