The Free Trade Agreement turned out to be none of the three this week when the Napoleon of Kirribilli was caught with his pants down.
The Prime Miniature had made much of the issue, wanting to rush the deal through before anyone had seen the fine print. His used car salesman effort fell flat when he showed his true loyalties lay with US pharmaceutical companies, rather than Australia's sick and unwell.
Here is a leader who places the interests of George W's "base" above that of his own fellow citizens.
No doubt he was hoping his colleagues thought Big Pharm was where John Anderson lived.
However much he tries to hide it, Australia's most incompetent and dangerous Prime Minister in living memory is no friend of a regulated, accessible and egalitarian health care system.
He has done his level best to dismantle Medicare, so it must stick in his craw that even that hotbed of Trotskyite revolution, the Australian Medical Association, has told him to pull his head in.
Even the suits from the big end of town have told him to cut his losses and accept he is beaten.
The little fella was forced off into a bizarre argument about Patent Law, presenting legal advice from a totally compromised public service about the ALP's proposed amendment, sight unseen.
It's a brave lawyer indeed who'll provide advice about a document sight unseen, but this is the sort of quality advice our great leader encourages from our administrators.
Of course many working Australians know that this deal has nothing at all to do with trade, free or otherwise. As one of the few economists who isn't in the pocket of the handful of millionaires set to benefit from foreclosing on what remains of Australia's manufacturing sector pointed out, the projected benefits do not even pass the "laugh test".
The FTA was all about Howard using the political capital built up from killing innocent Iraqis to appear suitably statesmanlike alongside the Clown from Crawford, George W.
History will remember Howard offering this brave new FTA world alongside Chamberlain offering "peace in our time".
Howard would have signed anything. Even a deal that offered every Australian firstborn to be boiled down to make soap.
Why else would he have made Mark Vaile trade minister? The guy couldn't negotiate a roundabout, let alone a trade deal.
Remember how we were never going to sign a deal that didn't include our agricultural sector?
This was all about giving Howard's ego a tickle before he went to the polls. Many working Australians, especially those in manufacturing, know this deal is a dud whichever way you look at it. Howard just wanted to look like the big man he isn't, and paint his opponents as un-American.
Now that shrill declamation is wearing decidedly thin with an electorate that is waking up to this overrated suburban solicitor.
Watching Howard squirm out of this one will be interesting.
With Lord Downer of Baghdad heading off to North Korea to start World War III no doubt Little Johnny will be scraping the bottom of his barrel of wedges. Whatever he comes up with, don't be surprised if it smacks of those things that make George W. Bush's administration such a "great" Australian ally.
With friends like these, who needs terrorists?
Forty-year construction industry veteran, Alan Kuret, told the Federal Court in Perth the office had registered a non-union AWA in his name although he had never seen, nor signed, the document.
He said, after an IRC inspection of the Burrup Fertilisers site, he had been asked to sign a pre-dated AWA by managers of Killarnee Formwork on Tuesday, March 2.
The following day, he refused, and a Killarnee supervisor had told him: "you are out of here today".
Kuret said that Killarnee boss, Paul Thompson, had informed him: "Everyone on the job is on an AWA, someone has signed for you."
He wrote to the OEA seeking the document it had registered and viewed it for the first time on April 14, 2004.
"The employee's signature that appears on the letter of offer and the AWA is not my signature," Kuret said in an affidavit. "I know this because I did not sign a letter of offer or an AWA prior to, during, or after commencing employment with Killarnee.
"None of the handwriting on the letter of offer or the AWA is my own."
Kuret's evidence was not contested.
It came in a case that also heard from the OEA's WA regional manager that his office registered electronically submitted AWAs outside the 21 days allowed by law.
Justice French called that practice "surprising".
He also heard that the OEA routinely accepted AWAs with no signatures.
The proceedings undermined key federal government claims for AWAs.
Former Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott, argued the individual, non-union contracts were about freedom of choice, flexibility and undermining pattern agreements.
However, some Burrup Fertilisers contractors will not give a start to anyone who refuses to sign an AWA. Indeed, the company at the centre of the Perth case, anti-union activist Len Buckeridge's, BGC, binds its sub-contractors to only employing on AWAs.
WA unions say similar practises abound, especially in resource development, where major employers refuse jobs to anyone who insists on a union agreement.
"AWAs are simply a strategy for deunionising the workplace," CFMEU WA secretary, Kevin Reynolds, says.
"There is no freedom of choice and there is no flexibility. It is AWA or the highway.
"Then this government rants about pattern bargaining but we've seen 100 AWAs from this contractor, alone. Each is the same, in form and substance.
"They are pattern agreements and the Office of the Employment Advocate is rubber-stamping them as fast as it can go, even when workers haven't seen them or signed them."
The OEA was established and funded by the Howard Government to both promote and police AWAs.
It has spent millions of dollars on promotion but take-up has been minimal with less than four percent of working Australians covered by them.
