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Issue No. 209 20 February 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Regions To Be Cheerful
Rule changes endorsed by this weekís NSW Labor Council Annual General Meeting reorganising the South Coast Labor Council into as a regional branch council should not be under-estimated.

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

 Trains Go Backwards

 Mum Canít Bank on Westpac

 Andrews Up for Hanke Panky

 Riot Raises Safety Probe

 ABC of Solidarity

 "Shameful" Action Pays Dividends

 Bum Rap for Bump Caps

 Strikers Tie Down Gas Project

 Heat Rises at Uni

 TeleTech's Dead Heart

 Tired Drivers Fight Hypocrisy

 Seven Days on a Leaking Boat

 Families Back Safety Calls

 Howard Pushes Pay Cut

 Activist's 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
 On the Road
 Bullying
 A Casual Affair
 Latham Is A Bad Man
 Congrats Johnny
 Tomís Bit
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News

Trains Go Backwards


Claims that NSW rail services will be slashed long term were bolstered when Blue Mountainsí commuters were forced onto buses mid-week under the guise of mysterious trackwork.

State Rail officials today dodged claims that services were deliberately being run down in order to soften up the travelling public for permanent service cuts.

Carlingford, Newcastle, Cronulla, the Inner West, the Southern Highlands and now the Blue Mountains have all faced service disruptions with rail services being replaced by buses.

Action for Public Transport has sheeted the blame home to Michael Egan, accusing the NSW Treasury of viewing the NSW Rail System as a $3m a day liability.

"There's certainly an organised running down of the system," says action for Public Transport secretary Jim Donovan. "It's unnecessary and counterproductive."

Donovan claimed that a move to close the rail line between Hamilton and Newcastle was part of a land grab for the real estate that runs between Hunter Street and the booming Newcastle waterfront area.

Countrylink services to Murwillumbah, Broken Hill and the Riverina faced cuts according to the transport advocacy organisation.

A new timetable proposal would see off peak and weekend services slashed across the network, with running times set to increase by 5%.

Workers Online tried to put the claims to public affairs staff at State Rail but, despite promises, calls were not returned last Friday.


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