Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 25 Official Organ of LaborNet 06 August 1999  




*  Interview: Beneath the Arch
Arch Bevis has been given the job of charting Federal Laborís agenda for the 21st century. He tells us where heís heading.
*  Unions: What If the Bug Bites?
Health workers are planning contingencies for the Millennium Bug. Just in case...
*  Politics: It's a Wired, Wired World
Labor's federal IT spokeswoman Kate Lundy looks at some of the challenges for politics in the information economy.
*  International: Lufthansa faces Global Cyber-picket
270 workers sacked for a oneĖday strike - support the T&G campaign for human rights at Heathrow.
*  Satire: Outrage as Freed Killer Lives in House
Despite moving away from Waterloo Primary School, controversy continues to follow released killer John Lewthwaite after it was discovered that he is now living in a house.
*  Review: Reversing Union Decline
A leading labour thinkers asks: how do we turn back the membership tide?

Labor's IR spokesperson Arch Bevis in Trades Hall

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Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


Wobbly Radio


Street Cred - Zanga Opens the Doors

Unions Embrace Open Shop
Australiaís first ever high street union shopfront is open for business, with The Union Shop marking another step in the Labor Councilís shift to an organising culture.
[ Full Story » ]

Council Sets Benchmarks for Vizard Deal
Delegates representing more than 40 per cent of the national union membership have adopted a series of benchmarks to guide any commercial ventures involving the Internet.
[ Full Story » ]

Steggles Treats Workers Like Chooks
The battle over the starting time for a working mum employed by Steggles has prompted calls for an inquiry into family friendly workplaces by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.
[ Full Story » ]

Rail Workers on Collision Course with Carr
Plans to contract out more than 300 rail jobs at below award conditions are set to spark major industrial action and conflict between the industrial and political wings of the labour movement.
[ Full Story » ]

Reith Shamed Into Talk On Entitlement Fund
Reports that the Howard Government is considering establishing a fund to protect workers entitlements shows the union movement is shaming it towards action.
[ Full Story » ]

Unionists Asked to Defer NRMA Vote
Workers voting in the current ballot for the NRMA Board has been asked to defer their vote until one of the key teams supplies adequate information to a series of questions posed by the Finance Sector Union.
[ Full Story » ]

Fire Fighters Use Net
The Internet has emerged as a key campaign tool in the NSW fire fighters ongoing campaign to secure uniform death and disability insurance for all members.
[ Full Story » ]

Crew of Convenience Behind Sydney Oil Spill?
Was it the crew of convenience system, ship owners cutting costs by employing third world seafarers on the Laura D'amata tanker, that is to blame for the oil spill in Sydney Harbour?
[ Full Story » ]

Sixty Junkets Join Currawong Hit Squad
We are bracing for another media bucket job over the Currawong development with news that Sixty Minutesí chief bomb-thrower Richard Carlton was this week ejected from the Transcendental Meditation movementís Dutch headquarters.
[ Full Story » ]

Workers Table Petition for Gay Reform
Two union members took the witness stand with Labor Council secretary Michael Costa this week, armed with a petition of 2200 signatures to persuade an Upper House Committee of the need for gay law reform.
[ Full Story » ]

Indonesian Trade Union Leaders to Visit Australia
Just one month after being released from three years in prison for the "crime" of organising workers to demand improved conditions and the right to organise, Indonesian trade union leader, Dita Sari is to tour Australia.
[ Full Story » ]

International And Community Groups Oppose Reithís Bill
Minister Reith has managed to unite a wide range of international and community groups in the common purpose of opposing his new Bill to amend the Workplace Relations Act.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Country Labor Asks Question

  • The Ombudsman Replies

  • Confessions of a German Call Centre Agent

  • WorkCover Off the Track

  • Editorial

    Open for Business

    There is an obvious symbolism in the Labor Council opening Australia's first union shopfront in Sydney today.

    The journey from the cloistered heights of the tenth floor to street level takes more than an elevator - it takes an attitudinal change by unions that they want to connect with their members on their members' terms.

    It reflects the shift in culture from a service organisation where members' needs are processed, to a more organic organising model where unions hand power back to their members.

    The Union Shop fits this model in two ways. First, it streamlines the service functions, meaning unions can put more focus and resources into organising. But more importantly, it sends out the message that unions are part of the community, organic rather than institutionalised.

    In an era of job insecurity and management prerogative the need for collective action and representation has never been greater. It's just that the ways of creating a meaningful collective has changed. It's no longer enough to hand out a union card and expect a worker to feel part of the union; real activity at a workplace is needed.

    It is also this philosophy which Workers Online believes should guide any commercial deals relating to the Internet. The threshold question should not be: what will the deal deliver members? but rather: how will the deal empower union members to further their own interests?

    As with every decision the union movement faces in the coming period, the benchmark should be about supporting and encouraging workplace activists above anything else.

    Anyway, come and check out the shop. Apart from legal advice and free Internet there's also a great range of books and Pierswatch T-shirts!

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    John Passant on Einstein's Brain Noel Hester: In Defence of Boxing Deirdre Mahoney on Equal Pay 30 Years On Piers Loses His Edge



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