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Issue No. 258 08 April 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Be My Guest
Is anyone else confused about the current behaviour of our Prime Minister? In just a few short years he’s transformed himself from National Door Bitch to Regional Street Spruiker.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: [email protected]
Labor's Penny Wong has the job of getting more people into the workplace and keeping companies honest. In her spare time ....

Unions: State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson unveils the annual survey of attitudes of workers to their jobs, thier lives and the union.

Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Jim Marr unpacks the unlikely claim of a suburban house to be considered the New Mecca of the New Right …

Legal: Leg Before Picket
Chris White looks at how the federal industrial changes will impact on the basic right to strike.

Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Neale Towart asks why the only form of legitmate welfare seems to be going to the top end of town.

Health: Cannabis Controversy
Zoe Reynolds looks at how drug and alcohol testing is leading to some addled outcomes.

Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
As the indicators head south, Frank Stilwell wonders whether it is the way we do economics that is to blame.

History: Politics In The Pubs
Phil Doyle reports on the increasingly-popular Struggles, Scabs and Schooners day out.

Review: Three Bob's Worth
Doing their best Margaret and David, Tara de Boehmler and Tim Brunero have different takes on the new Australian flick Three Dollars.

Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
Workers Online bard David Peetz teaches how workers to dance to Howard's industrial laws.

N E W S

 Cash Grab Targets Families

 Wattyl Lacks Colour

 Censors Ban Workers Online

 Stink Over Water

 Cole Slurs Slide

 Table Hands Stuffed

 Sweat Shop Taxes MLC’s Patience

 Cops Strengthen Thin Blue Line

 Buses Drive Commuters Crazy

 Guards Win Rail War

 Building Families Pocket $15 Million

 Students Mark Lecturers

 Activist’s What’s On

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Notes From a Laneway
Mental Health Workers Alliance member Toby Raeburn shares a week on the frontline.

The Locker Room
War, Plus The Shooting
The Socceroos aren’t their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

Culture
Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West takes the secret passage out of Macquarie Street to deliver his take on NSW Parliamentary Committees and other goings on.

L E T T E R S
 Out-of-sight, out-of-your-mind
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Activist’s What’s On


Union Aid Abroad APHEDA raffle

The annual Union Aid Abroad APHEDA raffle is on again. There are wonderful prizes including an around the world trip for two and the proceeds go to UAA-APHEDA's work to help build human rights, workers' rights and justice in developing countries. If you can sell a book of tickets to friends, family and workmates please contact UAA - APHEDA on tel. 1800 888 674 or by email [email protected]

The raffle closes on June 2nd with the winner drawn on June 16th.

Trades Hall hosts Keating! the opera

Trades Hall hosts Keating! The Country Soul Opera We Had To Have. Billed as the simple tale of an Australian political superhero and his valiant battles with assorted mugs, dummies, gutless spivs, clowns, fools and scumbags.

The Drowsy Drivers return with the country, soul, jazz and funk opera we had to have. Historically accurate* and independently verified by skimming through Don Watson's book, it's the simple and time-honoured tale of an Australian political superhero and his battles against assorted mugs, dummies, dimwits, gutless spivs and scumbags.

Come share in the heady rise, tempestuous reign and tragic fall of the Placido Domingo of Australian politics. GASP! as Hawke ignores the Kirribilli agreement! THRILL! as Prime Minister Keating sticks it to the drones opposite! CHEER! as he wins the sweetest victory of all! HISS! as the evil Howard betrays his colleagues in his thirst for power! SCOFF! at the blatant historical revisionism!

KEATING! will be performed at the Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall, in a brave attempt to redefine the boundaries of "preaching to the converted".

Folks of all political persuasions are welcome (though some may feel more welcome than others). You'll have the time of your life!*

(* non-core promise)

The Drowsy Drivers are a talented group of Melbourne-based musicians (Casey Bennetto, Justin Ludowyk, Kevin McFerran, Ross McFerran, Enio Pozzebon, Cameron Rogers and Mike McLeish) who have been performing together in various groups for over 10 years. Indeed, the Drowsy Drivers project itself is now six years old: it began in 1999 as an impromptu gathering of musicians and friends in a warehouse in North Melbourne, playing and recording several quite silly songs written by Casey. The tape of that session has been accidentally shredded, melted and misplaced.

Their last production, Northcote Country Soul, earned them the award for Best New Artist at the 2002 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the 2002 Green Room Award for Best Original Music (Cabaret). The show also received 2002 Green Room nominations for Best Cabaret Artiste, Most Outstanding Show, and Best Musical Direction / Arrangements.

When: March 23 - April 15, Wednesdays - Fridays, 9.00pm

Where: Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall

Price:$20 full / $16 concession

Bookings: www.keatingtheopera.com.

