As unions across Australia put up a united front against the Howard IR assault, events across the Pacific serve as a warning of what can happen when individuals start going one out.
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.
Centrelink to Cheat Workers
Foot Soldiers Get Blisters
Feds to Lift Voting Age
Paint It Slack
Hadgkiss in Safety Failure
Freedom to Starve
Police And Thieves
Feds Make Asbestos Blue
Capital Idea Under Threat
Masterton Homes Crumbles
Activists Whats On!
State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson lifts the lid on ‘The Nine Myths of Modern Unionism’
The Locker Room
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.
Keep the Faith
Life on a Low Wage
Seeing the Trees For the Wood
Carnival Comes to Town
|other LaborNET sites
Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Feds Make Asbestos Blue
An electrician who blew the whistle on the threat of deadly asbestos during the refurbishment of Sydney’s recently re-opened Hilton hotel has warned the action taken to protect safety could be illegal under the Howard governments planned workplace laws.
"If we lost the use of the state Industrial Relations Commission it would be a lot harder to get the result we achieved," says electrician Dean Storey, who was presented with a safety achievement award by Commerce Minister John Della-Bosca for his campaign to clean up the Hilton job.
"It would have been illegal for us to withdraw our labour on safety grounds."
Storey took on construction giant Leightons over their liability to pay workers for time lost on the job after WorkCover shut the site down while asbestos was removed.
Leightons had refused to cough up the cash, but Commissioner O'Neill of the NSW Industrial relations Commission found they had to pay up.
The win for the workers on the Hilton job set an important precedent in taking the onus for dealing with key safety issues off subcontractors and shifting it instead to principle contractors.
"It takes away the contractors being the meat in the sandwich,' says Geoff Prime from the ETU.
Storey was present at the Sky Channel hook up at Coogee on July 1 and addressed 600 workers about his experience at the Hilton refurbishment job and what the changes to workplace laws mean.
He's now active in passing on the word to workplaces across Sydney about what people are likely to lose under the IR Changes.
View entire issue - print all of the articles!
Issue 273 contents