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Issue No. 245 05 November 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

What’s In a Name?
McDonalds is doing it, IAG has done it, James Hardie desperately needs to do it – and now the Labor Council of NSW is doing it, re-working its brand to meet the changing demands of their markets.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The Reich Stuff
Robert Reich has led the debate on the future of work – both as an academic and politician. Now he’s on his way to Australia to help NSW unions push the envelope.

Economics: Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Environment: Beyond The Wedge
Whether the great forestry divide can ever be overcome or whether it is best sidestepped for the sake of unity and sustainability in other areas is up for debate, writes Tara de Boehmler.

International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews show us How To Kill A Country

Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Nick Lewocki from the RTBU lifts the lid on the shonky science behind RailCorp testing

Politics: Labo(u)r Day
John Robertson lets fly at this years Labor Day dinner

Human Rights: Arabian Lights
Tim Brunero reports on how a Sydney sparky took on the Taliban and lived to tell the tale.

History: Labour's Titan
Percy Brookfield was a big man who was at the heart of the trade union struggles that made Broken Hill a quintessential union town writes Neale Towart.

Review: Foxy Fiasco
To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! Brother George has saved the White House from an invasion by infidels, writes resident bard David Peetz.

N E W S

 Unions Dump Labor

 Shearers Brush Woolly Mammoths

 Girls Should Be Short Changed

 Sydney Turns Down Volume

 Minister Rides Collie

 Staff, Trees Weather the Blame

 Offshore Embassy for Families

 Visy Paper Folds

 Workers Unplug Power Cuts

 Silverwater Offers Porridge

 Environment Wiped Out In Dubbo

 Justice Eludes Kariong Staff

 Nelson Flags Another Raid

 Five Steps to Sanity

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Locker Room
In Naming Rights Only
Phil Doyle has Gone to Gowings

The Soapbox
Homeland Insecurity
Rowan Cahill tells us how the Howard Government’s appointment of Major-General Duncan Lewis to head up the national security division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has received little critical comment, until now.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
New proposed legislation in NSW provides a vital window of opportunity for unions to ensure they achieve convictions for workplace deaths, writes Ian West.

L E T T E R S
 Too Young
 Let's Start A New Party
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News

Unions Dump Labor


The Labor Council of NSW will change it’s name because it holds confusing, and sometimes negative, meanings for a generation of younger workers.

Endorsing the new identity, ‘Unions NSW", secretary John Robertson said the decision was based on research, including focus groups of young workers and election exit polling that found less than half of all union members voted for the ALP.

The name change, to take effect in January 2005, is part of a broader move by Robertson to 're-brand' unions for a new generation of workers.

"This move means no disrespect to the history of the Labor Council of NSW, more a recognition that we need to change to maintain our relevance," Robertson says.

"Having seen the research - and particularly the attitudes of younger workers, two things were clear: they do not like politicians and they think Labor Council is a political body.

"In contrast, there is no suggestion of hostility to unions, just a lack of awareness of their relevance and an ignorance of our historical achievements.

"In this context, the role of a peak body must be to portray the positives of unionism - and trading as 'Labor Council' it is clear we are making that task harder than it need be."

The name change will apply to all operations of the Labor Council including official titles of officials, public statements, presentations, meetings and official duties.

< b>Exit 'Rusted On' Labor Voters

The move to re-brand Labor Council has been reinforced by research showing less than half of union members gave their first preference to the ALP in the recent federal election.

A poll of 403 NSW union members, conducted by Auspoll in the fortnight following the federal election, found:

- 49 per cent voted for the ALP

- 31 per cent voted for the Coalition

- and 12 per cent voted Green.

On a two-party preferred basis, Labor enjoyed a 65-35 split, significantly more than he 47-53 election result, but far short of unanimous support .

"This research suggests two things, " Robertson says.

"First, the ALP can not take union members for granted. There is a real challenge to the ALP to differentiate itself from the Coalition in terms of the policies it presents.

"Second, it suggests that while union members are not party political - but that they do expect all sides of politics to give them the legal right to bargain collectively."


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