Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 27 Official Organ of LaborNet 20 August 1999  

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News

Dita Sari takes Sydney by Storm.

By Phil Davey - CFMEU (Construction)

Hundreds of people packed out the Trades Hall Auditorium this week to hear from a true hero of the Labour movement, Indonesia's Dita Sari.

Released only five weeks ago after three years in prison for organising a strike of textile workers, Sari couldn't have missed a gigantic "Free Dita Sari" banner across the back wall of the auditorium. The thankfully redundant banner is now definitely a collectors item, but also served as an apt illustration of the strength of the international campaign to secure Sari's release.

After warm welcomes from Meredith Burgmann and John Maitland and an emotional rendition of the Internationale from the ubiquitous Solidarity Choir the meeting heard a powerful presentation from Sari, the new head of the Indonesian National Front for Worker Struggle (FNPBI).

Dita Sari began by acknowledging several members of FRETELIN, the East Timorese resistance, who were at the meeting. She spoke warmly of the good relationship between the Indonesian Trade Union movement and the East Timorese resistance.

Sari spoke with passion and conviction of the power that stems from a union, of her hopes for a free Indonesia and of the growing militancy of workers in Indonesia, many of whom do not receive even the legal minimum wage of A$1.50 a day. Sari commented several times on the good response she had got on her Australian tour from Australian unionists, particularly construction workers in Perth.

Those at the meeting were asked to maintain pressure on the Australian Government to halt training the Indonesian military and selling them arms that were then used to suppress Indonesian workers. Sari made it clear that she did not believe the Australian Governments policies on Indonesia reflected the views of the Australian people and stated that she had chosen Australia as her first place to visit upon being released because of the close links between the two peoples.

Dita Sari concluded her presentation by inviting the meeting to join her for May Day 2000 in Jakarta.


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*   Issue 27 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Stepping Up To The Plate
ACTU secretary-in-waiting Greg Combet talks about his report on international trade union trends and the need to adapt for the future.
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*  Work/Time/Life: The Good Type of Wharf Security
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has locked in better job security for casuals as part of its collective agreement with P&O Ports.
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*  International: Venezuela Warned By Global Labour Group
Venezuela's new Constituent Assembly has drafted a decree providing for the dissolution of the country's national trade union organisation, the CTV.
*
*  Legal: Politically Motivated Case Against Unionist Fails
A politically motivated extortion case against Eric Wicker, a long-time trade unionist on the Port Kembla waterfront has failed.
*
*  Republic: Direct Election Republicans who say YES Ö and MORE!
Despairing at the sight of Ted Mack and Phil Cleary fronting for Kerry Jones and the Australians for A Constitutional Monarchy? Appalled at the disastrous strategy and paralysis of the Australian Republican Movement? A significant group of Republicans has an answer for you!
*
*  Unions: Technology for the Times
New technology offers exciting opportunities which help union growth, according to this extract from [email protected]
*
*  History: Australian Unions and Industrial Action 1788-1900
A project is under way to compile a comprehensive record of unions, informal worker organisation and strikes from the period of European settlement to 1900 using a specially designed computer database.
*
*  Review: Stage Left! - Workers Theatre Hits the Mark
'Rare' is the word on the Melbourne Workers Theatre production, 'Who's Afraid of the Working Class?' currently touring the eastern states of Australia.
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*  Satire: Australia's Most Earnest
Strewth magazine scours the cultural landscape for its inaugural Earnest Bastard of the Year Award.
*

News
»  Combetís Call - Double Effort Needed Now
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»  Rally or Surf Party? Itís the Workersí Call
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»  Vizard Agenda Analysed
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»  Truckies Face Another Oakdale
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»  Former Union Leader to Investigate SOCOG Uniforms
*
»  Second Steggles Mum Wins Job Back
*
»  Strip Leads to Fair Wear Win
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»  Rail Security: Scully Cuts Staff as Assaults Rise
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»  Civil Libertarian Support Sought Against "Big Brother"
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»  Dita Sari takes Sydney by Storm.
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Columns
»  Guest Report
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Piers Watch
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Letters to the editor
»  Thanks for Einstein
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»  A Non-Unionist's Sympathy
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»  A Mexican on Piers
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»  Group Homes Claims Disputed
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»  Rallying Cries
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»  Security Overload
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