Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 26 Official Organ of LaborNet 13 August 1999  




*  Republic: Looking Forward
With the Republic referendum threatening to run off the rails, supporters of an Australian Head of State need to reclaim the debate from the lawyers.
*  Interview: Chatting With Kate
Workers Online’s first ever Net night was held in the Yap chatroom this week. Labor IT spokeswoman Kate Lundy stepped up to the plate to talk Politics in a Wired World.
*  Unions: Simply the Best!
A major international study has ranked Australian seafarers the world's best.
*  Technology: Unions Log In to Online Yap
A Conference on Unions and Information Technology for the Australasian Region will be held in Melbourne: November 15-17.
*  History: Edmund Who?
John Passant lifts the veil on Our first Prime Minister, a bloke called Barton.
*  International: Turkish Miners' Leader Murdered
Semsi Denizer, President of the Turkish miners' union Genel Maden-Is, was shot dead outside his home last Friday evening.
*  Labour Review: What's New at the Organising Centre
Read the latest issue of Labour Review, Labor Council's resource for students and activists.
*  Review: Working Class Boys
silverchair might have a new sound, but they’re part of a rich Australian music tradition.

Working class heroes?

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Wobbly Radio


Reithy Hangs Five

Workers to Star in Second Wave Rally
Real workers telling stories of the impact of the Howard governments policies on their lives will be the stars of next week’s Sydney rally against Reith’s second wave.
[ Full Story » ]

Oakdale Injustice: Six Weeks Is All It Takes
Sacked Oakdale miners could be repaid the $6 million in unpaid entitlements that are owed if the Howard government agreed to extend the life of an industry fund for just six weeks.
[ Full Story » ]

Chook War Widens - Woman Who Walked Wants Job Back
One of the women who quit Steggles after being forced to work family-busting hours is now seeking her job back, as unions and workers pressure the company to review its rostering the policies.
[ Full Story » ]

Rural Council Workers Push to Quit ALP
Country delegates of the Municipal Employees Union moved this week to disaffiliate from the Labor Party over Carr Government policies before being convinced it was better to fight from within.
[ Full Story » ]

Push for Action on Millennium Leave Bug
Unions have asked NSW Industrial Relations Minister Jeff Shaw to give them the power to order hard copies of their member’s accrued leave to secure them against deletion should Y2K problems arise.
[ Full Story » ]

Pay Equity Inquiry Sidelined
A report into gender pay equity funded by NSW taxpayers could be left to gather dust, if the IRC rules that it will not accept its findings that women’s work is underpaid.
[ Full Story » ]

NRMA Candidates Address Union Concerns
The Finance Sector Union has lifted a call for union members to defer their votes in the NRMA elections, after all the leading candidates clarified their policies relating to its workforce.
[ Full Story » ]

Ceiling Dust a Deadly Cocktail
Roof tilers have been warned not to work on roofs affected by Sydney’s hail storm until all harmful ceiling dust has been safely removed.
[ Full Story » ]

Sex Discrimination Head Warns Against Complacency
Despite the huge number of discrimination cases we see reaching a successful conclusion in the media, the Human Rights Commission’s Susan Halliday often despairs.
[ Full Story » ]

DIR Launches Indigenous Employment Unit
The launch of a kit produced by the Department of Industrial Relations’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workplace Services Unit in Sydney this week came with a sobering word of warning for unions.
[ Full Story » ]

"Big Drum Up" For East Timor
The Labor Council of NSW has joined forces with the CFMEU and the Harbourside Brasserie to stage a massive fundraising benefit for the East Timor Emergency Appeal currently being run by APHEDA.
[ Full Story » ]

Eric Lee Public Forum
International trade union Internet guru Eric Lee will visit Sydney in early September sponsored by Adult Learning Australia.
[ Full Story » ]

STOP PRESS: Fire Bans Lifted But Dispute Not Over
Firefighters have lifted bans for two weeks after the state government made an offer warranting negotiation over death and disability payments.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Piers Fans Fires

  • Some Views Of Einstein

  • Group Homes Sell-Off Fears

  • Privatisation Of Prince Of Wales Hospital Maintenance Department

  • Call for Wage Freeze Action

  • Editorial

    A Wave of Mutilation

    It's coming at us like a dumper in the surf, another series of anti-worker, anti-union laws that chip away at the industrial relations framework that has entrenched fairness in our workplaces for more than a century.

    Driven by an ideological obsession that clouds good government with a hatred of its political enemies, the Howard Government has unleashed laws to further rip away the three pillars of our civil society - minimum award standards, an independent umpire and the ability of workers to organise collectively.

    This is not just an attack on the institution of trade unions, it is, ultimately, an attempt in Peter Reith's own words, to tip the scales in favour of "people owning private capital".

    Right is on our side. The challenge for the trade union movement and working people they represent is how to translate that moral high ground into a concrete political victory.

    In simple terms, we need to convince the Australian Democrats to exercise their Senate power to block any further changes. The Democrats are politicians and will ultimately base their decision on the broad community feeling combined with their own notions of justice.

    While workers and their families have blown Full Time on the dangerous adventure into labour market deregulation, Reith battles on, like an ageing footballer refusing to recognise that time's up. Even Plugger is smarter than that!

    It is workers and their families who we must bring to the forefront in our current battle. Ordinary people: like the Oakdale miners robbed of what is theirs; the Hyde Park Plaza housekeepers pressured into AWAs; or the Steggles mum, Kym Wood, told to start work at 6.30am or lose her job.

    Another rally won't defeat Reith's Second Wave. But ordinary workers telling their stories of how the push into the unknown territory of deregulation is damaging their lives might.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    A Modest Proposal for the New Millenium January 1933 – the Emperor Strikes Back! A Living History Calls Time Deconstructing Piers



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