Last month, the head of the OEA, Jonathan Hamberger, was appointed to the IRC bench.
The federal government, employers like the Buckeridge Group, and the OEA have always contended unions had no right to approach, or speak to, employees that had been forced onto AWAs.
But, last week, Justice French ruled, the CFMEU had the right to enter Burrup Fertilisers and speak to AWA employees.
Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, immediately foreshadowed an appeal, or legislation, to overturn the implications of that decision.
Reynolds says the Minister would be better occupied trying to make the OEA comply with the law.
He has challenged Andrews to launch an independent review of the OEA and all electronically-lodged AWAs.
"The uncontested evidence clearly makes it possible for fraud to be committed and for the OEA to be none the wiser," Reynolds said.
"The challenges for the Minister are to ensure an agency under his control acts within the law, and that companies that have committed fraud are prosecuted."
The policy was outlined in Sydney today by Workplace Relations spokesman, Craig Emerson, who pledged to line-up federal workplace laws with those of NSW and Queensland.
Emerson moved to counter certain opposition from employer groups and the Howard Government by arguing the "sky hadn't fallen in" in either of the eastern states.
In fact, he said, under Labor IR regimes, business had boomed and industrial disputes were at 20-year lows.
Emerson promised to introduce "good faith bargaining", a concept strongly opposed by business spokespeople.
Emerson said Labor's industrial relations policy would be built on four pillars ...
- improving job security
- encouraging family-friendly workplaces and work-family balance
- restoring the right of Australians to collective bargaining
- assisting parties to avoid and resolve disputes
Specific policies include disbanding the discredited Building Industry Task Force; abolising AWAs and the Office of the Employment Advocate; encouraging the IRC to allow long-term casuals to convert to permanent employment; and guaranteeing 100 percent of entitlements through a national employees entitlements scheme.
Emerson pledged $40 million to boost federal wages information and compliance systems.
"A key new initiative will be increased funding for inspectorate services to ensure employees are paid the wages legally owed to them," Emerson said.
"The Howard Government has turned a blind eye to the underpayment of wages. Last year it prosecuted only seven cases Australia-wide, and it has a standard policy of not prosecuting underpayments of less than $10,000. Yet, in one year, it has received more than 5000 complaints from employees.
"Labor opposes the Government's push for a fully de-regulated labour market that would allow wages and conditions of the working poor to fall in the Government's race to the bottom of low skills and low wages."
The Darwin Magistrates Court heard how deckhand Callum Moran tried to swim to a remote island because he thought he was going to be killed by the vessel�s skipper, Captain Daniel Schoolmeester, following "vindictive and brutal" bullying.
Moran told police that he dived off the Tally Ho because he had been threatened continuously and was told it was "going to get worse".
"This is the sort of thuggery you hear of every day in the international shipping industry," says Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Sydney Branch Secretary Robert Coombs. "We get calls from crew asking for help all the time. And we take them on.
"Bullying is certainly not tolerated in the Australian industry. But you find pockets of non-unionised workers in fishing, pearling and tourism where bullying and exploitation are rampant - even on Sydney Harbour. We are looking into some of these areas right now."
The news comes as the Australian Army has also moved against bullying.
Former Chubb employee and bullying victim, John McPhilbin - who also served in the armed forces - has questioned why people in the workplace cannot be afforded the same protection as those in the military.
McPhilbin has urged bullying victims to speak out and be a part of the NSW Labor Council's Dignity and Respect at Work campaign.
The NSW Labor Council has produced a survey form, which can be obtained by phoning the Labor Council on 9264 1691.
The peak union body has also scheduled a conference on bullying that has been set down for the 8th of September at Sydney's Opera House.
ALAEA national secretary, David Kemp, is urging government to fully compensate affected personnel, many of whom went into civilian life as members of his organisation.
"These are men who worked to protect our country by keeping a technical advantage over potential aggressors and now it looks like the government is prepared to abandon them," Kemp said.
The engineers performed fuel tank maintenance on F-111 fighter-bomber aircraft over the past 30 years.
Maintenance workers were required to enter the cupboard sized tanks and break down chemical seals with highly toxic solvents like SR51.
Half-faced respirators and light cotton overalls were issued to workers during this process.
Dr John Attia, from Newcastle University, says the combination of organic solvents, cramped working space, lack of protective equipment and hot temperatures may have led to the high rate of cancer..
Ian Fraser, who worked on the tanks at Queensland's Amberly Air Force base, says some servicemen spent up to two years cramped in tiny spaces scratching sealant off thousands of tiny rivets.
"It was shocking work in itself, but you couldn't just quit because you were in the service, " he says.
Fraser, who maintained the tanks in the early 80's, says he knew at the time the chemicals were harmful because of mood swings and the constant stench of chemicals he was unable to wash off
"You basically became a social leper for a year, I went from being a normal person to a very angry young man," says Fraser.
Fraser who now runs a support group for F111 workers says many have suffered from cancers, skin conditions, lung complaints, memory problems and mood swings.
