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Issue No. 244 29 October 2004  

Raking Over The Tea Leaves
Prepare yourselves; you are about to enter the Twilight Zone, a strange world where logic collapses in on itself, where enemies are new friends and assets become liabilities.


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.


 Cameron Flags Fightback

 Latham on Union Mat

 Union Shelters WA Roofers

 Bosses Trip on Electrolux

 Drivers Derail Game Boy

 Asses Get Carrot

 Families Pay More For Homes

 Commonwealth Banks on Sackings

 Back Gong Back in Gong

 "Joke" Fine Death Boss

 Division Over Hardie Laws

 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.

 Honesty Is the best Policy
 Nothing To Stand On
 Itís The End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
 Dear Mark letter
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Activists What's On!

Boycott and Picket the Safari Restaurant

SUPPORT UNPAID SUBCONTRACT BUILDING COMPANIES IN THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE how can you help? Boycott the Safari Restaurant, Sign our Supporters Petition, Make a donation to the campaign and Picket nightly from 6.15pm - 28 King Street, Newtown.

ACTU And Labor Council of NSW Drug, Alcohol and Fatigue Seminar

The ACTU and the NSW Labor Council will be hosting a Drug, Alcohol and Fatigue Seminar at the Sydney Masonic Centre on Wednesday 10 November 2004.

Increasingly employers are insisting that employees and potential employees submit to various forms of testing to ensure they are drug free.

Employees and their unions have opposed many forms of testing as they are intrusive, open to abuse and all too often used to create fear and culture change in the workplace. A number of major employers are currently attempting to force through policies and government and industry safety regulators are attempting to impose standards.

Unions do agree that drugs, alcohol and fatigue don't mix with work and that an impaired worker is a danger to themselves, their fellow workers and others. Unions also seek a holistic response that deals with all causes of impairment, including fatigue and one that recognises the privacy and other rights of employees. There has been a variety of positions put by different unions and union bodies.

The ACTU in association with the State and Territory Labour Councils believes it is time to develop a single view on this important issue. To this end a Drug, Alcohol and Fatigue Seminar will be held at Sydney's Masonic Centre on Wednesday 10 November 2004.

The seminar will have a practical focus and it is hoped it will produce a draft policy on the issue for consideration by the union movement as a whole. Numbers are strictly limited and a $50 fee will apply to cover overheads. Book early to avoid disappointment.

On payment of $50 (GST Inclusive) each participant will receive a booking confirmation by email and details for web access to conference materials.

Forward cheques to ACTU level 2, 393 Swanston Street Melbourne VIC 3000.

Email registration to [email protected] Participants will receive written material, including an updated program in advance of the seminar in electronic form.

The price quoted is inclusive of GST. Upon acceptance of this registration the form becomes a Tax Invoice. ABN 81 849 815 200

Cancellations: You may make substitutions at any time; please notify us as soon as possible. Cancellations must be in writing. Registered delegates who do not attend or who cancel less than two weeks prior to the conference are liable for the entire fee.

Barnesy Does It For East Timorese Kiddies

Thursday November 11th, 6.30pm-11pm, Carlton & United Brewery bar and

function centre, Broadway, (opp.UTS) Australian Jesuit's Foundation "East

Timor Kids Benefit Nite" to send color-in books and pencils to Timor. Entry

$65 .00 (limit 300 people) includes food, drinks, stalls, auction, music.

Performers include Jimmy Barnes. Details .

Women in International Security Department of Defence Briefing

Monday 22nd November, 5.30-6.30pm including question time, Department of

Foreign Affairs and Trade, NSW Office Level 10 Angel Place 123 Pitt Street,

Sydney, 'Women in International Security (Australia)' invite you to a

Department of Defence Briefing Two senior women within the Australian

Department of Defence will share their experiences from recent assignments

in East Timor and Iraq. Speakers: Jacinta Carroll - Director Europe,

Middle East and Rest of the World Major Powers and Global Interests Branch,

International Policy Division Sari Sutton - Acting Director,

South-West Pacific, International Policy Division Guests arrive - 5.15pm.

WIISA event - RSVP - Free Admission. OTHER

NEWS: UNIFEM Australia is currently coordinating the Spring Walk

campaign. Funds raised by will go to UNIFEM's work with Women's Peace and

Security in the Pacific. For further info contact Brooke at

or visit

politics In The Pub

Friday Nov 26th 6-8pm, Politics in the Pub, Gaelic Club, Surry Hills,

"Aceh & West Papua" with Dr Nurdin Rahman and John Martinkus.

150th Anniversary of Eureka Rebellion 2004

The VTHC is organising celebrations. They are as follows:

Saturday 27th November: State Government major event in Federation Square:

Afternoon Family Day

Monday 29th November: Union Commemoration Event Flag raising - Federation Square or Lygon Street at 2.00pm. Simultaneous flag raising at Bakery Hill Ballarat and Latrobe Valley. Win TV to broadcast. VTHC Choir

Thursday 2nd December: 6.00pm: Unions have a presence in Eureka Compound

7.30pm VTHC, NSW & QLD Trade Union Choirs 8.30pm 'A Night Under the Southern Cross'. Story Telling and songs with Richard Franklin, Shayne Howard, Dennis Court

Friday 3rd December (Eureka Day): Dawn Ceremony at Eureka Compound

(Community and unions), followed by Community Breakfast. 9.00am Union Train from Melbourne. 10.30am Ballarat Building Unions Picnic. 8.00pm Danny Spooner

- History of Eureka at Ballarat Trades Hall.

Saturday 4th December: 2.00pm Eureka Diggers March. It is proposed that a bus will leave Carlton at aprox 10.00am, and leaving Ballarat at 4.00pm.

Sunday 5th December: 12 noon: Eureka Memorial Committee Dinner at Ballarat.

For more information:


Sat Dec 4th, 9am-1pm, UTS Broadway,Achehnese Community of Australia

(ACA) seminar on human rights abuses in Aceh. Speakers include Ed Aspinall,

Justice John Dowd, etc. Contact Vacy (02)9949-3553. .

Films, Politics and Learning Conference

Organization: OVAL Research, Faculty of Education, University of Technology 6 & 7 Dec These nights aim:

- To bring together radical film-makers, radical film buffs, and radical educators.

- To inspire educators about ways they can use film in their work.

- To inspire film-makers about ways they might facilitate learning about politics.

- To foster discussion and advocacy about this field of practice.

We are seeking videos and films under 2 categories:

1. Agitprop: protest, guerrilla, activist, political, subversive short films /videos.

2. Participatory film-making: community films/videos as social intervention. The only format accepted is DVD.

Send copies with entry form to Celina McEwen, The Centre for Popular Education, UTS, PO Box 123, BROADWAY NSW 2007 AUSTRALIA. Deadline for entries is September 30, 2004. Entry forms can be downloaded from

For further information email Celina on (02) 9514 3847 or [email protected]


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