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Issue No. 215 02 April 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Something Smells
There is something just a little too cute about the NSW government’s discovery of a budget crisis on the eve of public sector wage talks.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Terror Australis
The Howard Government has just discovered the nation's ports are a terrorist target. The International Transport Federation's Dean Summers has been warning them for years.

Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Hidden in the Australian Workers Union Sydney office is a mild-mannered industrial officer who once strutted the international cricket stage, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: The Hell of Troy
On the basis of a couple of hours in the witness box, Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terence Cole described Troy Stratti as "credible". Six men who, together, have known the company director for the best part of 50 years beg to differ.

Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Traditional unions are rediscovering the power of grassroots organising. Paddy Gorman reports from the coal face.

Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
Evan Jones argues that economic policy making has been narrowed and rendered mechanistic and antiseptic.

History: Vicious Old Lady
Despite its Liberal leanings, the Sydney Morning Herald has never been shy of bashing unions, writes Neale Towart.

International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Thailand must end its crackdown on Burmese fleeing rights abuses in their military-ruled homeland, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

Review: War Unfogged
Want to go to war but not sure where to start? Look no further than Errol Morris' latest doco-drama for the definitive 11-step lesson plan, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: TAFE
A TAFE student struggling under the weight of fees shares his wordly wisdom

N E W S

 Gong Points Death Bone at Iemma

 Strip – Howard’s Order to Shoppies

 Workers Victory - We’re Legal!

 Compo Family Exiled to Peru

 Patrick Faces Million Dollar Fines

 Water Quality in Budget Back-Wash

 Feds Dodge Death

 Hard Men Melt Away

 Three Cheers for 36-Hour Week

 Dili Death "Down to Dollars"

 Builder Pleads Guilty

 Maternity Plan: Hard Labor?

 Life – Cambodia’s Grand Raffle

 Thumbs Up for Union Code

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

Postcard
A Voice for Peace
Palestinian trade union leader calls on militants to lay down their arms while the ICFTU protests harassment of Palestinian union leader.

The Soapbox
The Double Standard Bearers
Nicholas Way argues that when it comes to collective action, the Howard Government has different views depending on whether you are a unionist or a small business.

The Locker Room
The Fine Print
While the result mightn’t be everything, it does make the back of the newspaper more interesting, as Phil Doyle reports.

Politics
The Westie Wing
Ian West crunches the numbers in Macquarie Street and finds virtue in deficit.

L E T T E R S
 War And Peace
 Getting Away With Murder
 Terrorism
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Hard Men Melt Away


Sydney ice cream workers licked four bosses during a marathon EBA exercise that delivered a range of breakthroughs, including an end to labour hire employment.

Around 200 AMWU members at Steeets Ice Cream stood firm for 12 months, seeing an aggressive HR manager, chief engineer, site manager and company director off the premises before Unilever changed the flavour of its bargaining.

The departed were key players in efforts to undermine unionism at the Minto factory, pushing claims for a non-union agreement and cut backs to the rights of shop stewards and officials.

"They all either left or were removed. Either way, we had to start bargaining all over again," AMWU official, Jenni Dowell, said.

"New management came in with a more co-operative approach to their workforce and that made it possible to get an agreement. But, for a while there, it was a real shambles.

"Our people were strong and they stood together. We had plenty of meetings that the company had to pay for before there was any movement."

Workers knocked off the non-union proposition by a big majority and, last week, voted up a union document that delivered ...

- the transfer of 60 labour hire employees to direct employment

- improved shop steward rights, including 10 days paid leave a year to attend AMWU-approved training, meetings, conferences or seminars.

- additional annual leave for shift workers, totaling 216 hours per year

- an all-up 10 percent wage increase on a document that expires next August

- four percent back paid to September 1, last year

- long service leave increased from eight to 13 weeks


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