"There are any number of my colleagues now who have passed away, some were in their late 20's and mid 30's," says Fraser.
Fraser says the government should compensate ex-servicemen fully for their loss of quality of life as well as pay their medical expenses.
"I am frustrated and angry because the government isn't moving fast enough to look at the needs of desealers," says Fraser.
Engineers who worked on Air Force Hercules and Orion aircraft have also begun reporting similar symptoms to those suffered by their F111 colleagues.
Another University study looking at other health complaints of the F111 engineers such as neurological and cardio-vascular ailments will be submitted to the chief of the Air Force this month.
CFMEU organiser, Steve Dixon, unveiled those statistics in an impassioned plea for a "fair go" for tunnellers, after a father of two was killed on Sydney�s cross-city project.
The CFMEU and AWU are urging Workcover to resuscitate the specialist, Civil Sector Safety Unit, disbanded several years ago.
Dixon said tunnelling was a dangerous, complex, specialised occupation.
"Workcover expect to send out someone with no experience to understand the situation and, frankly, that's impossible," he said.
"It's not fair on the inspectors, for a start, and it's certainly not fair on people risking their lives to help rebuild Sydney.
"If the government told people they could take their cars to the local bakery to get a rego, the public would be horrified. It's the same thing."
Workers held a memorial service for Ronald Shore in Sydney, last Thursday. His body is being flown back to New Zealand for burial.
A mass meeting, last Friday, decided Baulderstone Hornibrooke's cross-city tunnel job would remain closed until geotechnical surveys and safety audits had been completed.
AWU organiser, Kevin Browne, said tunnellers on three city jobs had been "extremely generous" in providing support for Shore's family.
The union hopes to make a six-figure contribution to a trust fund that is being established for his daughters in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Labor Council is backing AWU and CFMEU bids to meet Industrial Relations Minister, John Della Bosca, over occupational health and safety in the sector.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has raised concerns about Choice HR allowing only a few seconds break every hour for the 100 labour hire employees it contributes to the Newcastle operation.
The CPSU has lodged a dispute with the Industrial Relations Commission, claiming staff are being exposed to unsafe and unfair work practices.
Telstra's use of labour hire means operators sitting alongside one another are on different sets of conditions.
Local union members have organised a petition against the unsafe breaks policy.
Choice staff work alongside Telstra employees whose union-negotiated agreement provides for proper breaks every 70 minutes.
When the CPSU took staff concerns to Choice HR recently, the company stood by its guidelines, which the CPSU claims would be unacceptable at virtually every other Australian call centre.
According to CPSU Communications Division Secretary, Paul Ingwersen, the difference in rest breaks between the Telstra employees and labour hire staff is "completely unacceptable".
"What Choice HR is doing is unsafe and we will pursue this matter until all staff receive adequate rest breaks," says Ingwersen. "We think it's quite reasonable that labour hire employees get similar breaks. There's absolutely no justification for the Choice HR policy that a few seconds break every half hour is sufficient.
"All the health and safety guidelines say that you have to have regular and frequent breaks. We've taken a stand on this issue."
The CPSU also believes these practices have implications for Telstra customers.
"Under these arrangements, some staff are going to be more fatigued than others when dealing with enquiries and complaints," says Ingwersen. "To guarantee quality service for customers, surely it is in Telstra's interest to ensure that everyone doing call-centre work for them gets decent, regular rest breaks."
by Marcus Strom
This is an obituary that should not be written. Josh died too young with too much to offer the world. His warmth and humanity will be missed by all who knew him. He was a thoroughly ethical person in all his dealings, personal and political.
Josh grew up on the central coast of New South Wales before attending the privileged halls of Barker College in Sydney. He was dux of his class. His experience at Barker bred in him a loathing of such privilege and fostered his need to connect with working class life. At university, he became active in campus politics, joining Left Alliance. He worked in a number of jobs: graphic designer for the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers union in Sydney, executive officer for the National Tertiary Education Union at Sydney University, a geography teacher and intrepid world traveller, among others. He finally worked for the NSW Commission for Children and Young People. He was active supporting youth rights against the police. He was a member of the Progressive Public Service Association, the left faction of the PSA union in NSW.
A sometimes member of the Socialist Alliance in Australia, Josh tired easily of the far left's myopia. The continual 'happy clappy' attitude of the left's revivalism and its dead-end sect perspectives irked him. While committed to the idea of refounding a genuine Communist Party in Australia, he latterly spent much of his formidable energy in his personal relationships and on his outstanding sporting abilities. The love of a wonderful woman, Gwen, saw him happier and more relaxed than at any time I knew him.
He was fiercely competitive without ever being obnoxious in victory. A keen sportsman and a bit of an adrenaline junky, Josh had been a skier since childhood. A skilled soccer player and a polymath of sport, he took up surfing, wrestling and kick-boxing to pass his time. Man, was he fit.
