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Issue No. 204 21 November 2003  

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.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

US Giant Attacks Aussies
Armed security guards are threatening violence against locked out Hunter Valley workers fighting attempts to force them onto AWAs.

The maintenance workers’ employer, P&H MinePro, is part of the US Multinational, Harnischfeger group - the company behind the long running Joy Dispute in the Southern Highlands in 2000.  [full story]

Exposed – OEA in Kids Scandal
The Office of the Employment Advocate has pulled a page from its "youthserve" website after being rumbled pushing AWAs to schoolkids off the back of a company that went bust, denying redundancy to most of its staff.

Workers Online blew the whistle after the Federal Government’s Employment Advocate, Jonathan Hamberger, wrote to every secondary school in Australia promoting non-union individual contracts to school leavers. [full story]

Left-Right Flattens Abigroup
Civil Construction companies are being brought to heel by combined AWU-CFMEU action that has seen 60 Abigroup employees win increases of up to $300 a week in the hand.

The regional road and bridge workers ended a five-week strike under the joint-unions banner by voting up average 33 percent increases at a meeting, last Thursday. [full story]

ANZ Cops Fine Over Robbers
The ANZ Bank has been fined a whopping $156,000 by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission for failing in its duty of care to employees involved in armed hold-ups.

The decision has added fuel to a campaign for a change on the ANZ Board, with the Finance Sector Union accusing the bank of a failure to manage its employees. [full story]

Classroom Stoush Gets Personal
NSW school teachers have turned on Education Minister Andrew Refshauge, accusing him of dogging a pre-election promise not to denigrate the profession.

A wave of meetings across the state have condemned the Carr Government for arguing that teachers have not delivered improved value for their work in recent years before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. [full story]

Seven Workers Pass "Intelligence" Test
Aggressive bosses at the Seven Network are claiming the intelligence of their employees could have been "undermined" by telephone calls from the MEAA (Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance).

In a memo to staff, the Network said a telephone poll on their attitudes to the MEAA, and a non-union agreement being promoted by Seven, was an "unlawful attempt to undermine your intelligence". [full story]


 Stop Press: Coal Strike

 Nurses: MedicarePlus Points to America

 ‘Joel’s Law’ Gathers Momentum

 Skilled Picketers Confront Patrick’s

 Yahoo Censors Union Ad

 Labor’s Cotter Court ‘Faking’ It

 TAFE Puts Best Foot Forward

 Wharfies, Actors, Seafarers Unite

 Debus Gives Up On Lawyers Picnic

 Nelson Backdown Not Enough

 Online Pay Check


email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
"The government is participating in a deliberate dumbing down of the community," Linda Simon, Secretary of the TAFE Teachers Association

Drawing down Medicare to a ‘safety net’ is fraught with danger – after all, everyone knows that what defines a net is its holes.



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.

LETTERS to the Editor
 Jack Lives Here
 Saving Jobs
 Public Transport A Bit Rich
 The Smirker

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