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Issue No. 266 03 June 2005  

An Act of Faith
After a week of watching the Howard Government attempt to explain their vision of work relations we have a clearer picture of what the social safety net will be in the future � an act of faith


Interview: The Baby Drought
Social ethicist Leslie Cannold has delved into why women - and men - are having fewer children. And it all comes back to the workplace.

Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
David Peetz uncovers the truth behind the latest statistics on earnings under Australian Workplace Agreements.

Workplace: The Invisible Parents
Current government policies about work and family do not reflect the realities of either family life or the modern workplace. writes Don Edgar.

History: Bruce�s Big Blunder
The Big Fella, Jack Lang, gives an eyewitness account of the last time Conservatives tried to dismantle Australia�s industrial relations system.

Politics: All God's Children
The battle for morality is not confined to Australian polittics. Michael Walzer writes on the American perspective

Economics: Spun Out
The business groups are feeling cocky. The feds have announced their IR changes, business says they don't go far enough. What a surprise, writes Neale Towart

International: Shakey Trials
Lyndy McIntyre argues the New Zealnd IR experiment provides warnings - and hope - for the Australian union movement.

Legal: Civil Distrubance
Tom Roberts argues that there is more at stake than an attack on building workers in the looming legsilation.

Review: Crash Course In Racism
Paul Haggis flick Crash suggests that when cars collide the extent of people's prejudices are revealed sans the usual veil of political correctness, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: You're Fired
New laws will leave bosses holding the whip and workers with a Raw Hide, writes resident bard David Peetz


 Beattie Dares Job Vandals

 Broken Hill Confronts "Choice"

 BHP Faces Losses

 Howard Threatens Babies

 Working Between the Flags

 Hadgkiss Makes History

 Bob The Organiser

 Johnny Packs Toothbrush

 Security Blunders to the Max

 EDI Court Out

 Feds: Do As I Say �

 Soaring Mercury Sparks Walk Off

 Unions Offer to Play Libs

 Education Stands Up To Howard Assault

 Dodgy Bosses Get a Tick

 Weight Watchers Raise Scales

 Hyundai Showdown a Riot

 Activists' What's On!


The Locker Room
Ashes to Dust
In which Phil Doyle travels to distant lands in search of a meat pie, and prepares for the joys of sleep deprivation

The Westie Wing
Ian West lists the Top Ten reasons why workers in NSW can gain some solace from having the Labor Party sitting on the Treasury benches�

The Soapbox
Dear John
In response to this year�s Federal Budget, Bishop Kevin Manning wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard

 Patriot Doug
 Remembering Workers In Cairns
 Bad Law
 Fair Go For Injured Workers
 A Question Of Choice
 Galahs Up The Cross
 National Solution
 Bomber�s Classic
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Activists' What's On!

The Wages of Spin

From the company behind the smash hit stage production of the

"Children Overboard" Inquiry, CMI: version 1.0 presents

The Wages of Spin

Does it matter we went to war on a lie?

Sydney: May 20 - Jun 5 Canberra: July 20 - 30

> "You went abroad in our name on a just cause.... Thank you from Australia." - John Howard

> "Nobody knows, nobody has asked and nobody even tries to establish what the level of casualties might be. That is true, isn't it?" - Senator John Faulkner, Senate Estimates Committee

> There is no point in producing information that may be misleading or unhelpful." - Defence Minister, Senator Robert Hill, in response.

Last year Sydney's version 1.0 went overboard with its surreal and gut-wrenching CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident), taking the transcript of the Senate's "Children Overboard" Inquiry as a performance text. Now the company has turned its attention to the war on Iraq, and the fabricated (and shifting) justifications for it, with a new show, The Wages of Spin (Performance Space, May 20 - June 5).

The Wages of Spin is political theatre, version 1.0 style - playful, surreal, visceral and tragic, with no easy answers. There may be casualties. There certainly will be liberties taken with the found texts. So, in the words of a thousand arts journos and a thousand PR hacks, what can the audience expect to see? Expect to see kittens in gift-wrapped boxes, flag gags, fake blood, shock-and-awe slapstick and Benny Hill-esque puns about weapons of mass destruction. Expect to laugh... until you're confronted with the horrors of POW interrogations. Expect to see some serious grappling with the horrific possibility that the Right may have been right... the war may have been a good thing.

The Wages of Spin plays to Sydney's chardonnay set at Performance Space (May 20 - June 5), before entertaining Canberra's political elites at The Street Theatre (July 20 -30). Bookings: Sydney, 02 9698 7235 or [email protected], Canberra 02 6247 1223.


Artists Performer/Devisers: Stephen Klinder, Deborah Pollard & David Williams Dramaturgy: Paul Dwyer Outside Eye: Yana Taylor Lighting: Simon Wise Video: Sean Bacon Sound: Gail Priest Producer: Harley Stumm


Sydney Performance Space, 199 Cleveland St Redfern. 20 May - 5 June (Wed - Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm) Tix $25/20/15. Bookings: 02 9698 7235 or [email protected]


Canberra The Street Theatre, Cnr Childers St & University Ave. July 20 - 30 (Tue - Sat 8pm + 2pm matinee, Sat 30th) Tix $29/24. Bookings: 02 6247 1223


Media Info Harley Stumm 0411 330 654 or [email protected]

Print-friendly Attachment contains more info about version 1.0 & the artists


What's going on in Palestine? Is peace possible? How women are playing a crucial role in the struggle for justice.