I first met Josh while teaching at Macquarie University in Sydney. He was a student of mine. Through our activity in campus politics we became friends. As he moved away from his earlier anarchist and 'green' leanings, we became firm comrades. He was without doubt one of the finest human beings I have ever met.
Josh took his life seriously and was committed to his friends and family without a trace of cynicism. My comrade saw the perverse and absurd side of life and was happy to laugh along with it over a nice rare steak and a beer. He was bloody good company and a top cook.
Words fail me. I will grieve Josh's passing for a long time to come and will look for him and his humanity in our friends and comrades for years to come. His body is trapped permanently in a glacier beneath the mountain that took him. It is fitting that a mountain stands as a monument to Josh. His was a huge personality and his love was boundless.
My dear friend and comrade, you are desperately missed. My thoughts are with Gwen his partner, Carol, Bill and Angela. A red salute to you Josh, you are not forgotten.
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.
Several other local authorities - including Bankstown, the Blue Mountains and Waverley - have the issue on their agendas as community anger over the compensation rip-off grows.
The move was sparked by a joint CFMEU-AMWU approach to Labor Council, last month, calling for community and workplace action against the one-time blue chip.
Seven mayors attended this week's CFMEU delegates meeting and pledged their, or their council's, backing for the boycott.
Bankstown mayor Helen Westwood said the campaign would affect James Hardie's "bottom line - and that seems to be what they respond to."
Following the meeting, CFMEU delegates marched en masse on the inquiry into James Hardie's corporate behaviour where more sensational allegations were being made.
Michael Slattery, QC, told the commission Hardie had deliberately kept trust fund directors "starved" of information and isolated from actuaries.
That fund, MRCF, was set up by Hardies to control assets available to victims of its asbestos products when it moved to the Netherlands.
James Hardie told the Supreme Court it would leave behind assets worth $1.9 billion for use of creditors. A year later it cancelled that arrangement, without informing the court, shareholders, the stock market, or asbestos sufferers.
Actuaries estimate that with Hardie having gone Dutch, the trust fund it left behind will fall as much as $2.4billion short of meeting compensation claims.
Slattery, acting for MRCF, referred to a lawyer's letter that had been changed by a James Hardie executive so victims would not be informed of plans to remove assets.
The support of councils came after the AMWU called for state government to bar Hardies products from its sites, and to pass legislation that would force the company to meet compensation claims.
NSW Premier, Bob Carr, told the Sydney Morning Herald, this week, he was "inclined to support" a ban by state government contractors.
Leichhardt mayor, Alice Murphy, said her council would boycot company products until "full compensation was guaranteed to existing and future victims of asbestos related diseases".
Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, and her Parramatta counterpart, Julia Finn, confirmed their councils had voted to support the boycott.
Great Southern Railways agreed to improve safety after Unions alleged a litany of safety breaches by the operator, including frequent cases of carriage doors being left unlocked.
Unions called on South Australian Transport Minister, Trish White, to conduct an independent inquiry into the operator of The Ghan, The Overlander and the Indian Pacific following the South Australian tragedy.
The Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) claims the death of the elderly woman who lay undiscovered for hours until spotted by the driver of a freight train travelling in the opposite direction, underscores deeper problems.
Great Southern Railways have been embroiled in a long running safety row amid accusations that it is working casuals, employed under AWAs, "into the ground until they leave".
"There has been an ongoing campaign since Great Southern Railways took over The Ghan, the Overlander and the Indian Pacific to get fair employment conditions," says Greg Harvey, RTBU assistant national secretary. "They get young kids in straight from McDonalds. It doesn't take the kids long to realise that it's not all that great."
"They don't sack them. They just don't bother giving any work to anyone who speaks up."
The RTBU had threatened legal action against Great Southern Railways for breaching safety laws, but the operator agreed to union demands for improved safety in last minute talks.
"This result is an indication that collective power can make things happen," says Greg Harvey.
United Trades and Labor Council (UTLC) of South Australia Secretary, Janet Giles says common sense prevailed.
"This is not just a win for unions, but a win for worker safety, and importantly a win for public safety," says Giles. "GSR will have no choice but to adhere to proper health and safety standards."
The Liberal Party's one-time national president rocked a 500-strong crowd in Spingwood with a no-holds-barred assessment of the current Prime Minister and insistence he had to be stopped.
"Howard has dragged us into the war in Iraq, dragged the Liberal Party to the Right, and now he's dragging it further Right," Valder said.
"I've branded Bush, Blair and Howard war criminals and I make no apology for branding them war criminals.
"The slaughter and destruction are still going on. They have unleashed war, destruction and maiming on the Iraqi people, then they are actually going to profit from the repairs."
Valder warned his audience about anti-terrorism laws that would leave Australians "guilty until proven innocent."
"I shudder to think what freedoms will be next in jeopardy. I'm never going to vote for John Howard again."
Valder was the Liberals' national president during the 1980s and a strong backer of Howard in his tussles with would-be Prime Minister, Andrew Peacock.
