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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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The Greening of Labour

In a break with tradition, the AMWU will donate $50,000 to the Australian Greens in the run-up to next month�s federal election.

National president, Julius Roe, confirmed that a substantial chunk of his organisation�s election spend would go to the Greens in recognition of their "consistent support for issues that will make a difference to our members and their families".

Roe highlighted the positions taken by Bob Brown's party with regard to free trade and industrial relations.

The AMWU will also make contributions of up to $10,000 to 16 individual ALP candidates who have supported union members on free trade and manufacturing jobs.

Roe is urging union members to get involved in the campaign to evict John Howard from the Lodge.

"This Government is the most anti-worker in Australia's history," Roe says. "It is in the interests of all our members, and their families, that it is defeated on October 9.

"It has betrayed Australia's economic, cultural and political independence by putting George Bush's interests ahead of our own. The war in Iraq, and the US Free Trade Agreement were clear examples of that."

Roe conceded the AMWU had been "very disappointed" by ALP support for Howard on free trade, particularly after the Senate committee it dominated listed dozens of concerns.

However, he said, AMWU national councillors, had identified four key policy areas - health, education, industrial relations and industry policy - where members would be better off under an ALP regime.

Roe said ALP stances on Medicare, public education, apprenticeship training, industry planning and "redressing the balance in the workplace" put it "light years" ahead of the Coalition.

He described those issues as "central to the wellbeing of working Australians".

AMWU national councillors are asking activists, delegates and rank and file members to do what they can in the lead-up to polling day. Anyone able to lend support to the ALP or Greens campaigns should contact their state union office.

Meanwhile, NSW Labor Council will invite Greens IR spokesperson Kerry Nettle to address delegates in the build-up to the election.

Secretary John Robertson said delegates should understand that unions with members on federal awards would be "in much worse positions" if Greens and Democrat senators hadn't rejected the most "draconian" aspects of the federal government's workplace wish list.

Robertson said an ALP speaker would also be invited to speak to delegates in the election build-up.


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