Hannah Safran, teaches in women's studies and is a co-founder of Women in Black (Haifa), Israel

Donna Mulhearn, Australian peace activist recently returned from the West Bank

Rihab Charida, Sydney-based Palestinian activist

Chaired by Greens Senator Kerry Nettle

6.30 - 8.00 pm

Thursday, June 9, 2005

NSW Teachers' Federation

22-23 Mary St

Surry Hills

(short walk from Central)

All Welcome : Information 02 9690 2038

Worried about Howard's anti-union laws?

Don't miss the ... National Union Fightback Conference

Saturday, 11 June, 8.30am

Trades Hall, Melbourne

(cnr Lygon St and Victoria Pde, Carlton South)

A national gathering of trade unionists to discuss building resistance to the Howard government's anti-union laws. Our aim is to develop organisation among active unionists across Australia.



� Martin Kingham (Vic secretary)

� Kevin Reynolds (WA secretary)

� Joe McDonald (WA asst secretary)


� Chris Cain (WA secretary)


� Steve Dargavel (Vic metal division secretary)

� Bronwyn Halfpenny (Vic food division secretary)

� Craig Johnston (former Vic metal division secretary)


� Joan Doyle (Vic P and T branch secretary)


� Dean Mighell (Vic secretary)

� Qld branch representative


� Matthew McGowan (Vic NTEU division secretary)


� Marisa Bernardi (NSW organiser)


� Jenny Kruschel (Vic TCFU assistant secretary)


� Tim Gooden (Geelong and region TLC acting secretary)

� John Parker (Gippsland TLC secretary)

� Northern Rivers Union Network (NSW) representative


� Senator Kerry Nettle

Aboriginal activist:

� Sam Watson (Qld)


Initiated by Socialist Alliance

Initial sponsors: Michele O'Neil (Vic TCFU secretary); Union Solidarity Group; Northern Rivers Union Network (NSW); Teachers Alliance (Vic); Jim Keogh (MUA Veterans Association Southern Branch secretary); Ken McBride (MUA Veterans Associations Southern Branch assistant secretary; Community Radio 3CR; 3CR's industrial affairs program Strikeback; 3CR's On the Picket Line; national community radio's trade union show Stick Together Show; Members First (CPSU-federal activist group)



9am Opening Plenary: How will the Howard agenda impact and who's in the firing line?

10.30-12 noon Workshops:

o Challenging anti-union laws: lessons in victory & defeat from the 1997 union campaign in Western Australia and New Zealand in the 1990s

o Froim the Clarrie O'Shea campaign to the MUA dispute - where unity and mass action won the day

o Union organising outside the capital cities

o Casualisation and the attack on equal wages

o Film: Oil workers' struggle in Venezuela

1-2.30pm Plenary: Strategies to resist and defeat anti-union laws

2.45-3.45pm Plenary: Proposals for action

3.45-5.15pm Workshops: Break up into industry and regional TLC groups.

Films to run at the same time as workshops

Evening social event : 6pm-late - Live music from Dan Warner, food and drinks.

Old Ballroom, Trades Hall

Childcare will be available on-site on the day, but we need bookings in advance.

SLAPP in the face of democracy

Public forum on how corporate legal actions try to silence community groups

6:00pm - 8:00pm Friday 17 June 2005

NSW Law Society, 170 Phillip St, Sydney

Committee Room 2, Level 2

Bob Brown - Gunns 20 defendant, Greens Senator

Peter Cashman - General Counsel, Maurice Blackburn Cashman

Robin Banks - Director, Public Interest Advocacy Centre

The legal limits of political protest in Australia are being squeezed by law reforms and SLAPP suits (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) which pit corporate interests against community groups.

On 13 December 2004, logging company Gunns filed a $6.3 million writ in the Victorian Supreme Court alleging damage had been caused to Gunns' business in the course of a forest campaign. Defendants in this action include Senator Bob Brown, The Wilderness Society and individual activists.

Meanwhile at a federal level, the Howard Government is pushing for a uniform defamation law, which will allow corporations to sue community groups and individuals for defamation.

All welcome - entry is free

Organised by Greens MP Lee Rhiannon and

the Legal Observers Project (Sydney)

For information contact Jemma Bailey on 0401 666 434

Workers rights union rights your rights

Public Forum

Speakers include

Mark Lennon Unions NSW

Sally McManus ASU

Andrew Ferguson CFMEU

Doug Cameron AMWU

Kerry Nettle NSW Greens Senator

Garry Moore NCOSS

Robert Coombs MUA

Derrick Belan NUW

Lee Rhiannon NSW Greens MLC

When the Coalition takes control of the Senate in July

Prime Minister John Howard will introduce industrial relations

laws that will increase the burden on working people and the

wider community.

The Greens are helping unions to mobilise support for decent

working conditions and an industrial relations system that

recognises the rights of working people to organise and to strike.All welcome

Lee Rhiannon MLC

9230 3551

organising an alternative to the

Coalition's industrial relations agenda

Workers rights

The Past is Before Us

the Ninth National Labour History Conference will be held at the Holme Building, University of Sydney from Thursday 30th June until Saturday 2nd July. Over 100 presentations of papers, films, and an exhibition from Unions NSW and the Noel Butlin Archive. Meredith Burgmann, MLC, President of the NSW Legislative Council will officially open the conference. The Conference dinner at NSW Parliament. For more information go to the conference home page

The conference program is up on the website -

Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA Study Tour

Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA is inviting applications for of East Timor a study tour between July 17th and 24th. The ideal participant will be active in the Australian trade union movement, deeply committed to international solidarity, and keen to investigate the effectiveness of APHEDA projects in East Timor. An ability to have fun and enjoy warm weather is also a must!

The cost of the study tour is $2,050 which includes airfare ex-Darwin, accommodation, in-country transport, interpreter services, breakfasts and the study tour itself. For more information about contact Thomas Michel (02) 9264 9343, 0410 814 360


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