He resigned his position in 1987, frustrated with continued sniping between the high-profile front benchers.
Valder suggested Howard had led Australia and the Liberal Party into a crisis.
He said Party membership had plumetted since the Howard Government began its program to redesign Australia.
Valder said membership in Howard's home state, NSW, had crashed from around 103,000 20 years ago to about 10,000.
In Victoria, he said, traditional liberals were walking away "in disillusionment".
Since the Howard Government was elected in 1996, more than 42 percent of all new jobs have been casual, according to ACTU research released this week.
Australia now has the second highest proportion of temporary or casual workers of any developed country with the vast majority missing out on entitlements once considered rights.
ACTU president Sharon Burrow says the fact so many countries have much lower rates of casual work shows insecurity is not essential to a competitive economy and the problem can be fixed.
Casual work was designed for short-term jobs or widely varying hours, but unions allege casual status is increasingly used by employers to avoid basic entitlements.
The research shows casuals, who make up 28 percent of the workforce, get paid 21percent less than permanent workers even though they receive an extra pay loading.
The low pay and lack of permanency means banks are reluctant to lend to casuals. Only 35% of casuals own their own home compared to 60% of permanent workers.
The insecure nature of the work has prompted the Labor Council of NSW to run a ground breaking secure employment test case in the IRC.
They are seeking:
- to be offered permanent employment when they have worked regularly for six months.
- to be paid the same rates as those employed by the host employer
- that contracting employers must offer existing workers alternative employment with the contractor - at the same rate of pay.
The prominent environmentalist, former rock star and now ALP candidate, Peter Garrett was guest of honour at the MUA veteran's weekly get together.
"They call me a tree hugger and a feral, but the fact is all my campaigns have a strong human dimension," Garrett told the gathering of 60 retired wharfies and seafarers, wives and MUA officials. "I reject life as a jungle. There's only been one dominant force for reforming this country and that's Labor. I made up my mind years back that if I ever joined a political party, I'd join the ALP."
Garrett outlined his three primary commitments if a Latham Government was elected - Australia signing the Kyoto Protocol and committing to a renewable energy and job creation projects such as wind power; saving the Murray River as well as protecting both jobs and forests in Tasmania.
Other issues close to his heart were a coastal policy and funding for public housing.
Garrett attacked Howard's policy on airport noise saying "We have planes going over working class areas of Maroubra and Malabar, but none go over Bennelong,"
Garrett is campaigning for the seat of Kingsford Smith, which encompasses Port Botany container terminals and the communities of waterside workers surrounding it.
He promised to keep the union up to date on plans to expand the port and local environmental concerns.
Boycott and Picket the Safari Restaurant
SUPPORT UNPAID SUBCONTRACT BUILDING COMPANIES IN THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE
How can you help?
Boycott the Safari Restaurant
Sign our Supporters Petition
Make a donation to the campaign
Picket nightly from 6.15pm - 28 King Street, Newtown.
National competition for students - term 3
The Australian Council of Trade Unions' Worksite for Schools website (www.worksite.actu.asn.au) is currently running a national competition for school, TAFE and RTO students - Your Dream Job.
To enter, students must write about the job of their dreams. There is $100 for the student winner, $50 for 2 runners-up, and $25 for the winner of the special effort category.
The competition will not only give students a chance to win, it's a great way for them to learn about the workforce and get them excited about their working future.
Worksite is a terrific source of information about the workforce, providing statistics, encouraging debate, creativity and analysis.
The competition closes Friday 22nd October 2004. More information and an entry form can be obtained from the Worksite website - www.worksite.actu.asn.au.
Please call 1800 659 511 (toll free) or email [email protected] if you have any questions.
hoWARd the arseLIcKEr
-Written by D.B.Valentine - Directed by Mark Cleary
-The Edge Theatre - Cnr King & Bray Sts Newtown
-Advance previews Wed 4th & Thurs 5th August.
-Opening Friday 6th Aug to Sunday 29th Aug.
-Time: 7.30pm (tbc)
-Bookings 9645 1611 or www.mca-tix.com
-More info go to: www.newtowntheatre.com.au click on "The Edge"
HIROSHIMA DAY MARCH
Friday 6 August, 6.00pm at Town Hall, marching to Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park for a Crane and Candle ceremony.
Information: Hiroshima Day Committee, telephone Bronwyn Marks, 9982 4192.
Earthdance Sydney Launch Party
Saturday 7 th August, @ Newtown
52 Enmore Road, Newtown
(ex - Newtown RSL - bring ID with address to sign in)
Metaform kinetic sculpture Exhibition 8pm
Earthdance Documentary Screening 9.00pm
Two rooms of gorgeous grooves:
Sub Bass Snarl
Matt n Kayla
The Loops aka Grey Area
Doors Open 8 pm
$8 before 9 pm $15 After
Proceeds will help to ensure the best possible
Earthdance Community Festival for Peace
Sunday 19 September Sydney Park
(Cnr King St and Princes Hwy)
Saturday 18th September at Federation Square!
