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Issue No. 205 28 November 2003  

Australia Deserves Better
You only have to scan through recent issues of Workers Online to see why the leadership of the ALP is so important – not to the political insiders who judge the beauty contest that is federal politics, but to the millions of workers who are affected by its output.


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.


 Labour Hire Boosts Tech Wreck

 Call Centre Throws Safety Out the Door

 Miners Tackle Million Dollar Sidestep

 Bouquets for Bosses

 Mandarins Nail Carpenters

 BHP Burrow-ed By UN

 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


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.

 Mad Monk’s Medicare Minus
 A Tale Of Three Cities
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Activists Notebook

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 Christmas drinks

Safety Awards

Unionsafe's second annual safety delegate's conference will provide valuable information and education on how we can make our workplaces safer for everyone. It is being pitched at official safety delegates and other union members interested in the topic.

A feature of this year's conference will be the presentation of awards to safety activists around the state who have made a difference.

The conference is being staged at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre, Tumbalong Auditorium, Darling Harbour, on Friday, December 5.

To attend the conference, or get additional information, contact Heather Freeburn on [email protected]


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