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

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News

Civil Libertarian Support Sought Against "Big Brother"

By Bernadette Maloney - CFMEU media office

The CFMEU has written to the Victorian and NSW Councils for Civil Liberties to draw their attention to the Employment Advocate's attack on the display of union posters on construction sites.

The OEA has given one company 24 hours notice to remove the posters or it will commence proceedings in the Federal Court. The signs in question include the following words: "ON THIS JOB WE AIM TO BE 100% UNION" and "For workers to refuse to be financial in the union is not to exercise a democratic freedom, it is to accept benefits that others have worked for without contributing to the costs."

Others contain trenchant criticism of the policies of Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith.

"Clearly there is nothing unlawful about these signs," said John Sutton, National Secretary of the CFMEU Construction & General Division.

"They are, in fact, one of the hallmarks of a reasonably open society where people are able to engage in political debate in public without fear of recriminations."

"If a group of workers feel strongly enough about issues to erect signs at their workplace which express their views, surely, in the absence of a contravention of any law, no government agency should censor those views.

"That such heavy handedness is justified by Reith's Advocate as being in support of various 'freedoms' in the workplace, gives the whole episode a particularly Orwellian resonance," said Mr Sutton.

"Peter Reith not only wants to deny workers their proper entitlements; he'd gag them from expressing their views as well.

This episode comes at the same time as he is spending millions of taxpayers dollars on advertisements claiming he supports freedom of expression and association."


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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   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.
*
*  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.
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*  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]
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*  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.
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*  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.
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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
*
»  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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