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Issue No. 252 18 February 2005  

Wood for the Trees
In the book that may never become a film, ‘Eucalyptus’, a father will not give his daughter away unless her suitor can name every tree on the property.


Economics: Super Seduction
Sharks are circling your super. From July 1, banks and financial planners will have access to the nesteggs of an extra four million workers.

Interview: Bono and Me
ACTU Sharan Burrow lifts the lid on the rock star lifestyle of an international union leader.

Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Rowan Cahill bucks conventional wisdom to argue the eight-hour day began in Sydney.

Economics: OEC-Who?
The OECD calls for more reform. But, Asks Neale Towart, who is really doing the calling?

Technology: From Widgets to Digits
How can unions grow and continue to successfully represent workers when their traditional structures are rooted in an industry, craft or fixed location?

Education: Dumb and Dumber
Unions are leading the fight against a political agenda that does away with smart jobs.

Health: No Place for the Young
The support of union members is required to help get young people out of nursing homes, writes Mark Robinson

History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
February 17 marks 30-years to the day that sacked coal miners at the NSW Northern District Nymboida Colliery began their historic work-in at the mine.

Review: Dare to Win
The history of the militant and often controversial BLF is as surprising as it is fascinating writes Tim Brunero.

Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
With another change at the helm of the Labor Party, our resident bard, David Peetz, can't help but dreamily drawing on some political history.


 Families On the Rack

 Detention Centre for Darling Harbour

 Transit Officers' Close Shave

 Truckies Drive Mac Attack

 We Have Way of Making You Walk

 Howzat – Murali Spun Out

 Show Me The Money

 Walter’s Mates Pay

 Retailer Sells Out Workers

 Financiers Squash Capital Idea

 Taskforce Stands Over Families

 Big Australian Changes the Rules

 Bodyguards Stabbed In Back

 Big Brother Stirs Up Porridge

 Carr Sees Trees for Wood

 Activist’s What’s On


Titanic Forces
There are book reviewers who have not read the book they have just reviewed and there are critics who have criticised films they have not yet seen. I want to review a novel that has not yet been written.

The Soapbox
Labour and Labor
Grant Bellchamber looks at the relationship between both sides organised labour

Aussie Unions Help Tsunami Victims
The union movement’s aid agency reports back on its relief effort in Asia.

The Locker Room
Game, Set and Yawn
Phil Doyle asks if tennis is evil or just boring

The Westie Wing
As a reshuffle of the State Ministry settles in and the Federal Government throws down the gauntlet, 2005 promises to be a new and vital chapter in the struggle for workers and their families, writes Ian West in Macquarie Street.

 Toxic Talk
 Millstone Revealed
 But Then Again
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Howzat – Murali Spun Out

Super spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has been bowled over by waterfront support for tsunami vicims in his homeland.

The off spinner braved heavy storms to personally thank MUA members at East Swanson docks for collecting $170,000 worth of goods and clothing.

MUA member and Patrick yard foreman, Graeme Bailey, is co-ordinating the joint union-company fundraising appeal. He said Muralitharan had been especially appreciative of the fishing nets and equipment donated by members.

"That's what they need more than anything because that's their livelihood," Bailey told the MUA website. "He (Muralitharan) told me how much he appreciated what we were doing."

Muralitharan saw a haul that included new clothing, hospital beds, safety boots, saucepans, leather gloves, push bikes, biros, school books, T shirts, toothpaste, toys, fishing hooks and nets.

MUA members at Westernport and Portland have donated specialist fishing gear.

The first of seven full containers left Australia for Sri Lanka, last week. In a display of cross-sector co-operation, Mitsui footed the shipping bill, while Patrick coughed for stevedoring and labour costs.

East Swanson union reps are amongst many on ships and docks around the country also organising financial support, through collections or payroll deductions.

So far, MUA members have contributed around $100,000 in cash as well as co-ordinating the collection of $170,000 worth of goods. Most of the money is being directed through Apheda Union Aid Abroad.

Wells of Hope

Meanwhile, APHEDA funding has already assisted the clearing of 110 wells on the Aceh coast, south of Meulaboh.

The ACTU's aid arm has helped members of International Union of Foodworkers restore clean drinking water, so villagers can return home.

Indonesian unionists have been clearing wells of rocks, mud and debri and scrubbing the walls with chlorine before using coconut matting fibre and water to flush them out.

APHEDA has also funded mobile clinics staffed by doctors and nurses. For many of the patients it has been the first time they have seen a doctor since the tsunami struck.

APHEDA will soon be putting money into skills training and equipment for home building projects, and backing short training courses being organised by the UN and Indonesian Education Department.

Over the next three years, APHEDA will concentrate on livelihood building through "microcredit" loans for items such as sewing machines, that will allow locals to establish their own businesses.


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