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Issue No. 242 15 October 2004  

Historical Revisions
It was a common refrain on Saturday night as we cried in our beers, hurled vitriol at the TV set and wondered how big the shellacking would be this time around: Howard won on a lie.


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 MUAís 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.


 Donít Worry, Be Organised

 Senate Faces Family Fight

 Cheques Cashed In Seconds

 "Undemocractic" Taskforce Court Out

 Power to People: On Hold

 Eyes Have It Over Lotto

 Bomb in Santaís Sack

 No Picnic in Park

 Smoking Loophole A Bit Rich

 BlueScope Workers Take Stock

 ABC Radio Clash

 Melbourne Goes Global

 No Justice for Joel

 Mercury Falling in Hobart

 Last Gasp for Monitoring

 Kiddie Photos Victory

 Thousands Up for Grabs

 Activists What's On!


True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues Itís Time Ė for an IR reality check.

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

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

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

 Giving Your Soul Away
 Invest in Dignity Part III
 You Need Help
 Medicare Woes
 Whose Party Is It Anyway?
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Eyes Have It Over Lotto

Queensland maintenance workers are trying to export a non-invasive testing regime beyond a dozen CSR sites where it was adopted, earlier this year.

The argument has moved north to Queensland Nickel Industries, at Yabulu, where 120 tradesmen are resisting attempts to impose drug and alcohol testing, they say is irrelevant to workplace safety.

"We don't care how many jars you pee into, none of them will tell whether you are fatigued or tired," AMWU organiser, Darren Trask says.

"This form of testing has nothing to do with workplace safety and everything to with disciplinary procedures and imposing a set or moral values.

"Let's be clear, our members are totally opposed to working alongside impaired colleagues. It's their lives at stake. But a form of workplace lotto is not the answer.

"Under this system, if you'd been out with your mate Keith Richard two weeks ago, you would face a disciplinary procedure and possibly lose your job. But if the teetotaller next to you was totally stressed and fatigued, nobody would ever know.

"Fatigue and stress are major safety issues, especially up here when it gets hot."

The AMWU is promoting its CSR agreement as the way forward for workers facing impairment testing.

Earlier this year, it knocked back a CSR attempt to impose alcohol and drug testing in favour of a joint approach that settled on a machine that tests eye movement and pupil dilation to record impairment.

If workers fail the test, for whatever reason, they are stood down.

"We want safe workplaces not another excuse for people to be disciplined," Trask says.

Transfield has rejected the CSR blueprint but workers suspect it is being driven by QNI whose own employees are subject to invasive, random testing.

The AMWU was successful in resisting the demand during EBA negotiations but the contractor has come back for a second bite.

The parties were locked in mediation, last week, and are understood to be preparing cases for a Federal IRC hearing.


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