Interview: Machine Man
It’s regarded as the most powerful job in the Party, but new NSW ALP general secretary Mark Arbib wants to build a bridge with the union movement.
Unions: Testing Times
Unions are not opposed to drug and alcohol testing, but they do want to see real safety issues addressed, writes Phil Doyle.
Bad Boss: Freespirit Haunts Internet
FreeSpirit forked out a motza for a whiz bang internet presence then disappeared right off the radar – once it was nominated as our Bad Boss for May.
Unions: Badge of Honour
Surry Hills is home to one of the world’s finest displays of union badges thanks to Bill "The Bear" Pirie and a supporting cast headed by Joe Strummer, Mark Knopfler, George Benson, Annie Lennox and other seriously big noises.
National Focus: Noel's World
Shrill bosses bleat over minimum wage rise, union spinmeisters congregate in Melbourne and Tassie’s nurses take the baton from their mob in Victoria reports Noel Hester in this national round up.
Economics: Safe Refuge
A humanitarian approach to refugees and an economically rational one?? I’d like to see that. Frank Stilwell did, when he went to Young in NSW to look into the impact of the Afghan refugees on temporary protection visas who came to work for the local abattoir
International: Global Abuse
Amnesty International have joined the chorus against the violation of trade union rights in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.
History: The Honeypot
To the Honeypot come those individuals anxious to get their hands on instant wealth. So it was in the early days of Broken Hill, wrties Grace Hawes in this homage to the mining town.
Review: Death And The Barbarians
This new take on coming of age films focuses on the coming of death and the dignity and maturity it can inspire among those touched by it - though not always easily in the overcrowded Canadian public health system, writes Tara de Boehmler.
Poetry: Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers some of the unfolding mysteries of talk back radio.
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||L A T E S T N E W S
Big Bribe Misses Battlers
Peter Costello’s "family" budget will put more cash in PR spinners’ pockets than aged care training and underwrite an explosion in "backyard" childcare.
These are just two of the anomalies identified by analysts as building workers point to the government dedicating five times as much to "attacking" unions as to protecting lives. [full story]
West in Great Leap Backwards
As friends and family bade farewell at Cory Bentley’s funeral, BHP Billiton was removing Maoist-style exhortations to increase production at the Port Hedland plant where he lost his life.
The company that spearheaded WA’s revolution in workplace culture was, last week, taking down posters that urged employees to "Aim high, move fast!" [full story]
Cheques in the Mail
Cheques worth $50,000 were left overnight on a dashboard in Leichhardt, last week, by a driver scabbing on the first national postal workers strike in 20 years.
The cheques had been used as payment for domestic bills at Leichhardt Post Office and were supposed to have been delivered to clearing house, Austrapay, as a matter of priority. Instead, they overnighted on a truck dashboard, according to CEPU assistant secretary, Greg Rayner. [full story]
Bullets Foul Childcare
Australia’s biggest child care company is splurging $200,000 on the Brisbane Bullets basketball franchise while rejecting pay increases for adults earning less than $12 an hour.
The facts came to light when ABC Learning Centres executive director, Michael Kemp, told a work value case in Melbourne his company would not reconsider its Bullets sponsorship to lift carers’ pay. [full story]
Thanks Bob - Lawyers Tuck In
The NSW State Government is turning the Secure Employment Test Case into a lawyer’s picnic while claiming to be too strapped to meet minimal wage increases.
Labor Council secretary, John Robertson, estimated the Carr Government had shelled out nearly $200,000 on lawyers in the first two weeks of a Test Case expected to run before the IRC for more than six months. [full story]
Watchdog Barks for Workers
Workers have harnessed the power of the ACCC and Trade Practices Act – usually tools of union-busting bosses - to block a merger of Australia’s two largest concrete manufacturers.
Members of the Australian Workers Union are this week celebrating the decision by the ACCC to oppose the acquisition of Adelaide Brighton by Boral. [full story]
||ALSO MAKING NEWS
Budget Brushes Elderly Blueprint
John Sutton’s Fine Idea
Teachers Unified in Out(r)age
Qantas Hits Panic Button
Lights Out At MCG
Richs to Rags Warning
Activists What’s On!
Rethinking Left and Right Part 1
Dr David McKnight, from the University of Technology, Sydney presents a new frame for looking at the competing ideas within Social Democracy.
Rethinking Left and Right Part 2
David McKnight concludes the paper he presented to the ‘Rethinking Social Democracy’ conference, in London, April 15-17, 2004.
Out On A Limb
Phil Doyle becomes the first Australian journalist to state that the Olympics will be called off.
The Westie Wing
In the latest episode, Ian West explores what Disraeli called "Lies, damn lies and statistics".
Message from America
Searing snapshots from a landscape of uncertainty have plunged the Bush Administration into deeper crisis, writes WorkingForChange's Bill Berkowitz.