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Issue No. 240 01 October 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

The Premiership Quarter
After spending the past month with a decidedly sinking feeling, there’s a whiff of hope and expectation that the Howard era could actually be coming to an end.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The Last Bastian
AMWU state secretary Paul Bastian has been at the centre of the three year battle to bring James Hardie to account.

Unions: High and Dry
Jim Marr unpacks the recent High Court Electrolux decision to test whether the ruling matches the media hype.

Security: Liquid Borders
The Howard Government loves to trumpet its national security credentials but a close look at its record in shipping sinks the myth argues MUA’s Zoe Reynolds.

Industrial: No Bully For You
Phil Doyle reports on how bringing dignity and respect to the workplace is undermining bullies.

History: Radical Brisbane
Radical Brisbane extends the 'Radical City' series into the Red North. Two experienced activists, academics and writers turn South East Queensland history on its head.

International: No Vacancies
More than 1400 hotel union workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 2, are on strike at four major hotels in San Francisco, California, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Life After Capitalism
A situation that all anarchists dream of? Michael Albert has been more than dreaming., writes Neale Towart

Technology: Cyber Winners
Labourstart's Eric Lee looks at a good news story of global online campaigning that has delivered a victory.

Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Teaser: Wondering why the polls are all over the place? Ask our resident bard and psephologist.

Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Voice of Southern Labor highlights the role music played in the 1930's US textile strikes, but more than that it provides a lucid insight into the roots of modern capitalism and some truly organic organising, writes Tara de Boehmler.

N E W S

 Kev Cooks the Books

 Black Hole In Libs Kids Plan

 Xerox Copies Waterfront Tactics

 Hardies Asbestos Woes "Snowballs"

 Air Fleet Grounded By Job Cuts

 Musos Lung For Better

 Customs Officers Declare

 Dumbing Down The Trades

 Pacific National Sidetracks Hunter Jobs

 Witch Hunt For Whistleblower

 Black Diamond Deaths Spark Mining Inquiry

 Pensioners Strip Over Pension Strip

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

Politics
True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues It’s Time – for an IR reality check.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Much work has been done in the past to ease the plight of clothing outworkers in New South Wales. It's time to step up the pressure, as sweatshops and clothing contract work are thriving stronger than ever, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Who Started the Class War?
Evan Jones looks across the Australian political landscape and asks who are the real class warriors?

The Locker Room
First Past The Post
Phil Doyle is coming up in class and is all the better for recent racing

Parliament
Westie Wing
Our favourite state MP returns for his monthly Macquarie Street wrap.

Postcard
Positive Action
Australian unionists are helping give hope to Filipino workers living with HIV/AIDS.

L E T T E R S
 Donkey Vote
 Problem Solved
 How To Run Society
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Pacific National Sidetracks Hunter Jobs


Hunter Valley manufacturing jobs have been threatened by rail freight operator Pacific National moving to source flat top wagons from China despite previous safety problems with imported rolling stock.

Ninety flat top wagons arrived in the port of Newcastle on the Cape Dorrington and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) believes another shipment is due to arrive in mid-October.

The move comes despite three Hunter Valley engineering firms - Goninans, Varley Engineering and EDI Rail - possessing the competence and expertise to manufacture quality rolling stock locally.

Varley Engineering has already been bringing up to scratch wheat wagons that arrived from China with numerous problems including critical braking and suspension faults.

"This is another blow for apprentices," says Melissa Kennedy from the AMWU. "How can Australian companies make a commitment to training apprentices when companies like Pacific National show no commitment to Australian produced goods."

"This is a practical demonstration of what is in store for Australia under the Free Trade Agreement, when procurement policy goes out the window."

The three rolling stock manufacturers employ over 600 workers in the Hunter and the AMWU is concerned that bypassing Australian manufacturers will threaten these jobs.

Kennedy likened Pacific National's move to buying from a cheap discount store rather than a reputable manufacturer.


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