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Issue No. 249 03 December 2004  

Moral Majority
Unions NSW is currently hosting one of the world�s great thinkers in Robert Reich; academic, commentator and Clinton labour secretary; a man with a mind as big as the dilemmas progressive politics face right now.


Interview: Minority Report
New federal ALP industrial relations spokesman Stephen Smith on the hostilities in store for the labour movement.

Industrial: Girl Power
Tim Brunero looks at how women are making their mark in a once-male dominated trade.

Unions: Made in NZ
Jim Marr looks behind the rhetoric to uncover what the Howard Government has in store for Australian workers.

History: Spirit for a Fair Go
Paddy Gorman looks at the importance of Eureka on the Australian political psyche.

Economics: Fool's Gold
Tom Bramble identifies some contradictions in Howard's economic miracle.

Politics: Worth Fighting For
One of the Left's most influential figures of the last 40 years gives his theory of power ...

Health: The Force Behind Medibank
Public health has always been a core activity for the union movement, writes Neale Towart

Legal: Robust Justice
Former ACTU executive member and textile union leader Anna Booth argues that Alternate Dispute Resolution is one way around the looming assault on union rights.

International: After the Revolution
Has China entered a post-revolutionary phase - and where will it take the world, asks James Goodman

Poetry: The Sound of Unions
Ah, the hills are alive, with The Sound of Unions, muses resident bard, David Peetz

Review: Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thornton's newest role puts the 'nick' in Saint Nicholas and reveals the Satan in Santa, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Moral Crusade to Save Family

 20 Dead � Stockmarket Applauds

 Karen Gives Howard a Paint Job

 Buckeridge Bill Blocks Entry

 Casual Beach Closures

 Railworkers Scull Costa

 Racism in the Dock

 Go Home Alone � And Other Survival Tips

 Vet Beats Bullet

 Cleaners Clean Up

 Weekend Work Wiped

 Miners Go to the Movies

 Feds Attack Low Paid

 Activists What's On!


New Matilda
How Labor Lost the Plot
In his contribution to Australia's new political zine 'New Matilda' , Father Michael kelly argues the ALP is in search of a soul.

The Soapbox
Outside the Tent
Labor exile Lindsay Tanner is warning the ALP to be careful who it gets into bed with.

The Locker Room
Sons Of Beaches
Phil Doyle gets the perfect wave, and waves back

The Westie Wing
150 years since the struggle at Eureka, the fight to achieve social justice, equality and responsible government is just as vital as ever in the neo-conservative Australia, writes Ian West.

Postcard from Harare
Ken Davis, from Union Aid Abroad, on how unions are at the forefront in the battle for democracy in Zimbabwe

 Leadership Skills
 Not A Casey Fan
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Railworkers Scull Costa

Carl Scully�s return to the transport services portfolio is a key element in a five point plan advanced to rescue Sydney�s rail services.

"Come back Carl, all is forgiven," RTBU secretary, Nick Lewocki, said in releasing the proposal, this week.

He said his members were concerned the "few remaining" trade union friendly Labor MPs would lose their jobs if they relied on current Minister, Michael Costa's new timetable which removes thousands of services from the weekly schedule. They suggest the government redefines "on time running" to cover any train that arrives within 24 hours of schedule. Other elements of the plan include ...

  • If it is too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy, trees fall on railway lines or freak hail and snow storms delay trains, calling on church leaders to explain these Acts of God
  • Next time the Opposition transport spokesperson criticises the rail system, send him to Murwillumbah and tell him to wait for the next train.
  • Improve revenue: set up swear boxes at all railway stations and have commuters deposit $1.00 coin for each time they swear about the service. Estimated revenue $100 million per annum.
  • Rotate on a previous basis the Minister for Transport Service - "Don't blame me, it was the previous minister".
The suggestions were floated after Costa flagged the introduction of a timetable that would make trains slower and less frequent. "It's not just my job," Michael Costa told Sydney's Daily Telegraph "The buck stops with the Minister and the Government." "In other words we're all in this together," says Nick Lewocki from the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU). "What a great socialist approach - we share the gains and the pains." "How the Labor backbenchers must be rejoicing," says Lewocki. "How comforting to know that their future is now in the hands of a September 2005 timetable." "We are delighted that a solution has been found to get our trains back on track."


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