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Issue No. 208 13 February 2004  

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


Interview: Trading in Principle
AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, a key figure in the Labor movement, discusses the big issues - from Mark Latham to Pavlov�s 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
Worker�s Online tool man, Phil Doyle, dives into the ALP�s 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 Australia�s 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.


 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


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.

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.

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

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

 Reality TV
 TAFE Support
 State Of Confusion
 History Lesson
 Generation Angst
 Give Them A Medal
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Activists Notebook


_hoWARd the arseLIcKEr - performed playreading




Parnassus' Den will present a rehearsed reading presentation of D.B.Valentine's controversial and timely new political satire hoWARd the arseLIcKEr at the Old Fitzroy Hotel.

Inspired by, current Opposition Leader, Mark Latham's unabashed description of John Howard and the terrifyingly Orwellian language exploited by both Government and the corporate sector, hoWARd the arseLIcKEr - "a sharp edged vaudeville-esque agit-prop tragi-comic political satire that goes straight for the jugular" - has enjoyed two successful reading presentations with Melbourne's much respected La Mama theatre and Playbox Theatre Company, where it was selected from over 200 scripts for their Theatre in the Raw playreading season in 2003.

With Government funding proving impossible it is hoped the reading with ignite enough interest from potential backers for a full season in 2004.

For more information please contact

Publicist Jeanny Surya - 0401911022

Email - [email protected]

The Workers Want Drugs!

A Trivia Night for Mardi Gras Festival raising funds for HIV treatments for workers inSouth Africa.

Join us for a night of humour, drag, music, education, competition, glamour and solidarity.

Thursday February 26, 7pm

Teachers Club, Mary Street Surry Hills (near corner of Reservoir Street)

Tickets at the door:

$15 Individual $12 Mardi Gras Members $10 Concession

Need more info? Email [email protected] or

Phone Ken or Sally on 9264 9343

A d e l a i d e I n t e r n a t i o n a l W o r k p l a c e C o n f l i c t C o n f e r e n c e - 2 1 - 2 3 A p r i l 2 0 0 4

Adelaide International

Workplace Conflict Conference

21-23 April 2004

Holiday Inn on Hindley (formerly the Novotel Adelaide), Hindley Street.

The workplace mirrors the world - dealing with conflict at work

Conflict is a characteristic feature of most workplaces and has many manifestations. Its impacts

can be positive or negative. The conference will look at the sources of workplace conflict and its

management. It will be of interest to human resource practitioners, advocates, legal

practitioners, health professionals, conflict resolution professionals, educators, OHS&W

practitioners and representatives, workplace change consultants, unions, employers, government

agencies, academics and policy makers.

Keynote Speakers

Dale Bagshaw, University of South Australia, Australia.

Richard Bonneau, Los Angeles Police Department, US.

Pat Ferris, Organisational Consultant, Canada.

Eric Lee, LabourStart, UK.

Patricia Mannix McNamara, University of Limerick, Ireland

Mark Thomson, Author, Australia.

Dieter Zapf, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany.

Conference Themes

Privacy & Confidentiality - "Email is Forever"

Workplace Cultures & Managerial Fundamentalism

Workplace Grievance & Dispute Procedures

Training for Managing Conflict

Conference Registration Information:

Registration fee: $545

More information, including registration forms, can be found at the conference web site:

www.e v e n t s t r a t e g i e s . c om. a u / c o n f _ c a le n d a r .htm

F o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n , p l e a s e c o n t a c t t h e C o n f e r e n c e S e c r e t a r i a t :

E v e n t S t r a t e g i e s P t y , P O B o x 4 8 6 , U N L E Y , S O U T H A U S T R A L I A 5 0 6 1

T e l : 6 1 8 8 3 7 3 4 5 8 0 E m a i l : c o n f l i c t c o n f @ e v e n t s t r a t e g i e s . c om. a u


An exhibition of banners, badges and posters produced by trade unions, and

original artworks by Jeff Rigby highlighting the strong historical role

unions have played in the creation and conservation of our built

environment, whilst May Day materials emphasize the workers' achievements

in gaining and maintaining the rights and conditions of those who built it.

From: 1st May to 16th May 2003 at Braemar Gallery, 104 Macquarie Rd, Springwood

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm

$2.00 donation to the community gallery on entry

1. Mardi Gras Fair Day Sunday 22nd February

Unions NSW will have a stall at this years Fair Day. We need volunteers to assist from about 9am (stall setting up) to about 4.30pm (stall packing up). If you can spare a couple of hours please let Alison Peters at Labor Council know on 0425 231 814.

2. Mardi Gras Parade Saturday 6th March

Once again the trade union movement will have a float at this year's Mardi Gras. Our theme will be "Howard's Wheel of Misfortune" highlighting all the groups/issues that the Federal Government is attacking (unions, workers, refugees, students, academics, peace, Medicare etc). If you are able to assist with the development of the float please contact Robyn Fortescue on 0419 405 885.

As always we will meet at Trades Hall Inn around 5pm on the day of the Parade so that we can get to the marshalling area as a group. Please wear the traditional red (we will have Comrade Darling teeshirts for you to buy) and bring your friends and comrades. Remember, we are participating as trade unionists (regardless of sexuality) to support the right for lesbian and gay workers to work free from harassment and discrimination.

Please circulate details of both events to your networks,


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