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Issue No. 275 05 August 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Iemma’s Dilemmas
The past fortnight has seen the sort of upheaval in NSW that reminds us all that politics is a very tenuous game with few certainties and even fewer rules.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: On Holiday
Historian Richard White looks back on the Aussie vacation - and finds a way of life is under threat.,

Unions: One Day Longer
Nathan Brown travels to the Boeing picket line and find a group of workers with a steely determination to stick together.

Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Jim Marr plays the Howard Government's industrial relations spin job on its merits.

Politics: Spun Out
Canberra’s latest campaign underlines the need for controls over government advertising, according to Graeme Orr and Joo-Cheong Tham

Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
Evan Jones explains how the way we purchase alcolohol reflects the type of economy we live in.

History: Taking a Stand
Neale Towart looks at two books that chronicle how to build community support against social injustice.

International: The Split
Amanda Tattersal outsider's account of an insider's shake-out at the AFL-CIO Convention 2005

Legal: Pushing the Friendship
George Williams argues that the federal government’s constitutional powers are not sufficient to enact a comprehensive national industrial relations scheme

Poetry: Simple Subtractions
The latest blitz of taxpayer-funded advertising has revealed a crisis of arithmetic in government ranks has moved resident bard David Peetz to prose.

Review: Sydney Trashed
Sydney band SC Trash are on a mission to give new life to folk and country music – and the politics of common sense. Nathan Brown had a beer with them

N E W S

 Carmen's Boss No Fun Guy

 Discriminating Centrelink on Charges

 Uproar Over Holiday Plans

 Do The Bus Stop

 Taxpayers to Fund Advertising Orgy

 Get Up Stands Up

 Andrews Provokes Showdown

 Thousands in Super Rort

 Constituents Don’t Trust Andrews

 Skill Shortage Fabricated

 Yanks Short Change Tradesmen

 Howard Steamroller Hits Building Sites

 CFMEU Bans Ferguson

 Activists Whats On!

C O L U M N S

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, goes away for a couple of weeks and look what happens…

The Soapbox
The Last Weekend
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson's speech to the Last Weekend - how the Howard government laws will undermine the Ausrtalian way of life.

The Locker Room
A Concept Is Born
In which Phil Doyle helps the proponents of the vision thing across the road.

International
Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

Postcard
London Post
During his recent stay in London IEU industrial officer John Shapiro was living only a few hundred metres from the site of one of the bomb blasts.

L E T T E R S
 Back To The Past
 AFL-CIO Not The Only War
 Be Afraid
 Frame Up
 We Love Morris
 ANew Development
 A Readers Suggestion
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

AFL-CIO Not The Only War


There has been some discussion recently in the WoL letters page about the US AFL-CIO split. But one good thing that came out of that convention is a resolution supporting „rapid withdrawal‰ of the US from Iraq.

David Bacon is a well known US unionist & journalist involved in reporting on and supporting Iraqi unions. His article „AFL-CIO CONVENTION CALLS FOR TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ‰ makes for interesting reading (see the link below).

Some may ask what has this to do with Aussie unions. The Aus union movement has a position against the war in Iraq. It is an important issue to keep up with given this country‚s recently increased commitment to troops to Iraq.

Iraqi unions, banned during Saddam's regime, are trying to survive and grow in a harsh environment attacked by the islamic fundamentalists and Ba‚athists in the 'armed resistance', the US occupation forces and the interim government.

In the US a widely supported grass roots movement 'US Labor Against the War' (USLAW) has done a lot to support Iraqi unions by promoting speaking tours from Iraq and raising money for Iraqi unions. The UK Trade Union Congress gives a lot of support to the Iraqi unions including a "donate here" button on their web site.

The Aus union movement is a bit behind this level of awareness of the issues facing the emerging democratic union movement in Iraq. In the view of many unionists this movement is one of the few sources for hope in Iraq. In Sydney and in Perth there are a couple of small groups of unionists supporting Iraqi unions. Maybe it is time for the Œofficial‚ union movement to take a greater interest.

For more info go to:

http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/

http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/index.cfm?mins=376

http://lists.portside.org/mailman/htdig/portside/Week-of-Mon-20050725/015593.html

Leon Parissi

NSW Public Service Association Central Councillor

[email protected]


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