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Issue No. 216 16 April 2004  

Joining the Dots
At first blush there appears little connection between the Howard Government’s handling of the War on the union movement and the War on Iraq – until you realise the key players come from the same team.


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


 Weekend Warrior Outed

 Dick’s Got Form

 Mum Burned By "Barbecue Stopper"

 RSL Bombs Vets

 Sweetener for Sugar Pills

 Death Highlights Risky Business

 Casual Affair On The Buses

 Athens Update: Dying Games

 Nuns Run Amok in Cessnock

 Roving Commission for Safety Reps

 Workers Order Ziggy on Toast

 Divers Down

 Activists What’s On!


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.

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

 Sick Pay
 Tom’s A Furphy
 Rolling in Clover
 More War And Peace
 Invisible Workers
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Dick’s Got Form

Colonel Richard Tracey, QC, was a guest speaker at a conference that presented a medal to a Perth building magnate under police investigation for drawing up a hit list of 30 trade unionists.

Tracey addressed the 24th national conference of the right wing, HR Nicholls Society, at Melbourne’s upmarket Mercure Hotel, last May.

For many guests the weekend's highlight was the presentation of the organisation's Charles Copeman Medal, commemorating a Robe River strikebreaker, to anti-union activist, Len Buckeridge.

Buckeridge joined the architect of the Howard Government's industrial relations policy and phone card rorter, Peter Reith, as a recipient of the organisation's top individual gong.

Buckeridge, whose companies turn over hundreds of millions of dollars annually, confirmed he had drawn up the union death list. He said it came in response to having been threatened by "a sub-normal little thug".

Buckeridge admitted he had been placed on a two-year good behaviour bond after being charged with assaulting a union activist. He attributed that reverse to "some left wing magistrate".

West Australian police confirmed that at the time of the HR Nicholls Award, Buckeridge's hit list boast was under investigation.

Tracey spoke to Society members about the work of the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry, and the rule of law.

His contribution was described as "excellent" by leading HR Nicholls Society activist, Des Moore, in a conference review for members. In the same paper, Moore said Buckeridge had demonstrated employers' ability to "maintain their freedom to choose who to employ if they are determined to take positive action ..."

"There are perhaps some parallels here between Len Buckeridge and George W Bush, an analogy that could appeal to the Prime Minister," Moore wrote.


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