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Issue No. 221 21 May 2004  
 
F E A T U R E S

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

Chalkies Draw Line In Sand
Teachers walked out of schools across the state as NSW Premier Bob Carr was accused of "contempt" and trying to "intimidate" the industrial umpire.

The allegations flew after the state government announced an unprecedented move to re-open a wage case that finished six months ago. [full story]

Porkies Leave Shearers In Tents
The Carr Government has been caught blaming the National Competition Council for its attempt to repeal laws that guarantee rural workers are not forced to live in tents.

The Australian Workers Union said NCC executive director John Feil had written to it explicitly rejecting state government claims that it was being forced to repeal the Rural Workers Accommodation Act. [full story]

Dust Flies In Asbestos Blue
James Hardie defended a scheme to hive-off asbestos liabilities with a press release senior advisers knew was inaccurate, an Inquiry has heard.

The building materials giant has taken repeated hits during the Jackson Inquiry, established by the NSW Government after unions refused to drop criticisms of its corporate restructure. [full story]

Joel’s Law One Step Closer
The Carr Government is under pressure to gaol killer bosses in the wake of a Legislative Council committee recommendation that corporate manslaughter should be written into the Crimes Act.

The cross-party committee, including three Labor members, also wants to give courts the power to make delinquent employers face up to bereaved family members. [full story]

BHP In Hedland Horror
Five employees from a company accused of overseeing "plumeting" safety standards are this week fighting for their lives in Western Australian hospitals.

A gas explosion at BHP Billiton’s Port Hedland briquette plant left four men suffering horrific burns and battling for survival after being airlifted to Perth by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  [full story]

Occupation Focuses Anglo Minds
Dozens of building workers occupied the Brisbane headquarters of Anglo Coal this week to earn a permanent memorial for father-of-two, Jamie Sullivan.

The 25-year-old was killed in a mobile crane accident at the company’s Dartbrook Mine, near Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley, late last year. [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 STOP PRESS - Mitsubishi Carves Up SA

 Ties That Bind

 Fair Play At The Olympics

 Rally Demands Boss’ Head

 Nurses Stake Aged Claim

 Labor To Roll Up Sleeves

 Feds Take Axe To Safety

 AWU Remembers 9-11 Victim

 Activists What’s On!

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
ACT public servants donned gaudy ties this week to mark the anniversary of former workmate Matthew Reynolds' death. The CPSU asked members and supporters to further honour its former president by signing up for the National Organ Donor Register.

E D I T O R I A L
Unions have sniffed the wind and more and more of them are deciding that if the government is not prepared to negotiate in good faith, they’ll take their case directly to the independent umpire and argue a case based on their work value.

Family Values

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
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.

The Soapbox
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.

Sport
Out On A Limb
Phil Doyle becomes the first Australian journalist to state that the Olympics will be called off.

Politics
The Westie Wing
In the latest episode, Ian West explores what Disraeli called "Lies, damn lies and statistics".

Postcard
Message from America
Searing snapshots from a landscape of uncertainty have plunged the Bush Administration into deeper crisis, writes WorkingForChange's Bill Berkowitz.


LETTERS to the Editor

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