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Issue No. 246 12 November 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

How It Comes To This
There are times when a worker has no real option than to take a stand, no matter the cost. This is the situation confronting NSW’s 15,000 rail workers right now.

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

 Workers Seize Cat

 Castle Hill Uprising

 Carr Flips on Rail

 Producers Call "Cut"

 Fly Me To … Anywhere

 Saint Buzz: Hymn the Man

 Patricks Attacks Westies

 Cold Comfort for Scientists

 Mothball Bowls Port Hedland

 Boss Rejects AWA

 Asbestos Audit Refused

 Bear Mauls Children

 "Leave or Leave," Telstra

 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
 What about the real crooks?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Carr Flips on Rail


Sydney commuters are in limbo as rail workers battle the state government’s split personality.

On one day, last week, NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca said the state would not cop Federal Industrial relations laws, while Premier Bob Carr threatened to use them against rail workers.

"What Bob Carr needs is a reality check," AMWU secretary Paul Bastian said. "He needs to realise he's there to represent workers.

"For too long the government has tried to shift the blame onto workers. It's not on."

Bastian, whose union represents maintenance workers at RailCorp, lambasted the government for failing to maintain adequate investment in rail infrastructure.

Industrial action by united rail unions is looming as RailCorp management refuse to shift from a 'take it or leave it' approach to EBA negotiations.

Bosses Get Rise

This comes as RailCorp senior management trousers pay rises of up to $15,000 a year for presiding over the chaotic system.

Since government and one media outlet target rail staff for the system's shambles frontline workers have been bearing the brunt of a 'trainrage' empidemic.

Union leaders have called for the public to not blame frontline staff for the systems failings.

Meanwhile, commuter anger has coalesced into a refuse-to-pay-day scheduled for Monday, November 22.

The campaign has been organised by Rebecca Turner from the Sydney suburb of Carlingford.

Turner is appealing to disgruntled commuters to refuse to buy a ticked on the 22nd to protest against the state of Sydney's train system.

"We support the public campaign over poor service and understand their difficulties," Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, says.

"Public inquiries at stations tells us there will be thousands of people turning up without tickets on Monday 22nd November 2004. This will result in commuters arriving without tickets creating potentially unsafe situations on the stations, which may require station staff to open automatic barriers to facilitate the safe movement of passengers.

"It would be impossible for Transit Officers to issue fines for thousands of commuters.

"We would expect them to assist in safely moving people."

Turner has set up an email address for frustrated commuters to get in touch with her campaign. The address is [email protected]


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