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Issue No. 236 03 September 2004  

Interest Overboard
A tired, ageing government tries to scare the electorate into re-electing it on the basis of a lie. Sound familiar? Yep, John Howard is going to the polls again.


Interview: True Matilda
Former senior bureaucrat John Menadue coordinated the group of 43 calling for truth in government; and now he has bigger fish to fry.

Politics: State of Play
Are all political parties the same? Workers Online tries to cut through the jargon to compare the major parties' approaches to key policy areas.

Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Public Private Partnerships amount to privatisation by stealth. Or do they? Jim Marr investigates.

Unions: Rhodes Scholars
Tim Brunero discovers how the Electrical Trades Union is doing its best to ease the national apprentice crisis.

National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
Noel Hester previews how unions will be fighting the federal election - on the ground and online.

International: People Power
Over the next four years there is a real potential a major struggle will take place for workers� rights and the creation of truly democratic unions in China., writes Andrew Casey

Economics: A Bit Rich
Who Gets What? Why? And So What?, Frank Stilwell reviews the BRW's Rich List

History: Mine Shafts
It's 25 years since Nymboida passed the baton to United, writes Peter Murray

Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Former RAAF engineers could be sitting on a health time bomb, Tim Brunero reports.

Organising: Building a Wave
Community groups, unions and social movements all practice organising, wrties Tony Brown and Amanda Tattersall.

Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
How dare any Liberal suggest that the Prime Minister is a lying rodent! Resident bard David Peetz reports on the outrage that this slur has justifiably caused.

Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Tim Brunero writes The Battle of Algiers is a coldly objective, almost scientific anatomy of revolution.

Culture: The Word On The Street
Phil Doyle reports on how the Australian working class experience lives on through the words of the remarkable Geoff Goodfellow.


 Sprung: Howard Liberal with Truth

 Yanks Demand Racism

 The Greening of Labour

 Mums Move to Ease Squeeze

 Flying Kangaroo Goes to Water

 Health Warning for Bank Robbers

 Heritage Goes to Waste

 Freespirit in Hiding

 Offensive Toilets Threaten Pupils

 Telstra Dials Workplace Acquiescence

 P-Plate Nightmare for Young

 Free Loaders on Notice

 Funny Money Raises Interest

 Privatisation Debate Energised

 Activists What's On!


The Soapbox
Hail to the Metro-Sexual!
If the cultural shift required in the workplace to give greater security to working families was broadly accepted the ACTU would not be locked in an adversarial Work and Family test case argues Sharan Burrow.

The Westie Wing
In his latest missive from Macquarie Street our resident Parliamentary commentator, Ian West, walks us through issues around the PBS.

How Bush Lost His Wings
Tracking the National Guard Career of the Fatuous Flyboy from New Haven, Jeffrey St Clair.

The Locker Room
The Name of the Game
Phil Doyle wonders whether we are barracking for the sponsor or the team.

Women to Women
APHEDA-Union Aid Abroad is working to create opportunities for Palestinian women living in Lebanese refugee camps.

 Gold Gold Gold for Neolibs
 Co-operating At All Costs
 Fan Mail
 All Good Except You
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Yanks Demand Racism

Australian Defence Industries (ADI) wants to duck Australian laws so it can comply with American demands that foreign-born workers be denied jobs.

ADI has applied for an exemption from the state�s Equal Opportunities Act so it can sack or transfer employees to comply with requirements attached to specific multi-million dollar US contracts.

Unions WA has been formally joined to the company's application and AMWU secretary, Jock Ferguson, is promising to fight ADI every step of the way.

"This application is a direct attack on Australian values and the Australian way of life at the instigation of a foreign power," Ferguson says. "It's industrial apartheid, it's outrageous and it is unacceptable because it reinforces negative racial stereotypes."

People born in at least 20 countries, including China and Vietnam, are barred from working on specified US defence contracts, by order of the President, but the ADI application would allow it to deny employment to anyone not born in Australia or the US.

Ferguson said not only does ADI want the green light to bar people on the basis of race or nationality, but it has also put forward a proposal to make staff wear distinguishing badges and to publish lists of employees and their birthplaces.

The American demands wouldn't just apply to ADI's US defence contracts but to Australian organisations that, in turn, had contractual relationships with the US armed forces.

ADI concedes the American requirements would rule out nearly 40 percent of its current Perth staff of around 220.

"This is John Howard and George Bush imposing American values by demanding that our state and federal laws be over-ridden," Unions WA secretary, Stephanie Mayman, says.

She says victory for ADI in the Equal Opportunities Tribunal would be hollow if it could not prevail apon the Federal Government to change its Workplace Relations Act that also forbids discrimination.

Western Australian Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Yvonne Henderson, will also oppose the ADI bid.

The case will be heard later this year.

Media reports suggest that ADI has already been granted an exemption from Victoria's anti-discrimination law and that it is applying to dodge the rules in NSW, Queensland and South Australia.


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