The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 232 06 August 2004  

Tarnished Rings
As our athletes approach the starting line in Athens, it is interesting to reflect on how the world has changed since Sydney was the centre of a global group hug just four years ago.


Interview: Trading Places
New ACTU International Officer Alison Tate cut her teeth delivering aid to developing nations through APHEDA. Now she is helping chart the global union agenda.

Safety: Snow Job
James Hardie has been drilled into our collective consciousness as a story of power, greed and immorality. It is also, as Jim Marr reports, a tale of human tragedy.

Politics: In the Vanguard
Damien Cahill reveals how neo-liberal think tanks have been at the forefront of the corporate assault upon trade unions and social movements in Australia.

Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Don’t get between Sydney sparkie Semir Pepic and a gold medal in a dimly lit alley, writes Tim Brunero.

Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
Perfect Porker, Darren Vincent, brings a history of meat worker shafting to this month’s Bad Boss nomination.

International: Cruising For A Bruising
Europe’s big unions are bruised as they watch companies roll over some of their best-organised unionised workplaces demanding longer work hours – without any recompense, reports Andrew Casey.

History: Under the Influence
Was John Kerr drunk when he wrote and signed the letter dismissing Edward Gough Whitlam from the Prime Ministership in 1975? Geraldine Willissee investigates.

Economics: Working Capital
Where superannuation fits, where it fails and what we should we do about it. Neale Towart gives the tough answers.

Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
There's many a must see moment in Mike Moore's new flick but beating the propaganda machine at its own game wreaks havoc with wearied bullshit detectors, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
When Flood washed away the PM's sins, the truth was once again left high and dry.

Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
During a recent visit to an elderly relative in a nursing home, I was waylaid by an ancient gentleman who insisted I listen to what he had to say, writes Rowan Cahill.


 Stink Rises from Hamberger

 ALP Embraces Collectivism

 Bully Drives Deckhand into Drink

 Fighter in Cancer Link

 Tunnellers Dig in for Safety

 Seconds Out in Newcastle

 Vale Josh Heuchan

 "Betrayal" Sparks Election Rethink

 Councils Wedge James Hardie

 Great Southern Death Rattler

 Libs Desert "War Criminal"

 Casuals Take Over

 ALP Star Hits The Waterfront

 Activists What’s On!


The Westie Wing
The Labor Governments in each State must take the lead to stop the abuse of corporate law in Australia in the absence of action from the Federal Government, as the Inquiry into James Hardie’s has highlighted, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Cleaners Deserve Our Support
It's time the state's cleaners were given some support, loyalty and long service leave, writes Chris Christodoulou.

The Locker Room
Half Time At The Football
Phil Doyle wants to have his pie and eat it too.

Faithful Servant
Frank Mossfield was one of the labour movement’s quiet achievers. Former Labor Council secretary Michael Easson pays tribute.

Lessons From East Timor
Just back from a study tour to East Timor, National Reserach Officer with the Construction division of the CFMEU, Ben Stirling, writes about the experience for Workers Online.

 An Officer And A Teacher
 Tom Goes Asexual
 Road Rage At Work
 Democracy In Action
 Asbestos Bastadry
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees



"Betrayal" Sparks Election Rethink

The AMWU will slash support for Labor’s federal election campaign in the wake of this week’s free trade "betrayal".

National secretary, Doug Cameron, flagged a strategy of "targeted support" that could move cash and resources to non-Labor candidates in a significant break with tradition.

Speaking after the ALP caucus voted to throw its weight behind John Howard's Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, Cameron said the AMWU national council would reassess its election strategy.

"It is quite clear we will not be in a position to put substantial financial or physical resources behind the party, as a whole, because the parliamentary caucus has chosen to betray our members," Cameron said.

"National conference left the issue of donations in the hands of national council and it is well aware of members' concerns about this agreement.

"In all honesty, I cannot recommend support for politicians who lack backbone and principle. There are honourable exceptions in the ALP caucus but there are two other parties in this parliament that have consistently condemned the free trade agreement and the damage it will do to our country."

Workers Online understands that Australian Democrats IR policies are likely to weight against the AMWU moving support in their direction but that Bob Brown's Greens could come in for strong support.

Cameron praised "consistent stands" taken by ALP members including Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese, Jennie George and George Campbell but argued the majority of their colleagues had allowed themselves to be "wedged" by Howard and George Bush.

Cameron said, it defied commonsense that Labor members of the Senate committee examining the FTA could come up with 43 recommendations - one to support the agreement, and 42 others that were critical.

"They recognise the threats to manufacturing jobs, pharmaceutical costs and Australian culture then say it should be supported," Cameron said. "It is evidence of a lack of courage.

"The AMWU will fight, with or without the ALP, for Australian jobs and Australian people."

Labor's backing for AUSFTA was announced only five days after federal leader, Mark Latham, presented a critical assessment to the AMWU national conference.

He told delegates, last week, that even on Government figures, benefits would be "mild" and might be outweighed by "social costs".

Latham said the decision of negotiators to bypass sugar had been "un-Australian", and highlighted pressures it would impose on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, intellectual property rights, culture and manufacturing jobs.

Throughout, Latham stressed, Labor's final position would be determined by the senate committee.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 232 contents

email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online