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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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Workers Order Ziggy on Toast

Communication workers want Ziggy Switkowski to join Bob Mansfield in the Telstra dustbin as a gesture of good faith to staff and customers.

The CEPU has challenged Telstra directors to use chairman Mansfield's resignation to move from its policy of offshore speculation to building domestic service and jobs, and sees the CEO's scalp as a necessary pre-condition to an improved relationship.

It points out that during the Mansfield-Switkowski watch, Telstra dumped more than 20,000 workers, outsourced jobs offshore, raised prices and failed to maintain infrastructure.

CEPU Victorian secretary, Len Cooper, said his union spoke as the representative of 30,000 workers who are also shareholders.

His organisation has put a six-point challenge to Telstra directors ...

- to accept Switkowski's resignation, immediately

- cease political demands for the company's full privatisation

- cease mass redundancies and rebuild staff levels to enable the provision of quality services

- to carry out a review of management attitudes to staff with a view to rebuilding morale and teamwork

- carry out an objective review of contracting and outsourcing policies with a view to bringing work back in-house, as agreed in the company's recent EBA with the CEPU

Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Howard has shocked industry observers with a suggestion that Communications Minister, Richard Alston, takeover from Mansfield as chairman.

Telstra sources insist that as Communication Minister, Senator Alston rejected a short-list of possible CEO's forwarded by previous office holder, Frank Blount, leading to Switkowski filling the position in the first place.

Labor Communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner said Alston had built an international reputation as the world's worst Communcations Minister.

"Having stacked the ABC and SBS boards, John Howard is now going for the mother of all political stacks," Tanner said.


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