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Issue No. 205 28 November 2003  
 
F E A T U R E S

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

Labour Hire Boosts Tech Wreck
Labor hire companies have been allowed to flood the new-tech job market with short-term immigrants, leaving around 2000 Australian IT specialists out of work.

The Immigration Department blew the whistle on IT "visa rorting" when it announced its intention to apply regulations that have lain dormant since 1997, provoking the IT Workers Alliance to warn Aussie job seekers not to get their hopes too high. [full story]

Call Centre Throws Safety Out the Door
A safety representative has been frogmarched from his workplace by a company trying to force individual contracts onto employees.

Contract call centre operator TeleTech, acted against Jerry Gambacorta who will receive an award for OH&S achievements next week, as employees began campaigning against conditions included in their second generation AWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements).  [full story]

Miners Tackle Million Dollar Sidestep
A coal giant’s $5 million bid to avoid legal scrutiny over the deaths of four Hunter Valley miners looks set to be scuttled by retrospective legislation.

Miners have put a national coal strike on hold while the NSW Government considers legislation to thwart the latest manouevre in a three-year Xstrata campaign to keep the deaths from legal scrutiny. [full story]

Bouquets for Bosses
Disability support workers and rape crisis counsellors will refute allegations of violence, intimidation and vandalism by giving their accusers flowers and presents at a rally in Sydney on Thursday.

The community workers, amongst the lowest paid in the NSW workforce, have taken offence at suggestions from Employers First that their rally outside its Sussex St headquarters, this Thursday, will be characterised by illegal activities. [full story]

Mandarins Nail Carpenters
Six school carpenters have been axed on the eve of school holidays by a government that concedes the need for "urgent" upgrading of NSW classrooms and facilities.

Department of Commerce reasoning that there is insufficient work available flies in the face of an Education Department response to concerted media attacks on standards of public school facilities, which conceded the need for remedial work. [full story]

BHP Burrow-ed By UN
ACTU President Sharan Burrow has played a lead role in forcing BHP-Biliton to review its policy of forcing workers onto individual contracts following high-level talks with the United Nations this week.

In a major test of Kofi Annon’s Global Compact on corporate responsibility, BHP-Biliton has been told it must enter talks with unions on its Pilbara work practices if it is to meet its obligations under the Compact. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 ACT Rejects Manslaughter Bullying

 No Joy for Fat Exec Packages

 WorkCover Walks Away From Racetrack

 Contractors Scramble Foxtel Signal

 Safety Derails Train Talks

 Sydney Uni Strikes At Feds

 Workers Up For Safety Awards

 Activists Notebook

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Poster Boys - Joel Exner's mates. First they vowed to remember Joel forever, now they've bailed up the PM on industrial manslaughter.

E D I T O R I A L
This is John Howard’s Australia, a retro land where the employer is a master and the worker is a unit of labour, a number on a balance sheet, something less than human.

TRACKSUIT DIPLOMACY

C O L U M N S

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

Sport
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.

Politics
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.

Postcard
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
 Mad Monk’s Medicare Minus
 A Tale Of Three Cities

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