Full Programme to be announced shortly
Give Peace A Dance
The Republican Movement and Reconciliation
ARM Sydney Speakers Series #2: author and academic Mark McKenna - Tuesday 10 August 2004
Further details at
Labor and Community Organising in Los Angeles: a popular education approach
12 August Kent Wong seminar - Pop Ed in LA for unions and community organisations
Centre for Popular Education Seminar
Kent Wong Director UCLA Centre for Labor Research and Education
How do unions and community organizations organise in Los Angeles? What role can a University center play as a bridge between the University and the Labor community in Southern California? And how have the dramatic changes in the Southern California economy in recent years shaped this relationship?
Kent Wong, the Centre Director, will talk about the Center and its concentration on working with unions, immigrant worker and other community unions/associations, and how its research - which encourages and draws upon community scholars - provides an important source of information for unions and community organisations. Perhaps this explains why the Center's future has been threatened by Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger's proposed 2004-05 state budget, which aims to dramatically reduce its funds.
When: Thursday 12 August
Where: Centre for Popular Education, UTS
5th Floor Conference Room
235 Jones St, Broadway
Time: 3-5pm followed by drinks
RSVP: [email protected] 9514 3866
IRISH WORKERS TD (MP)TO SPEAK IN NSW
Joe Higgins TD (Socialist Party, Dublin West) is to tour Australia in August 2004. Jailed last year for a month for his involvement in the Bin Tax dispute, Higgins - who worked as a construction worker in Sydney in the 1970s - will be speaking at meetings of the Irish Community, workplace meetings, at a National Union of Workers delegates� meeting and at public meetings in Newcastle, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne about recent workers� and community struggles in Ireland and Europe.
Against an international backdrop of understandable cynicism and distrust of politicians of all political persuasions, Joe Higgins stands out as one politician prepared to back his words with action. Joe is nationally known as a fighter for working class people and for standing for working class unity and socialism, in the South and North of Ireland. Working class people in Ireland know of Joe�s reputation as a class fighter � they have witnessed him fighting for their communities for years, including being sent to prison, along with Socialist Party Councillor Clare Daly, and other activists, during mass anti-bin charges protests, last year.
WHEN AND WHERE:
NEWCASTLE: 6.30pm on Friday August 13th at the Commonwealth Hotel, 35 Union St, Cooks Hill, Newcastle.
SYDNEY: 3pm on Saturday 14th August at the Gaelic Club, 64 Devonshire St, Sydney (near Central station).
The Occupation Of Cockatoo Island 1989
Militant union film showing
A film by Frances Kelly and John Tognolini
In 1989 dockyard workers staged a 93-day long strike and occupation to defend Australia's oldest workplace, Cockatoo island dockyard. Then Prime Minister Bob Hawke and then Defence Minister Kim Beazley shut the yard down, leaving 1600 workers jobless.
Speaker: John Tognolini, former Cockatoo island painter & Docker, now High School teacher and NSW Teachers Federation State Councillor. Plus help launch the new Socialist Alliance Workers Charter
6,30pm, Tuesday 17th of August
Resistance Centre, 23 Abercrombie Street Chippendale
Hosted by Socialist Alliance
Ph: 9690 1977 - 0428 826 347
Qld Consevation Council state conference: August
20, 21 AND 22 AUGUST - Mercure Hotel, Brisbane
QCC STATE CONFERENCE 2004 BOOK NOW!!
Different Voices: Common Cause?
Different Voices: Common Cause promises to deliver an environmental conference with a twist. The theme reflects an attempt to find common cause between differing perspectives on environmental issues. Can developers and environmentalists agree on anything? Is there room for the union movement to work with conservation groups to achieve better environmental and employment outcomes?
Friday Night: Dinner/Forum - The Environment and the Election.
Speakers include: Senator Kerry Nettle (Greens); Mr Kelvin Thomson MP (ALP); and Senator Lyn Allison (Democrats).
Places going quickly, so book now to hear what politicians have to say about the importance of the environment at election times. Includes dinner and drinks.
Saturday and Sunday - Two Streams
Environment Stream: Climate Perspectives; Urban Perspectives; Employment Perspectives; Water Perspectives; Northern Perspectives; Wildlife Perspectives.
Training and Development Stream: Managing Sponsorship; Managing Organisations; Managing Volunteers; Managing People; Managing Fundraising; Managing Media.
PRICING - includes GST
Dinner/Forum Only $70 (no concession available)
Full Conference Sat & Sun $120 ($100) + dinner $180 ($160)
Full Day - includes buffet lunch $70 ($60)
Half Day - includes tea & coffee $40 ($30)
Single Session - includes tea & coffee $ 20 ($15)
(Concessions available for current Full-Time Students and Health Care Card holders only).
