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Issue No. 226 25 June 2004  

US Forces
The concerted and increasingly personal campaign by the Howard Government to portray Mark Latham as anti-American is built on some dodgy premises.


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!".


 Hadgkiss Sinks Boot into Safety

 Put a Job in Your Trolley

 Della Puts Cleaners Through Schools

 Freespirit Severs "Slavery" Link

 Luna Fringe Targets Fun

 Labour Warriors Fall

 Canberra Six in Dock

 Lobbyists Look for ALP Spine

 Tree Plan Faces Axe

 Sydney Water to Drip Feed Public

 Safety Nosedives At JetStar

 Irritable Desks on March

 Howard Backs Union Model

 Activists What’s On!


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?

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

 Lest We Forget
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Lobbyists Look for ALP Spine

Intensive Canberra lobbying has convinced manufacturing workers they have six weeks to save as many as 195,000 Australian jobs.

Jim O'Neill, AMWU delegate from One Steel Pipe and Tube, Newcastle, saw six politicians in three days and said their lack of free trade nous "was a bit of a bloody eye-opener".

"One politician asked me, what does NAFTA stand for?" he reported. "Another, a front bencher, said he had his own portfolios and hadn't had the chance to study the details of AUSFATA.

"I reckon we can win some of these people over by telling them the truth and, from what we've been told, we've got a month, maybe six weeks to do it."

O'Neill, one of 30 AMWU members who spent three days prowling the capital, came away convinced the ALP will make or break Australian manufacturing.

He said the Liberals were a "lost cause", while both the Greens and Democrats had adopted positive positions.

Smith based that analysis on six face-to-face interviews and final-day reports from colleagues who had confronted other legislators.

He said members of the delegation would return to their workplaces and towns to turn up the heat on local ALP members and politicians.

"Labor is the key to this," he said. "We have to win over politicians in Canberra and put some pressure on premiers in the eastern states who seem to be all for it."

Economic modelling presented to a Senate Inquiry into the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement warned Australia would lose $47 billion and up to 195,000 jobs over 25 years.

The modelling, carried out by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR), said the deal in its present form would cede political control and kill off hopes of Australia becoming a knowledge economy.

MEAA members, including actors Toni Collette and David Wenham, were launching a lobbying blitz in Canberra as manufacturing workers flew out. They, too, were concentrating on ALP MPs and senators.

O'Neill said jobs were his primary motivation for taking a stand against the free trade arrangement but he, and other AMWU members, were also concerned about its likely affects on sovereignty, pharmaceutical costs and Australian culture.


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