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Issue No. 208 13 February 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

All The Way With FTA?
Question marks over the bi-lateral Free Trade Agreement with the USA have only begun to scratch the surface.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Trading in Principle
AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, a key figure in the Labor movement, discusses the big issues - from Mark Latham to Pavlovís Dogs.

Unions: While We Were Away
While Workers Online was washing sand from between its toes and enjoying an Indian summer at the cricket, there was a reality show chugging relentlessly away in the background, Jim Marr reports.

Politics: Follow the Leader
Workerís Online tool man, Phil Doyle, dives into the ALPís Darling Harbour love-in and nearly drowns in treacle.

Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
The CFMEU has come up with a killer nomination to kick off our 2004 hunt for Australiaís worst employer.

Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
British academic, Kevin Doogan, sets the record straight on casualisation and warns unionists about the dangers of scoring an own goal

History: Worker Control Harco Style
Drew Cottle and Angela Keys ask if it's worth rememberinng the 1971 Harco work-in.

Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
The 1998 maritime dispute threatened to tear many a family apart but Katherine Thomson's Harbour tells the tale of at least one that it brought back together - albeit reluctantly, writes Tara de Boehmler.

N E W S

 Rail Safety Back On Track

 Commuter Headaches Continue

 Ban "Ruthless" Operators - Judge

 Telstra Provokes Jobs Fight

 Taskforce Ignores Million Dollar Rorts

 Musos Tune-Up for Election Rock

 Chubby Fingers in Timorese Pockets

 Postal Workers Wrap Boss

 Aussie Sites Doing the Business

 Feds Abandon Aged

 TAFE Stands Over Poor Students

 Round the World on Aid

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Dog Whistlers, Spin Doctor and Us
John Menadue argues the "better angels" of the Australian character are having their wings ripped off by an ever-expanding group dedicating to keeping the public at arms length from our decision-makers.

Postcard
Something Fishy In Laos
Phillip Hazelton fishes around in Vientiane, Laos, and looks at the impact of Bird Flu on those relying on feathered friends for survival.

Sport
Magic Realism
Phil Doyle discovers that literature and sport may have more in common than you would think

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Trickle, flood or drought? Workers friend Ian West, MLC, is wet, wet, wet on the issue of bilateral Free Trade.

L E T T E R S
 Reality TV
 TAFE Support
 State Of Confusion
 Scambuster
 History Lesson
 Generation Angst
 Give Them A Medal
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

State Of Confusion


The question of when Premier Carr's State Ministers will be seen to be responsible, and there fore answerable to the voter is a time yet to be identified. The unnecessary wrongful deaths at Waterfall and elsewhere including the state's hospitals has seen a Cabinet reshuffled. No slight of hand, just evidence of the outrageous contempt for the people and our Westminster system. Minister John Della Bosca you have been lucky till this day. Those millions of workers using what has been acknowledged generally as dangerous substandard transport to travel to and from work. People who believe they have workers comp (what's left of it) to protect them, to provide compensation for any accident suffered whilst travelling to and from their place of work by the most direct route. These people Minister are not represented you have obviously ignored your responsibility to ensure workplace safety even though your team of spin doctors touts you as doing the business! Its the type of transparent spin thinking people are getting sick of. Why is it that the rail Union and other Unions continue to allow their members (Drivers Guards) to operate and travel on transport which has been acknowledged as dangerous for almost fifteen years. For the public to travel on these things, is to knowingly put themselves in danger and that action, it could be argued is contributory negligence, if there was a claim the claimants could be asked to show that they didn't know their transport was dangerous. WorkCover has trumpeted their responsibility for workplace safety. Well Minister each and every bus, train and ferry is both a workplace and the mode of transport to journey to work on. Minister you are not up to the task, and silence while the abandoned proletariat point out your inadequate representation is just sad weakness.

Edward James


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