Politics In the Pub

Whether or not beer is your cup of tea, the Gaelic Club's

Politics in the Pub session on Friday 15 April promises a topical

discussion. Titled 'The Current Crisis in Mental Health and the Cross Union

Mental Health Workers Alliance', speakers include Child Psychiatrist and

Director of the NSW Institute of Psychiatry Louise Newman, Angela Garvey

from the NSW Nurses Association, and Unions NSW Secretary John Robertson.

Session runs from 6pm to 7.45pm at the Gaelic Club, Level 1, 64 Devonshire

St, in Surry Hills.

Could Chifley win Preselection Today?

Getting better Labor candidates.

Does Labor have a problem with preselections? Do the factions have too much control? What about the local branches? the trade unions? And who should be getting preselected?

The NSW Fabian Society is conducting a seminar with

John Button (Former federal Minister)

Tim Gartrell (ALP National Secretary)

Rodney Cavalier (former State Minister)

When: Weds 20th April, 6pm - 7.30pm

Where : Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Cost: Free

The controversy of one man - Kisch in Australia

When Czech journalist and peace campaigner Egon Erwin Kisch (1885-1948), came to Australia in November 1934, he challenged a conservative Lyons government, caused a media sensation and won the hearts of many

Australians.

The renowned political activist will be remembered in a new exhibition - Kisch in Australia - opening at the State Library of NSW on 14 February 2005.

The exhibition tells the story of the man who publicly defied the government's ban on his entry to Australia by jumping overboard at Port Melbourne (breaking his leg) in his determination to reach the Australian public with his message of anti-Fascism.

According to State Librarian & Chief Executive Dagmar Schmidmaier AM: "The fascinating story of this extraordinary man will be brought to life through original items from the Library's renowned collection, including Kisch's hand-written notes used in his public speeches."

The exhibition panels also include newspaper reports of the controversy surrounding his arrival, rare protest posters campaigning for Kisch's release and letters written in defence of Kisch's freedom.

Dr Heidi Zogbaum, author of the recently published Kisch in Australia: The untold story (Scribe, 2004) said, "Kisch had the ability to give rousing speeches with limited English and drew enthusiastic crowds wherever he went."

"Kisch was convinced that his ban was the result of Nazi pressure on the Australian government," said Dr Zogbaum, "but he was quite wrong. The newly appointed Attorney-General, Robert Gordon Menzies had staked his reputation on keeping Kisch out of Australia."

After his return to Paris, Kisch worked tirelessly on behalf of his fellow writers who had fallen victim to the Nazi regime. Upon the fall of France in 1940, Kisch managed to escape to Mexico. He returned to Prague in 1946 and died of a massive heart attack in 1948.

"The memory of Kisch is kept alive in Germany through the renowned Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, which honours the "reporter of truth" in a most fitting way," said Dr Roland Goll, Director of the Goethe-Institut, Sydney, who initiated and is supporting the exhibition.

Kisch in Australia is a free exhibition in the State Library's Picture Gallery from 14 February - 24 April 2005. It will then travel to the Migration Museum in Adelaide.

Community Organising School

In light of the re-election of the Federal Liberal Government, reflecting on and increasing our ability to organise and work across movements is vital. We can gain strength if we learn new strategies for working with people from different sectors and experiences.

The Community Organising School 2005 is a part of a broader project that seeks to link experienced organisers from a variety of movements, including community organisations, the union movement, environmentalists and social justice movements, to learn together and to build our collective strength.

Details of the School

The School will be held at Currawong (Pittwater training facility) from Sunday April 3 to Wednesday April 6 2005. It is the first of a variety of cross-movement, capacity building projects to begin in 2005.

People attending the School will learn, share and build organising techniques for expanding our capacity and effectiveness for social change in Sydney and NSW. It will run sessions to draw out experiences and lessons on effective organising and social change practices from participants.

The School‚s residential accommodation only allows us to provide 40 places and we are aiming to have a very diverse range of participants in the school. For this reason we are asking people to go through a registration process. If your or your organisation is interested in participating in the school, we request that you distribute the attached registration form to individuals in your organisation, or to other organisations that you work with, and encourage them to register for the School. Registrations are due by Friday 11 February.

The registration fee for the school will be approximately $300 per person (including three and a half days of training, accommodation and food). However we do not want costs to prevent people from registering. If your organisation cannot afford this cost, please indicate this on the registration form. We are seeking sponsorship from larger organisations to subsidise the costs of others. Please do not see costs as a barrier to attendance.

