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Issue No. 209 20 February 2004  

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.


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.


 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


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.

 On the Road
 A Casual Affair
 Latham Is A Bad Man
 Congrats Johnny
 Tomís Bit
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ABC of Solidarity

Top-rating comedians John Doyle and Greig Pickhaver are volunteering to take pay cuts to protect the producer of their cult radio show, This Sporting Life, from sweeping ABC cuts.

The stars, equally well known as Rampaging Roy Slaven and HG Nelson, made their stands after the ABC insisted on removing their producer of 17 years, Mark Kennedy, from Sunday shifts in a bid to save money.

CPSU ABC organiser, Stuart Hatter, revealed Doyle and Pickhaver had offered to dip into their own pockets to protect their long-running show. To this point, he said, the ABC had turned them down and still insisted on replacing the Band 7 producer with a 22-year-old who would cost less.

Kennedy devised This Sporting Life with the comedians for Triple J 17 years ago. Despite commercial television success and international acclaim for Olympic and World Cup specials, Doyle and Pickhaver return to the national broadcaster every Sunday afternoon to celebrate where it all began.

Industry sources say the high-profile pair sees This Sporting Life, a parody on commercial broadcasting, as belonging to Kennedy as much as them.

Hatter said there had been no suggestion that Kennedy's removal from This Sporting Life had been performance-related.

"It's got nothing to do with anything except ABC cost cutting," Hatter said. "They are saying they can get someone less experienced to work on Sundays for less money."

The CPSU is agitating to have Kennedy returned to his Sunday shifts as MEAA colleagues celebrate a breakthrough in their campaign to turn Aunty away from centralising sports coverage out of Sydney.

MEAA sources reported a "breakthrough" in negotiations with the corporation yesterday but details were sketchy as talks continued.

Journalists in Adelaide and Melbourne held stopwork meetings last week to protest the proposals. These were to have escalated into stoppages this week but yesterday's breakthrough has headed off the threat of immediate action by journalists.

Hatter confirmed CPSU officials had prepared resolutions of support to put before their members if the journalists had walked.

The ABC's plan to base sports coverage in Sydney had drawn fire from leading sporting figures, including AFL coaching legend Kevin Sheedy and Victorian Sports Minister, Justin Madden.


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