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Issue No. 222 28 May 2004  

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

Why Cole is a Merry Old Soul
It’s official, Terence Cole trousered nearly $1.3 million for 19 months work on the Building Industry Royal Commission, including an "extraordinary" $237,000 in taxpayer-funded expenses.

CFMEU secretary, John Sutton, said the final figures, revealed by Federal Minister Philip Ruddock this week, showed how out of touch with the industry the Royal Commissioner had been. [full story]

Fight Breaks Out of Schoolyard
Teachers aren’t the only ones worried by the Premier's refusal to rule out raiding the education budget to fund pay rises, according to their federation.

Striking teachers are warning that Premier Bob Carr's attempt to hold themselves and the Industrial Relations Commission over a barrel has implications for the entire public sector. [full story]

Child Care for a Song
Child care mogul Eddie Groves requires employees earning as little as $6 an hour to supply music for his centres from their home collections, federal parliament has heard.

MP Michael Danby made the claim in Canberra, after congratulating Groves on his move up the BRW Rich List courtesy of a personal fortune estimated at $175 million. [full story]

"Back Off" Call To Death Inquiry
Three horrific deaths in as many weeks have prompted the WA Government to bow to an AMWU demand for an independent safety audit of BHP Billiton’s Pilbara operations.

Now state secretary, Jock Ferguson, is asking vested interests, including the minerals giant, to "back off" and let Pilbara people have their say. [full story]

Carr No Mussolini
Frustrated Sydney commuters are dealing with every second train running late as Railcorp is accused of softening up the public for more cuts to come.

Latest Railcorp stats show on time running has plummeted below 50 percent just months after the NSW Government and Railcorp management trumpeted it as the key measure of the service’s efficiency.  [full story]

Sweet Box-all for Ballot Bureaucrats
Eight hundred public servants have had pay rises vetoed in the same week that John Howard okayed $300 a week increases for departmental heads on more than $300,000 a year.

Howard’s Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), headed by Peter Boxall, quashed an agreement reached between the CPSU and the Australian Electoral Commission after 18 months of negotiations. [full story]


 Unions Fire Up

 Beattie Papers Over Stink

 Glue Bullies Come Unstuck

 Johnnie Tugs the Rug

 Bank Jobs Under Spotlight

 Federal Muzzle for Shareholders

 Unions Earn $19 For Low Paid

 Fashionistas Go Fair

 Activists What’s On!

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
Jagath Bandara is one of the many workers getting active - being part of the team that puts together Alternative Voice, the radio show that's by workers, for workers, every Wednesday from 5pm on 2RRR 88.5FM

The impact of these leaders on the world has been as radical as any plaid-shirted revolutionary; it might hurt us to admit it but they have changed the world.

Twin Tools


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.

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.

LETTERS to the Editor
 Howard The Chucker

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