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Issue No. 231 30 July 2004  

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.

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L A T E S T   N E W S

Goons, Scabs in Desert Showdown
Scabs and un-badged goons had to sleep rough in the Western Australian outback after attempts to break a picket line were beaten off by solidarity between miners and constructions workers.

The high-stakes stand-off is unfolding at Yandi, about 150km north of Newman in the Pilbara, where miners with BHP contractor Henry Walker Eltin are resisting the imposition of another round of AWAs, backed by big financial inducements. [full story]

High Jump for Hardies
Sweeping law changes, including the appointment of a special James Hardie prosecutor, are being urged in the wake of recommendations that a commission of inquiry find the company lied to courts, the government, the stock exchange and asbestos sufferers.

The recommendations on findings were tabled this week by Jackson Inquiry counsel assisting, John Sheahan, SC.  [full story]

Task Force in Hiding
Secret squirrels at the Building Industry Task Force are forcing workers to feed hundreds of pages of required documentation through fax machines because they won’t divulge their whereabouts.

The Task Force is keeping its Melbourne address secret from the AMWU and four members it is seeking around $100,000 in fines against as the result of a four-hour picket, last year. [full story]

Court Cans Radio Bully
A Victorian radio announcer who slapped, verbally abused and threatened his colleagues has been silenced with a $10,000 fine.

The decision is believed to be the first conviction for verbal bullying in Victoria. [full story]

Trade Deal Muddies Water
Clean drinking water has emerged as the latest risk posed by the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, with the deal taking away the powers of governments to regulate this essential service.

The Australian Services Union, representing employees in Sydney Water, says the FTA is designed to prevent governments from placing regulations on essential public services.  [full story]

Union Saves Kevin’s Bacon
In a move to recover A$700,000 in wages owed to its members, an American union has sold the rights to seven films featuring stars such as Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Rosanna Arquette and David Bowie.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) sold the rights at the union's first-ever foreclosure auction in a stand against problem producers. [full story]


 CFMEU Bowls Howard Model

 Mildura Bans Toxic Avenger

 Breakthrough Saves 87 Positions

 Two Million Jobs Traded

 Death Halts Sydney Tunnel

 Trainees Score $200,000

 Apprentice Crisis Worsens

 Activists What’s On!

email workers to a friend latest breaking news from labornet
The "clean and green" image of the Sunraysia is under theat from a proposed toxic waste dump. Unions and the local community have joined forces to fight the plan.

Australia is facing a major crisis that could affect all of us in the decades to come, a shortage of skilled apprentices - tomorrow’s tradespeople who are the backbone of the economy.

The Worker’s Friend


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

LETTERS to the Editor
 Left Holding The Baby
 Tom On Alienation

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