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Issue No. 212 12 March 2004  

Unfriendly Fire
The decision by Rail Corp to invoke Peter Reith’s hardline industrial laws against NSW rail maintenance workers could cause more casualties than intended.


Interview: Baby Bust
Labor's Wayne Swan argues that the plight of our aging workforce is only one side of our demographic dilemma.

Safety: Dust To Dust
Failure by authorities to police safety in the asbestos removal industry is threatening the lives of members of the public, writes Phil Doyle.

Bad Boss: Shaming in Print
Delegates from print shops around Sydney will publicly shame this month’s Bad Boss nominee with a rally outside his new Alexandria operation next Thursday.

National Focus: Work's Cripplin' Us
Noel Hester reports on a spin doctors' talkfest, workplace pain, stroppy teachers and IWD party time in the national wrap.

International: Bulk Bullies
An extraordinary five month struggle over affordable health care, by nearly 70,000 Californian supermarket workers, has just come to an end, writes Andrew Casey.

History: The Battle for Kelly's Bush
Green Bans saved a piece of bush before they saved much of the Sydney’s built environment, writes Neale Towart

Economics: Aid, Trade And Oil
Tim Anderson reveals Australia’s second betrayal Of East Timor is playing out before our eyes.

Review: The Art Of Work
Workers and westies are being celebrated as the cultural icons they are thanks to two Sydney exhibitions reminding us there is a world of art in the everyday, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Sew His Lips Together
Wondering where the next porkie is going to come from? Resident bard David Peetz knows.


 Bring It On Costa

 Dodgy Tests Cost Drivers

 Peeking Dicks Roasted

 Serial Killer Cops Fine

 Printers Defy Age

 Actors Bucket "Crap" Deal

 Burrow Lashes Independents

 Perth Loses Ugly Fight

 Ambos Bans -Free Rides

 Millions Rung Up on Telstra

 AWU Publishing Coup

 Deliveries Scratched

 Activists What's On!


The Soapbox
Iraq and Your Mortgage
How high interest rates go will be a key issue in 2004 and if you are looking for a clue, there's no better place to look than the war in Iraq, writes Michael Rafferty.

Hang Onto the Day Job
Show someone else the money, says Phil Doyle.

Westie Wing
Ian West shows why Eveleigh Street’s not so far away from Macquarie Street

Don’t Give Up the Fight
Get Up, Stand Up is the logo of choice on a popular range of subversive condoms. Ken Davis from Union Aid Abroad reports from Zimbabwe’s second city

 Bring Back Gough
 Seven Good Reasons To Save Medicare
 Naked Leading The Blind
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Actors Bucket "Crap" Deal

Actor Anthony LaPaglia will walk the floors of the US Congress in a bid to stop "buckets of crap" being emptied on Australian viewers.

The MEAA warns that Federal Government has signed off on a deal that will give Australians a guarantee of only four percent of domestic product on pay TV, and a flood of US content will be the inevitable result.

The US, it says, will have open slather on any new and emerging technology used to provide entertainment to Australian audiences.

"Unbelievable as it may seem the Americans have even more crap than we get to see now. They want to drop that crap on us," says Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) NSW secretary Jonathan Mill. "Eighty percent of Australians think there is too much American culture on our TV's as it is."

On top of the 4% of local content for pay TV, current levels of protection for Australian content on free-to-air television have been slammed as "inadequate" by the MEAA, and no local content levels have been set for any new technologies.

"This is a deal for the 20th century, not the 21st," says Mill of the free trade agreement, the detail of which was finally released last week. "It is based on last century's technologies and fails to protect Australian cultural interests in regard to the rapidly developing technologies of the future."

"The agreement denies the right of Australian people to determine access to their own culture. John Howard is allowing a foreign nation to determine Australia's cultural future."

LaPaglia and other US-based Australian actors will lobby the U.S. Congress in a bid to improve the terms of the treaty.

At the recent Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras MEAA members prepared banners against the FTA reading:

"Keep Our Poofs Employed!"

"For this we went to war!"

"John Howard - Stick Your FTA Up Your Arse!"


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