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Issue No. 218 30 April 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

End of the Casual Affair
The Secure Employment Test Case that kicks off in the coming week in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission will be an important test of how far down the path of labour market deregulation we have travelled.

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

 WA Bosses Duck for Cover

 Static Hits Digital Revolution

 Rising Sun Sets on Costello

 Terror Telegraphs New Era

 Dust Storm Greets Hardie

 Psych Nurses Seek Safety

 Work Bad for Your Health

 Govt Lays Death Track

 Howard Slugs Battlers

 APHEDA Wins Award

 Feds: Freedom Is Slavery

 Free Trade Fun Day

 Activists Whatís 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 mightnít 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
 Tom is UN-Amazed
 Organís Manslaughter Pics
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Rising Sun Sets on Costello


Car workers will underwrite a mission to Tokyo in bid to save Mitsubishiís Adelaide operation as Federal Government washes its hands of up to 20,000 jobs.

AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, announced worker representatives would fly to Japan to argue for the South Australian community, just 24 hours after Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, said its future was beyond government control.

Cameron and fellow AMWU officials, Ian Jones and John Camillo, held talks with Mitsubishi Australia chief, Tom Phillips, in Adelaide as the crisis swirling around the multi-national manufacturer deepened.

Cameron said those discussion had left union officials "cautiously optimistic" about Mitsubishi's future in Adelaide where it directly employs 3500 workers. A university study, released this week, estimated the plant's closure would annihilate another 20,000 jobs around Australia.

After a subsequent meeting with plant delegates, Cameron said the feeling against Costello and the Federal Government was strong.

"Our people thought Peter Costello's position was reprehensible," Cameron said.

"Essentially, he's admitted the Government is powerless in the face of multi-nationals. Why do we elect these politicians if they can't do anything when workers and communities who put them there are in trouble?

The AMWU has written to Prime Minister, John Howard, asking him to establish a working party to promote Adelaide's survival as a manufacturing base. Cameron said, as of last Thursday, there had been no response from Canberra.

Doubts over Mitsubishi's future sharpened when its international CEO quit after major shareholder, Daimler Benz, pulled out of a rescue package for the Japanese-based business. Mitsubishi dropped a billion dollars, last year, on its international operations.

Latest news from Tokyo suggests a rescue package is being negotiated with bankers who will expect the vehicle manufacturing arm of the conglomerate to make sweeping changes to its operation.


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