Places are limited. Contact Michael at
[email protected] for booking details or call
07 3221 0188.
Qld Conservation Council
166 Ann Street,
Ph: 07 3221 0188
Fax: 07 3229 7992
Rock Against the Free Trade Agreement
Wednesday August 25th. Annandale Hotel
A night of excellent, up-and-coming artists showing the talent and promise of the local music industry, threatened by a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Come and enjoy a mixture of sublime acoustic and pop music, punk, electronic wizardy, hard-rock and funk.
Celebrate it and save it!
Talk about FTA
Wednesday August 25th. Annandale Hotel
Parramatta Rd (Crn Nelson St), Annandale
$8 at the door
Republican Film Night - Tuesday 31 August 2004
Further details at
Films, politics and learning conference
Organization: OVAL Research, Faculty of Education, University of Technology
Dec 6 & 7
These nights aim:
- To bring together radical film-makers, radical film buffs, and radical educators.
- To inspire educators about ways they can use film in their work.
- To inspire film-makers about ways they might facilitate learning about politics.
- To foster discussion and advocacy about this field of practice.
We are seeking videos and films under 2 categories:
1. Agitprop: protest, guerrilla, activist, political, subversive short films /videos.
2. Participatory film-making: community films/videos as social intervention.
The nights will focus on short films and video from artists, activists and educators from the international scene. Your work will be presented to an audience of educators, activists and artists delegates from of the "Education and Social Action" international conference and the general film buffs interested in activism.
The nights are a non-profit event without competition. There are therefore no prizes and no pay involved, but of course you keep the rights.
There is no limitation of geographic origin but speaking Films/Videos must be in English, or subtitled in English. Fiction, documentary, animation or experimental are accepted. Videos must be no more than 10 minutes.
The only format accepted is DVD.
Send copies with entry form to Celina McEwen, The Centre for Popular Education, UTS, PO Box 123, BROADWAY NSW 2007 AUSTRALIA. Entry copies will not be returned, so don't send originals. To confirm receipt your video/film, send a self-addressed stamped postcard.
Deadline for entries is September 30, 2004. Individuals and organisations can submit unlimited number of films, but should complete a separate entry form for each film. All the films may be put on the same tape.
Entry forms can be downloaded from www.cpe.uts.edu.au/pdfs/FPLentry.pdf
For further information email Celina on (02) 9514 3847 or [email protected]
I would like to address all those Men, still alive, but in their latter years, who were Officers of Cadets, in Both Public and Private School, until they were disbanded after the Vietnam War.
They Still remain, in some Schools and Communities, but the Cost of Running is paid for by that Community and the Members.
This Also Includes the Airforce and Naval Cadets.
Following The Press release of the Hon. Malcolm Brough MP, Minister assisting Defence, that a Medal would be Struck for ALL members of the Services, since 1946 and the Offer of The Opposition of 3 years, IF they get into power-- things are still BAD.
I suddenly find, that during My Time as an Officer of Cadets, I had NEVER been a Member of the Australian Army.
Quote "The Australian Cadet Corps is a voluntary organization comprised of
Senior Cadet Detachments raised at educational establishments in all States of the Commonwealth. It serves as a training ground to provide, to some extent, the future officers and non-commissioned officers of the Australian Military Forces, and, as such, occupies a foremost position in the scheme of national defence. The minimum age of enrolment in school detachments is 14 years and cadets, who receive a free issue of A.M.F. pattern uniform, may remain therein until they cease to be pupils of respective educational establishments. "
Now. We ALL spent thousands of Hours, Organising, Training -lunchtime/After
School/ Weekends/ annual Camp -- Attending Courses as Officers.
I lay beside them , as they learnt to Shoot, Scrambled through the Paddocks with them, Congratulated them when they Joined the Regulars and wished them the best, when their marble came up for Vietnam. But, none of us were IN the Army -- I now find.
My Discharge Papers from the Cadets, shows my Period of Enlistment on
Australian Defence Force Stationary, but I find I was NEVER a Member, even a CMF/Reserve.
We could gain a 15 Year Cadet Forces Medal, which is Under Military Medals, in both the Imperial Honours days and the Australian Honours -- is on Sites such as "Its an Honour", but we were Never Soldiers ---- Simply Chaperones.
The State RSL of NSW, now Accepts 10 year Officers of Cadets, as Full Members. They, Obviously, are under the same impression as me -- we were Army.
Where does All this come from?
I now find , from a 101 year Old Act on Defence, that -- section 62(3) of the defence Act 1903 that : "A person appointed to be an officer or instructor in the Australian Army Cadets does not become a member of the Army by virtue of that Appointment".
I and hundreds who have contacted me, would like to see this ' unknown ' Act retrospectively Repealed, so that Officers of Cadets can be classed as ADF
Reserves and be entitled to Awards of the CMF / Reserves.
Most of us, were Ex WW2 or National Service and Adequately trained to be in charge of these units. We MUST be at least equal, to Members of the CMF at the time.
