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Issue No. 264 20 May 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Conviction Politics
In modern politics even ideology has become a matter of convenience; look no further than the principle that ‘third parties’ need to be removed from the workplace.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Fortress NSW
NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca on how to win the battle for workers rights - and save the state system.

Unions: Fashions Afield
With new anti-sweatshop creations being paraded at this year's Australian Fashion Week, is equity the new black and are sweatshops the new fur? asks Tara de Boehmler.

Industrial: Pay Dirt
John Burgess argues that the flow-on effect from changing the minimum wage could be more than we bargained for.

Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones

History: Big Day Out
Neale Towart looks back on the events that created the May Day heritage.

International: Making History
Hundreds of aid organisations, charities, trade unions and religious groups have formed a global alliance called “ Make Poverty History”.

Economics: The Fear Factor
The solution to skill shortages is intelligent planning, argues John Spoehr

Review: The Robots Revolt
New kids flick Robot uses our electronic friends to teach audiences that inbuilt obsolescence is just a state of mind, writes Tara de Boehmler

Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The idea of a corporations power that could cure any ill has inspired our resident bard, David Peetz, to verse.

N E W S

 BHP Gets Decision to Die For

 Howard Turns to Water

 PM Noses into Pinocchio Territory

 Protest is Child’s Play

 A Baloney Deal Under Fire

 Decapitation Witness Dudded

 Newsroom Bullies Make Headlines

 Nelson Takes Axe To Brains

 Council Unhealthy for Families

 Top End Leader Backs Unions

 A Storm In Every Port

 Greens Go Rights

 Activist’s What’s On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
May Spray
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson delivered the annual May Day Toast - and warned it is no time to be comfortable and relaxed.

The Locker Room
A Rucking Good Time
Phil Doyle reveals many things, some of them useful

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, is back to regale us with inside goss and intrigue from the Bearpit.

L E T T E R S
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News

A Storm In Every Port


Port workers fear an attack on their conditions over a unilateral move by the Federal Government to take over NSW ports.

They are suspicious over moves to tie the takeover to the government's industrial relations agenda.

"This has little to do with trade and all to do with the governments agenda," says Robert Coombs from the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). "Australian ports, especially the coal ports, are some of the most productive and efficient ports anywhere in the world.

"All we can do to improve productivity is to put money into infrastructure."

The MUA is questioning why the Federal Government isn't investing in infrastructure; instead using a "carrot and stick" approach to the states to tie funding for ports to its radical workplace agenda.

"I tend to agree with Paul Keating, who said 'never get between a state Premier and a bucket of money'," says Coombs. "We utterly oppose this proposal."

The MUA believes that the federal government is trying to get a third operator onto Australian ports at "any cost", a move that could dramatically affect stevedores and port worker's employment arrangements in the industry.

Unions have called for an urgent meeting with NSW Ports Minister Michael Costa over the issue.


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