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Issue No. 223 04 June 2004  
 
F E A T U R E S

Interview: The New Democrat
Canadian activist Judy Rebick explains how she's using lessons from Brazil to rebuild the labour movement.

Bad Boss: The Ugly Australian
Prime Minister John Howard is in California spruiking the "merits" of this month’s Bad Boss nomination …

Unions: Free Spirits and Slaves
International capital demands guest labour – legal or illegal – as a way of beating down wages and conditions and, as Jim Marr discovers, the Australian Government seems happy to oblige.

Industrial: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on another workplace death (we-will-not-RIP NOHSC), heartburn for the Canberra consensus and all the action from around the states in our national wrap.

History: A Class Act
The problem of forgetting the primacy of class in favour of other ideas of community is highlighted in a new book, writes Neale Towart

International: Across the Ditch
NZ Nurses Union leader, Laila Harré, is in Sydney this week, comparing notes with the Australian Nurses Federation and seeking transTasman support for New Zealand’s highest profile industrial campaign.

Economics: Home Truths
Sydney University's Frank Stilwell argues that tax policy is driving the housing boom.

Review: No Time Like Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is one part Grim Reaper of the environmental movement and two parts fictitious fable dramatically window dressed with extreme special effects, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Silent Note
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers the current public service motto – "Don't tell the Minister!".

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Trade Deal a $47 Billion Dud
Australia will lose $47 billion and up to 200,000 jobs if governments sign the proposed free trade agreement with the United States, independent research reveals.

Modelling carried out by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) to be presented to a Senate Inquiry this week, says the deal would give away political sovereignty and kill off any hopes of Australia becoming a Knowledge Economy – at huge long-term costs. [full story]

Ground Staff Spread Fashion Wings
Style-starved ASU airlines members have won the right to glamour at Qantas check-in counters in Sydney.

After a spirited campaign, the customer service staff will be supplied with up-market Morrissey designer coats after rejecting Qantas’ attempts to make them turn up in cheap imitations. [full story]

Ghan Raises Trans-Continental Stink
A company accused of showing "scant regard for the safety of its own workforce" is being fingered for moving disabled passengers off luxury trains with forklifts.

Great Southern Railways, which operates the Indian Pacific and The Ghan, is also alleged to be emptying dunnies on its way across the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains. [full story]

Union Busters Bank on Labor
A company that runs an in-house ‘yellow’ union is in line to pick up a $50 million contract from the NSW Labor government.

Unions are asking how Suncorp-Metway, accused of running a "US-style" union busting operation in NSW, can meet terms of a ground-breaking procurement policy struck last year. [full story]

Witnesses Face Casual Duress
A worker who has had four weeks holidays in ten years says she faces "duress" for testifying in the Secure Employment Test Case.

Shirley Chabet, who works for a mushroom farm, said casual workers were "not on their own" and should "stay strong" after giving evidence in a landmark case that seeks to deliver security to thousands of employees. [full story]

Rail Workers Cop ‘Beer Nannies’
RailCorp management has ordered supervisors to monitor the alcohol intake of workers out of hours in a move unions say is a sign that drug and alcohol testing is off the rails.

An internal RailCorp memo sent by Nigel Howlett, Railcorp manager of Renewals, says that if employees are forced to stay overnight in licensed premises, a supervisor should ensure ‘excessive alcohol consumption does not take place.’ [full story]

ALSO MAKING NEWS

 Sun Shines on Green Bans

 Big Business Plan to Cripple Compo

 Money Can’t Buy Me Love

 Federal Election in Doubt

 Safety Defects Plague Adelaide

 Police Investigate Assault Claim

 Activists What’s On!

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
"Qantas tell us which hairstyles we can have, what make-up and jewellery we can wear, but wouldn’t give us the coats we were measured for a year ago," Qantas worker Anna Romanov-Ruff

E D I T O R I A L
It’s a new factor that the pointy-heads can’t fit into their graphs – the yearning for a life less harried, where you can work, rest and play, all in a 24 hour time frame.

The Tool On The Hill

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part I
The Australia Institute's Clive Hamilton questions the assumptions underlying a society that defines happiness in dollar terms.

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part II
Clive Hamilton concludes his analysis, looking at how more and more Australians are pulling back from a marketplace that is no longer providing the goods.

The Locker Room
Sack ‘Em All!
Phil Doyle puts his job on the line, but doesn’t everyone these days?

Politics
The Westie Wing
The NSW Government has an agenda on the table but the test is finding innovative ways to finance it, writes Ian West


LETTERS to the Editor
 Liberal Laugh

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