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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
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Seven Days on a Leaking Boat


ITF inspectors will today swoop on the Ship of Shame that has leaked oil into the seas off Sydney Harbour for the past week.

The Cypriot-flagged, Eurydice, docked in Sydney today after a plate was welded onto its hull to prevent the discharge that it had seen it barred from entering port for seven days.

"The Eurydice is a good example of the sort of rust buckets the Federal Government is encouraging onto our coasts in their bid to keep Australian seafarers out of work," MUA secretary, Robert Coombs said.

"Yet again, our environment has been threatened by a flag of convenience vessel."

Representatives of the ITF were seeking to board the Eurydice and interview Russian, Indian and Phillipino crew members as Workers Online was published.

The ITF and MUA have been campaigning against the deregulation of shipping - based on FoC vessels that don't have to comply with domestic labour, environmental, safety or tax regimes - for years.

The Maritime Union says FoCs have been involved in most of the major oil spills and marine pollution issues of recent years. They said the 18-year-old Eurydice had a history of problems, including a collision with a chemical dock and barges in the Gulf of Mexico, less than two years ago.

A British intelligence group, meanwhile, has echoed the MUA warning that ports and shipping are vulnerable to international terrorism.

Al Qaeda could be planning a "maritime spectacular" Dominick Donald of Aegis Reasearch and Intelligence warned a London security conference this week.

Addressing delegates at the Intermodal Petroleum Transportation conference, donald warned the maritime sector was an obvious and easy target. Other analysts have warned of the danger posed by unregulated shipping, pointing out that Osama bin laden has interests in shipping and the role played by a Flag of Convenience vessel in the devastation of the USS Cole in East Africa.

Former Australian Transport Minister, Peter Morris, this week added his voice to those warning of maritime terrorism.

"Any one of the thousands of foreign ships that dock each year in Australian ports, particularly Sydney, has the potential to become a weapon of mass destruction," said Morris who now heads up the International Commission on Shipping (ICONS).

Morris said the US had recognised the danger but Australia was making itself "more vulnerable than most" by its reliance on foreign registered vessels that often deliberately hid their real owners or operators.


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