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Issue No. 281 16 September 2005  

Marked Territory
If the mountain of pre-publicity is indicative of its content, the Latham Diaries will read a little bit like a sausage cookbook; full of grisley details about the makings of something we would rather take on face value.


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 wonít 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 Timorís 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.


 Flexibility - Bush Rates Slashed

 Seamen Marooned on Tassie

 Families Win Refuge in Tamworth

 Catholics Nail Andrews' Heresy

 IR Changes a Beach

 Drama Queen Applies Gloss

 Peace a Security Threat

 OEA Flicks Fraud Case

 Auto Workers Drive Union Win

 Bush Adds Insult to Injuries

 Job Vandals Cash In

 Lib Heads Witch Hunt

 Sydney Water Damned

 Super Blue Warms Up

 Activist's 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.

 Dinosaurs Bite Back
 Killer Culture
 Who Cares?
 Do the Bus Stop
 A Touch of Honesty
 Boss Made Me Sick
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Seamen Marooned on Tassie

Thirty one seafarers have been locked up in a makeshift Tasmanian detention centre after their flag of convenience vessel was arrested, south of Hobart, last week.

International Transport Workers Federation officials are battling to represent crew from South America, Spain, Russia and the Ukraine who face indefinite detention, or the prospect of deportation without wages.

The crew is being held at a former hydro camp at Bronte Park Village in the Tasmanian Highlands.

They were transferred there after the Cambodian-flagged, Taruman, was seized by Customs and Fisheries officers who suspect it of poaching Patagonian toothfish.

"If a company breaks the law, seafarers should not be criminalised," ITF spokesman, Dean Summers, says.

"We are asking that they be repatriated, with wages, and that the full force of the law be brought against businessmen who control the vessel.

"At the moment, we don't believe the interests of the seafarers are being represented in any way. While authorities will talk with company lawyers and representatives, our efforts to give seafarers a voice have been an exercise in frustration."

Workers Online understands Taruman, which previously sailed under a Panamanian flag of convenience, is owned by Rulofend Corp, of Uruguay.

It began its voyage in Denmark and changed flags during a stopover in Leixoes, Portugal.

On the basis of a conversation with an officer on board, some crew fear they will be abandoned without owed wages.

Summers says the arrest of the vessel drives home the threat to Australian interests of flag of convenience shipping, championed by the Howard government.

"The lack of controls and responsibilities, on which flag of convenience is based, is a threat to our national security. This case adds to previous evidence that suggests it is also being used to plunder our maritime resources," he said.\


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