I and Others from this Period, Complain LOUDLY to the Assistant to the Minister for Defence; The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence and your Local Member. Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition and Inform them that :-
We SHOULD get recognition, WELL before 15 years, in a Proper Military Manner
-- Medal and Ribbon.
The promised Australian Defence Medal/Defence Recognition Medal � call it what you will, would be ideal � even if it had a 10c bar stating �CADETS�
I would be Grateful if ALL Affected seniors or their Widows, could Contact me, to TRY and right this inequity.
Ex 40 year Teacher.
Dave MARRINON. JP.
Brunswick Heads. NSW.
Mark Lathams' position on the Free Trade Agreement, is no different on his position on any other issue.
He is surely the political Hermaphrodite of Australian politics.
In the vernacular: He does not know whether he is Arthur or Martha
Team Work Tom
I have just noticed your Workers Online article - Issue No.219 Dob a Driver Strikes Out. May 2004� and found it an interesting read, the same sentiments I had when I worked for Telstra and they introduced the system for reporting their drivers when the public saw fit.
One of the problems with that system was that Professional drivers were at the mercy of the general driving public, and being immune from scrutiny themselves, would apply road rage mentality by reporting those with big targets displayed on their bumpers. The annoyance factor was more the fact that only professional drivers were targeted while the main offenders, the general public (part time drivers) were immune from being reported.
Now that I have that off my chest, let�s get to the reason I'm writing this letter.
There is a system currently available whereby ALL drivers will be held accountable for their actions on the roads and on the water, not just professional drivers. All drivers and general members of the public are able to report reckless and inconsiderate drivers with the use of a pro-forma obtained from the website 'www.dobadriver.com.au'. The difference here is that individual reported incidents accumulate over a period of time can, with the appropriate search criteria, be used by
Insurance companies and the like to hold the real offenders accountable for their past actions, not hauled into the boss's office every time a disgruntled member of the public sees fit.
Although not necessarily the perfect answer, this system should tend to filter out the majority of spurious complaints which can be made with the current phone-in system. This system will also not hold drivers accountable for each and every complaint, but rather for a series of fragmented reports over a period of time
Please visit dobadriver.com.au for further information.
The trouble with Bush and Howard's so-called Free Trade Agreement is that it is a bit like the Holy Roman Empire.
The latter mass barbarity was neither Holy, Roman and nor was it an Empire.
Centuries later the "agreement" also is a nonsensical lie. It, too, is stacked with backstabbing trickery, greed and power mongering. We peasants, as ever, pay.
Can we please have a vote?
Hon Helen Sham-Ho covers the ground well in her forward to Code of Conduct for Members December 2002. Our Government erred during 2000 when Premier Carr and Cabinet became aware of important matters relating to the good government of the people of NSW.
Through Stephen Loosley lobbying among others Premier Carr's Chief of Staff, on behalf of James Hardie Industries. Back room deals made with the specific intent of facilitating the movement of billions in exposed assets beyond the reach of any legitimate claimants. Uninformed workers and indirectly their family, thousands still to be identified have always been entitled to the protection of responsible government, legislating in the best interest of its constituents.
Spoiler legislation has been the response of government in the past to such Bastardy. The Honourable Helen Sham-Ho MLC Covered the ground well when she wrote "The community places a high trust in Members of Parliament and expects high standards of ethical behaviour. I believe our Law requires it.
Where visitors to Sydney were greeted by psychotic well wishers in Ken Done stripes, those risking a trip to Athens will be frisked, vetted and kept away from athletes by private militias of armed guards.
It is the clich� of our times to say that the world changed on September 11, but it takes this global gymkhana to see how this cloud of terror has undermined the global order.
Despite the attempts by the neo-conservatives to blame terror on 'evil states', the perpetrators are really individuals who, through religion, power and politics, have placed themselves outside normal human relations.
This is a war where there are no flags or uniforms just a logic of annihilation that leaves no space for a medal presentation ceremony.
This new form of terror attacks the very idea of the nation state by pitting individuals against armies, loading them up with explosives and then seeing what damage they can do when they pull the pin.
But there is another side, and that is the total dominance of American will as the sole remaining superpower, exercising its power to protect its interests across an increasingly hostile globe.
In the four years since the Sydney Games the global conversation has shifted; the global consensus has been replaced by a mad rush to stitch up deals with the US that will give us an advantage over our neighbours.
Today Australia's international agenda is dominated by talk of pre emptive military action and bilateral trade deals, rather than global trade treaties; we've followed America away from the Kyoto treaty on climate change and we proudly thumb our nose at human rights conventions.
More than ever before the idea of a global contest between nations is pass�. There is the all-powerful America; there are its friends and there are its enemies, all defined as such.
The only certainties of Athens is that America will dominate the gold medals and the only criteria of success will be the absence of suicide bombers.
How far we've come from Sydney 2000, the dream we could all share is now a nightmare we pray we'll avoid.