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Issue No. 213 19 March 2004  

Pay For View
While the ABS latest figures show union density is stable, behind the headline rate of 23 per cent lie some interesting trends.


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.


 "Grubs" Derail Revolution

 Blackouts Hit Sydney

 Pig-Out at Restaurant

 Smith’s Charity Begins At Work

 Air Rage Set To Soar

 Boxers Union Lands First Blow

 Drug Tests On Hold

 "Anarchy" Warning from Builders

 Burmese Generals at it Again

 Sugar: Sweet Taste of Survival

 Workers Endorse "User Pays"

 State Water, Forests Face Sell-Off

 Pirates and Ports for Classroom

 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

 Grubby Poseur
 Tom On Drink
 Howard Screws Vets
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Letters to the Editor

Tom On Drink

Dear Sir,

Well‚ Tickle me Grandmother‚ what a wowser has Cue Ball Costa's successor John Robertson turned out to be?

I refer to the article "Debate‚ on page 26 of the Daily Telegraph, March 12, 2004, in which he and Meredith Burgmann give opposing views on the hypocrisy of the Carr Government in relation to alcohol consumption in the workplace.

Surely as the titular head of the Labor Council and regularly experiencing the madness of the 'Bear Pit‚ and its pseudo socialist residents, he would realise that to inhabit or even deal with the inhabitants of such a place, requires the constant consumption of mind-altering substances, and nothing is as freely available as the taxpayer subsidised alcohol which has been freely available from the days of the Rum Corps, a situation, which is really a perpetuation of what Meredith refers to as "A problem for MPs is the absurd sitting hours which are a hangover from the 19th century", this being a useless appendage much like the legislative Council and its members including the President.

Seriously, as a long term alkie, I can talk with experience, and it is outrageous behaviour such as this which is indicative of the need for much more that Council Amalgamations, it requires the state to be divided into regions, and the abolition of not only Municipal and Shire Councils, but the State Government and the transportation of not only Carr, but his whole Cabinet to New Zealand when they can join David Lange on his talkfest Tours.

As for the Christmas tree decorations, Robbo and Burgmann , why don‚t they try fecken living in the real world, not the rarefied air of Goulburn or Macquarie streets.

Tom Collins


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