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Issue No. 280 09 September 2005  

The Perfect Storm
The mayhem and misery engulfing New Orleans and its surrounds is more than a human tragedy of mammoth proportions, it is the product of a convergence of events that could shift our worldview every bit as much as the attacks on September 11, 2001.


Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws won’t be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timor’s young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Telstra Cuts Off Sick Mum

 CFMEU Pulls $3M Bank Job

 Life Imitates Ad

 Equal Pay Unlawful

 AWA Threatens Kids

 Howard’s Porky Exposed

 STOP PRESS: Bank Pinged

 Thongs Flap Into IR War

 Dad Sacked Over Safety Fears

 News Leader in Advertising Stink

 PM’s Spin Hit for Six

 Daffy Ducks Dud Deal

 Canada Shamed

 Combet Stars At Rooty Hill

 Vanstone Backs Ciggie Salaries for Detainees

 Flicking the Super Switch

 Activists What's On!


The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.

 Telstra Trauma
 Telstra’s Calling
 What Poor People?
 The Day
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Letters to the Editor

The Day

I rise in the morning; I'm planning my day.
I sit down to breakfast, the kids are at play.
It's eight in the morning and soon I'll be gone.
The clock it is ticking as time marches on.

I'm down in the basement I'm parking my car.
Since joining this company I've come pretty far.
The lift climbs so quickly, soon out through the door.
A view you could die for, this ninety ninth floor.

I look at the wall clock; it's a quarter to nine,
I must ring my mother to see that she's fine.
I feel a great shudder, the floor starts to shake.
I think in an instant we've had an earthquake.

I rush to a window, my heart skips a beat.
I'm looking straight down but I cant see the street.
There's nothing but smoke and a ball of Orange flame.
I freeze in cold terror, an explosion to blame.

We gather together, my workmates and I.
We don't feel to worried but a girl starts to cry.
I say it's all right Jane, it's really ok.
I hear in a corner a man start to pray.

Some time has passed on now, we know we ars lost.
Escape is impossible, a bridge we can't cross.
The exits are damaged and rescue a dream.
The flames are climbing and my heart wants to scream.

I stand at a window and look to the sky.
A shape falls before me, a choice made to die.
Perhaps it was quicker that path to the grave,
But for me it's no option: cause I'm not that brave.

I'm starting to panic, I think of my wife.
I wish I could thank her for making my life,
A time of fulfilment, a time of great joy.
My heart feels like ice as I think of my boy.

No more will I hold him nor my young daughter dear
And it's this not my death that gives me most fear
Then I think will they miss me as their lives carry on;
And their children's children long after I'm gone.

It's been quite some time since the start of this trial
And were thinking that maybe we'll walk one more mile
When suddenly hell and our world starts to fall.
Then the pain and the agony till the end of it all.

A lone piper plays, a slow dirging pace
As a mark of remembrance in this now holy place.
And the souls of those victims of this unholy crime;
will dwell in our hearts for the fullness of time.

John Mc Shane


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