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Issue No. 231 30 July 2004  

Bright Sparks
Australia is facing a major crisis that could affect all of us in the decades to come, a shortage of skilled apprentices, tomorrowís tradespeople who are the backbone of the economy.


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, couldnít prepare him for the knock-down, drag-em-out world of modern IR.

Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Proposals to flog off NSWís 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 wonít tell you about in Supersize Me.

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


 Goons, Scabs in Desert Showdown

 High Jump for Hardies

 Task Force in Hiding

 Court Cans Radio Bully

 Trade Deal Muddies Water

 Union Saves Kevinís Bacon

 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 Whatís On!


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.,

 Left Holding The Baby
 Tom On Alienation
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Union Saves Kevinís 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.

The union says that the effort sends a message to delinquent producers that it will not stand by as its members are deprived of the full compensation owed them for their work.

"Producers who do not take their contractual responsibilities seriously must understand that this was not a one-time event. We will protect our members from problem producers who have a track record of not paying our members for their work," says SAG Deputy Assistant General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

As part of the Guild's collective bargaining agreements, producers frequently guarantee payments to performers and use the film rights as a form of collateral. In this instance, once the producers defaulted on their residual payments - which total over US$400,000 for the seven films - SAG began pursuing the delinquent residuals until finally exercising its option to foreclose.

The seven titles auctioned by the Guild were all independent productions that feature a number of notable lead performers. One film sold for five figures.

The seven titles are: Blood Money (1996); Delivered (1998); The Linguini Incident (1991); Skeletons (1996); Telling Lies in America (1997); Traveller (1997); Under Heaven (1998).

Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labour movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists' rights amid the digital revolution of the 21st century.

SAG, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, represents nearly 120,000 actors in film, television, industrials, commercials and music videos.


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