The Community Organising School is the culmination of a year-long discussion between union organisers, community organisations, adult educators and environmentalists. While the School is the first public project, it will be one of many opportunities provided to reflect and learn about community organising. To find out more about the School or to discuss how you can participate in this exciting and timely project feel free to contact either:

Tony Brown, Centre for Popular Education [email protected] 9514 3866

Christine Laurence, Western Sydney Community Forum [email protected] 9637 6190

Melanie Gillbank, Search Foundation [email protected] 0403 051 606

Amanda Tattersall, Unions NSW [email protected] 0409 321 133

Community Organising School Committee

C/- Centre for Popular Education, UTS

PO Box 123

Broadway 2007

Community Organising School

3- 6 April 2005

Currawong, Pittwater

Aims

To increase our ability to organise and work across movements in order to build cross movement collaboration, by:

o providing the opportunity for organisers and activists to share their experiences with other organisers and activists working in different fields

o identifying differences while examining commonalities and opportunities for working together

o learning, sharing and developing organising techniques for expanding our capacity and effectiveness for social change

o discussing different approaches to strategic campaigning and community organising

The School will draw on the experience, knowledge and expertise of those attending.

Are you organising for social and economic change?

Concerned at the growing power of employers, the state and big business?

Concerned at the state of advocacy and activist groups to influence the agenda?

Wanting to turn the tide and re-build grassroots capacity in local communities and the workplace?

Wanting to build cross movement collaboration?

We are seeking organisers working in/with:

Social movements, young people, environmental advocacy, resident action trade unions popular arts, cultural development and education migrant communities, community organizing and development organisations student organising who are committed to working for social, economic and environmental justice.

What's in it for you?

The School will bring together organisers and activists from across different sites of activism who are focused on developing new ways of working to build strong and effective organizations, enable participants to meet, learn from and work with organisers in different fields of practice, provide an environment where organisers from a range of backgrounds can develop mutual respect, understanding and knowledge, develop networks as a continuing resource of skills, expertise and influence, and challenge you to think and act differently.

The program will run from Sunday afternoon April 3 ˆ Wednesday April 6 2005. The Community Organising School is a residential weekend; applicants must be available to attend the entire event.

Black Diamonds and Dust

Councillor John Tate, Lord Mayor of Newcastle and the Councillors of Newcastle City Council have pleasure in inviting you to attend the launch of

Greg Bogaerts'

Black Diamonds and Dust

to be launched by CFMEU national secretary

and ICEM president

John Maitland

11.30 am, Friday 15 April

The Newcastle Region Library,

Laman Street, Newcastle

Greg Bogaerts Black Diamonds and Dust 0 9580795 1 X rrp $25 www.vulgar.com.au

rsvp 02 4969 4783 or email [email protected]

Councillor John Tate, Lord Mayor of Newcastle and the Councillors of Newcastle City Council have pleasure in inviting you to attend the launch of

Greg Bogaerts'

Black Diamonds and Dust

to be launched by CFMEU national secretary

and ICEM president

John Maitland

11.30 am, Friday 15 April

The Newcastle Region Library,

Laman Street, Newcastle

Greg Bogaerts Black Diamonds and Dust 0 9580795 1 X rrp $25 www.vulgar.com.au

rsvp 02 4969 4783 or email [email protected]

United We Stand

Red Rag Publications invites you to the launch of Tom O'Lincoln's

United We Stand

Class Struggle in Colonial Australia

to be launched by

JOAN DOYLE

State Secretary, CEPU Communications Division

Postal and Telecom branch

Trades Hall, Melbourne

Saturday 16 April at 7.30pm

Uncharted

Waters

by

Greg Mallory

Foreword by

Jack Mundey

AvailableJuly 2005

"If it wasn't for that civilising of the building industry in campaigns of 1970 and 1971, well then I'm sure we

wouldn't have had the luxury of the membership going along with us in what was considered by some as

'avant-garde', 'way-out' actions of supporting mainly middle class people in environmental actions. I think that

gave us the mandate to allow us to go into uncharted waters"

(Jack Mundey, former Secretary of the NSW BLF)

These unions would not allow their labour to be used for what they considered 'destructive' purposes.

Uncharted Waters examines the political theories and movements that influenced these two disputes. Mallory argues that the

unions vindicated a social responsibility when they challenged the government and the employers in the areas of foreign policy,

control of labour and the destruction of the urban environment. He contends that the NSW BLF pioneered a 'new way of thinking'

about the nature of work and the trade union movement's relationship with the wider community.

In order for the trade union movement to develop, it must promote this 'new way of thinking' on social responsibility.

This book will be released in July 2005. To place an advance order, or for more information, contact:

Greg Mallory

Ph: 0407 692 377

E-mail: [email protected]

In 1938 the Waterside Workers

Federation of Australia refused to load

tin clippings and pig-iron on the

Dalfram at Port Kembla.

In the early 1970s, the NSW Builders

Labourers Federation refused to

demolish buildings and destroy

parkland in parts of Sydney.


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