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Issue No. 227 02 July 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

A Place To Call Home
These days the Great Australian Dream is closer to a fantasy, where the chances of owning to your own home depend on either inheriting property or winning lottery.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Power and the Passion
ALP's star recruit Peter Garrett shares his views on unions, forests and being the Member for Wedding Cake Island

Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Tony Butterfield became a State of Origin gladiator at the unlikely age of 33. Even that, Jim Marr reports, couldn’t prepare him for the knock-down, drag-em-out world of modern IR.

Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Proposals to flog off NSW’s forests have raised eyebrows and temperatures amongst some of the key players reports Phil Doyle.

Housing: Home Truths
CFMEU national secretary John Sutton argues for a radical solution to the housing affordability crisis.

International: Boycott Busters
International unions have issued a new list of corporations breaching ILO sanctions to do business in Burma.

Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
The absurdities of neoclassical economic assumptions has never stood in the way of their being trotted out to justify profiteering and attacks on the rights of citizens. The AUSFTA is the latest rort we are supposed to swallow, writes Neale Towart.

History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Interest in JC Watson's short time as Labor's first Prime Minister should not detract from his more substantial role as Party leader, writes Mark Hearn

Review: Chewing the Fat
As debate rages in Australia about Fast Food advertising, Julianne Taverner takes a look at a side of the industry that Ronald McDonald won’t tell you about in Supersize Me.

Poetry: Dear John
Workers Online reader Rob Mullen shares some personal correspondence with our glorious leader.

N E W S

 NRMA Reverses Over Turnbull

 Privatisation Kills

 Crikey: Irwin Feeds Staff AWAs

 Nurses Telegraph Fight Back

 "Sexiest Man" Plays it Safe

 Eureka: Bug Swats Hadgkiss

 Macdonald Ponders Asbestos Blue

 Latham Gets Late Mail

 Murdoch Faces Discrimination Rap

 Boss Goes Postal

 Oberon Survives Bomb Threat

 Howard Out On CD

 Telstra Hangs Up On Staff

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

Politics
The Westie Wing
As the NSW Labor Government sells its first budget deficit in nine years, the real concern for the union movement is the devil in the detail, especially when it comes to procurement agreements, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Rubber Bullets
Labor's IR spokesman Craig Emerson launches a few characteristic salvos across the Parliamentary chamber

The Locker Room
Tears After Bedtime
Phil Doyle says that it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye

Postcard
Postcard from Vietnam
APHEDA's Hoang Thi Le Hang reports from the north of Vietnam on a project being fund by Australian unionists.,

L E T T E R S
 Letter From America
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News

Latham Gets Late Mail


Thousands of Australians have put Mark Latham on the spot over a free trade agreement critics insists would damage the economy, jobs, culture and health care.

Almost 4000 have registered their opposition to AUSFTA in emails to the Opposition leader's office through Global Trade Watch, just one of several mass organisations running campaigns against the deal.

Leading trade unions, including the USU, MEAA and AMWU, have also mounted email campaigns against the free trade deal being promoted by the Federal Government.

Enabling legislation for the FTA was passed last month in the House of Representatives. But opponents are banking on the ALP to block the move after a Senate debate, scheduled for August 12.

Global Trade Watch points out that Labor has repeatedly promised not to pass enabling legislation if the FTA results in increased costs for Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

"Last month, academics in both the US and Australia confirmed the FTA would increase PBS costs by up to $1.5 billion a year. Surely this satisfies the ALP's criteria for rejecting the agreement," said Michael Cebon, secretary of Global Trade Watch.

Political observers suggest Latham is being "heavied" over free trade by advisers concerned that the Coalition will portray him as "anti-American".

Both the MEAA and AMWU sent big groups of members to Canberra last week to lobby ALP politicians.

The AMWU highlights economic modelling by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIER) that predicts massive job losses in the manufacturing sector.

NIER warns the Australian economy could bleed 195,000 jobs and $47 billion as a result of signing the free trade agreement with the US.


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