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Issue No. 261 29 April 2005  

Lest We Forget
Just four days separate Anzac Day and the International Day of Mourning for Deaths at Work, but in the eyes of our leaders the gap could be 100 years.


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 Ö

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.


 Employers Desecrate Graves

 Blackadder Bones Boss

 Tights Fail In Flight

 Dick Tracy Booted In Blacktown

 Cops Not Fashion Victims

 Picnic On for Working Families

 Skinny Pay Starves Weight Watchers

 Banks Get Work For Free

 Aged Care Workers Off Their Feet

 Cleaners Clean Up

 VSU Bad for Business

 Unions Urge Fair Go For Timorese

 Activistís Whatís On!


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 arenít their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

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

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.

 It's Criminal
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Picnic On for Working Families

A massive family picnic day will be the centrepiece of a four million dollar grass roots campaign to educate the NSW public about the impact of upcoming changes to industrial laws.

Unions NSW secretary John Robertson outlined the program of events at the annual May Day Toast, calling on activists to look beyond traditional marches and rallies to connect with the community and shift public opinion.

"I do challenge those who see a lap of the city streets as the beginning and the end of the campaign to take a reality check," Robertson said.

"Because, if they think this is a battle that can be won with a placard and a chant, they are kidding themselves.

Instead, Unions NSW has developed a three-stage campaign to raise awareness of the changes, hold the government to account for its impact and build a base for rebuilding unions industrially and politically over the next electoral cycle.

Key events include:

- A state-wide delegates meetings on 27th May - to equip rank and file delegates with the tools to lead educate their workmates and the community about the impact of these highly technical and legalistic changes

- A week of workplace activity, culminating in the largest stop work meeting NSW has ever seen - beamed into every suburb and country town via Sky Channel on 1st July

- On the ground political campaigning - targeting marginal seats and getting rank and file workers to actually knock on doors and engage with the public

- Dialogue with churches, sporting and community organisations about the impact of the changes on workers' ability to be involved in community life

- And Australia's largest ever family picnic to highlight the threats these laws pose to family life, at Sydney Olympic Park, 7th August, the day before Parliament resumes.

Unions NSW is working to a campaign budget of almost $4 million - the largest ever campaign funded by the union movement in NSW.


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