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Issue No. 239 24 September 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Moral Victories
The release of the Jackson Inquiry into James Hardie may represent the completion of one chapter of Australia’s largest corporate scandal, but it is by no means the end of the story.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Delta Parties Like It’s 1994

 Shot In The Arm for Dealers

 Corporates Vote for AWAs

 Mind Game for the Discriminating

 Electrolux "Try On" Rebuffed

 Cultural Revolution Purges Howard

 Xerox On The Blink

 Billions Hidden Behind the Veil

 Customs Crosses the Border

 Toolbox Gimmick Threatens Awards

 Cleaners Clean Up

 u r brkng t law

 Unions Join Power Surge

 Vulnerable Lose Shot At Life

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

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.

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

Postcard
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.

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

L E T T E R S
 I Say I Say I Say
 I Say I Say I Say II
 Vote Early, And Often
 No Surplus Of Generosity
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Customs Crosses the Border


Australia’s border security has been left in the hands of people who seem to think no means yes.

After Customs management ran a straw poll of staff members about an enterprise bargaining proposal, they interpreted the 67 percent vote against as an endorsement.

More than 2000 officers, 44 percent of Customs employees, responded to the poll but agency boss, John Jefferies, announced his belief that silence implied consent.

According to Jeffries those who didn't vote "did not feel strongly that the approach adopted so far by Customs management is unreasonable."

Customs officers dealing with the post Twin Towers environment reacted with dismay.

"Customs officers regularly uncover all manner of twisted and concealed objects but jaws just dropped at this one," said CPSU official Evan Hall. "Management's position is indefinsible. It is trying to call black, white."

Workers have been campaigning for nine months over wages and job opportunities. Their existing agreement expires next week.

The Customs Service, facing increased community and political expectation, is 150 positions short of full complement.

"One of the reasons our customs service remains understaffed is because the pay is ordinary," Hall said. "If government is fair dinkum about border protection it needs to adequately reward the people on the front line."


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