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Issue No. 271 08 July 2005  

Polls Apart
The tragic bombings in London may knock industrial relations off the front pages over the next few days, but it is unlikely to end the groundswell of opposition to the Howard Government's mad grab at workers' rights.


Interview: Battle Stations
Opposition leader Kim Beazley says he's ready to fight for workers right. But come July 1, he'll have to be fighting by different rules.

Unions: The Workers, United
It was a group of rank and filers who took centre stage when workers rallied in Sydney's Town Hall, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: The Lost Weekend
The ALP had a hot date, they had arranged to meet on the Town Hall steps, and Phil Doyle was there.

Industrial: Truth or Dare
Seventeen ivory towered academics upset those who know what is best for us last week.

History: A Class Act
After reading a new book on class in Australia, Neale Towart is left wondering if it is possible to tie the term down.

Economics: The Numbers Game
Political economist Frank Stilwell offers a beginners guide to understanding budgets

International: Blonde Ambition
Sweden can be an inspiration to labour movements the world over, as it has had community unionism for over 100 years, creating a vibrant caring society, rather than a "productive" lean economy.

Training: The Trade Off
Next time you go looking for a skilled tradesman and can�t find one, blame an economist, writes John Sutton.

Review: Bore of the Worlds
An invincible enemy has people turning against one another as they fight for survival � its not just an eerie view of John Howard�s ideal workplace, writes Nathan Brown.

Poetry: The Beaters Medley
In solidarity with the workers of Australia, Sir Paul McCartney (with inspiration from his old friend John Lennon) has joined the Workers Online resident bard David Peetz to pen some hits about the government's proposed industrial relations revolution.


 Then There Were Three

 Dad's Choice Goes AWAL

 OEA Invokes Sgt Schultz

 CFMEU Resists Standover Tactics

 Tall Tales and Two

 Corrine Throws Stones

 Cardinal Adds Weight to Concerns

 Bosses: Unions Beat AWAs

 16 Hours to Recover Worker

 Choice Gets Confusing

 Attack Derailed In Qld

 PM Pulls Rank On Ads

 HT Lee Gravely Ill

 Activists Whats On!


The Soapbox
State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson lifts the lid on �The Nine Myths of Modern Unionism�

The Locker Room
Wrist Action
Phil Doyle trawls the murky depths of tawdry sleaze, and discovers Rugby is behind it all.

To Hew The Coal That Lies Below
Phil Doyle reviews Australia's first coal mining novel, Black Diamonds and Dust.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite State MP, Ian West, reports from Macquarie Street that the Premier is all the way with a State Commission.

 Don�t Call Me Customer
 Do It Yourself?
 Vale the Eight Hour Day
 The vision thing
 Campaign Pushes Right Buttons
 It�s Time to Punt the PM
 Bob Each Way
 Ads Value
 Travel Allowance?
 Hits the Mark
 Reforms not an Erosion
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Activists Whats On!

Event of the week!

Sneak Previews of Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis� political thriller

June 28, 2005: Union Aid Abroad � APHEDA and the Sydney Social Forum (SFF) proudly present advance screenings of the compelling new documentary
The Take
a film by Avi Lewis and best-selling author Naomi Klein (No Logo),
at the Chauvel Cinema on Thursday 14 July and Friday 15 July.
Canadian director, Avi Lewis will present a Q&A after each screening.

Politics In the Pub - Katoomba

You don't know what you've got till it's gone What you can do to protect your rights

2.00pm, Saturday July 9 Gearin Hotel Great Western Highway Katoomba

Blue Mountains Unions Council Inc

Industrial Relations Reform: Fair Go or Anything Goes?

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS REFORM 2005 A one day conference for all who are interested in the Federal Government's industrial relations reform agenda

Held: 13 July 2005 at Sofitel Wentworth Sydney Confirmed speakers include:

Professor Ron McCallum, Susan Zeitz, Professor Greg Craven, Professor Andrew Stewart, Paul Munro, Elizabeth Wynhausen, Professor George Williams, Margaret Lee, Paddy Gourlay, Kathryn Heiler, Bill Mitchell

and a representative from the Australian Council of Social Service

A States and Territories Government initiative The conference will:

_discuss the Federal Government's industrial relations reform agenda

_ examine constitutional implications and the relevance to federalism

_ through panel sessions, explore the arguments from all sides of the debate

_ engage prominent thinkers and speakers in industrial relations, constitutional law, economics, welfare and academia

CONTACT DETAILS: ICE Australia - 183 Albion Street Surry Hills NSW 2010
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 02 9544 9134
Fax: 02 9522 4447
For more information and to register, go to

Life Without Unions - The New Reality?

The NSW Fabio Society is conducting this forum with:
Greg Combet, Secretary ACTU
Heather Ridout, CEO AIG
When: Wednesday 20 July from 6.00pm - 7.30pm
Where: LHMU Auditorium, 187 Thomas Street,
Chair: Peter Lewis, Editor Workers Online and Director EMC
Member of the NSW Fabian Society
Forthcoming Fabian Society Forums
August: Israel & Palestine
With: Speakers to be advised
When: Wednesday 24 August from 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Where: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
September: Media Reform
With: Andy Nehl & Julianne Schultz
When: Wednesday 21 September from 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Where: Theatrette NSW Parliament House
October: One Year Down &. Two to Go - Can Labor Win in 2007?
With: John Singleton & others TBA
When: Wednesday 19 October from 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Where: NSW Parliament House

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?

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 Canberra's political elites at The Street Theatre (July 20 -30). Bookings: 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

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Workers rights union rights your rights

2-5 PM Saturday 18 June 2005 Tom Mann Theatre 136 Chalmers St Surry Hills

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

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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