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Issue No. 242 15 October 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

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 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.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

Politics
True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues Itís Time Ė 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
 Giving Your Soul Away
 Invest in Dignity Part III
 You Need Help
 Medicare Woes
 Whose Party Is It Anyway?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Power to People: On Hold


NSW punted 42 highly-skilled electricity workers less than 24 hours before the state was plunged into the summerís first power crisis.

Last Tuesday, infrastructure specialists remaining from the privatisation of Pacific Power, were given six hours to pack their belongings and vacate offices. By Wednesday afternoon, dozens of northern Sydney homes had lost power as the system failed to handle 38 degree temperatures.

Treasurer Michael Egan announced the forced redundancies of workers who had repeatedly turned their backs on more generous severance offers.

Axed USU member, Mark Gill, said workmates hadn't wanted golden handshakes, they simply wanted to work but attempts to relocate to other State Owner Enterprises had been thwarted by an apparent blacklist.

Gill said the state's power system faced problems because "short sighted, market-driven" policies had driven skilled workers out of the industry.

He described his personal situation as ironic. Last Saturday, he was handing out How to Votes for federal Labor but by Tuesday its state counterpart had terminated his 30-year commitment to the power industry.

The PSA's Steve Turner said Egan had loaded electricity generators with hundreds of millions of dollars of debt that would eventually be paid by consumers but had refused rejected attempts to relocate the workers.

"On Tuesday they sacked people with energy qualifications and the ability to power stations and, on Wednesday, we had blackouts because generators didn't have enough power to deal with a hot day," Turner said.

"This government claims we have excess generating capacity but that's certainly not the case when temperatures climb."

Turner warned that NSW could find itself replicating the Auckland situation where the privatised system collapsed, after maintenance was neglected, causing businesses to lose millions of dollars.

Both the PSA and USU are accusing state government of breaking an agreement not to impose forced redundancies on public sector workers.


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