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Issue No. 284 07 October 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Age of Consent
After more than five years of debating, cajoling and at times pleading, NSW workers have secured a set of cyber work rights worth celebrating.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement – and explains why Australians have nothing to fear from the SEIU.

Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Wal King, Allan Moss, Roger Corbett, Chip Goodyear, Michael Chaney and David Murray have lots in common, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: Un-Australian
Labour lawyer Clive Thompson argues the changes to IR are fundamentally at odds with the national tradition of consesensus.

Economics: The Common Wealth
As the policy wonks debate the future of our cities, Neale Towart mounts a simple argument: It’s the real people in a society, stupid

History: Walking for Justice
The Eight Hour Day, a very Australian celebration, had its origins in New Zealand it seems, writes Neale Towart.

International: Deja Vu
A group of trade unions have walked away from America's peak council, again. Labourstart's Eric Lee was there.

Legal: The Rights Stuff
Terror laws have sparked a fresh debate on a Bill of Rights - and workers have a bigger stake than ever before, writes Rachael Osman-Chin.

Review: That Cinderella Fella
Russell trades the phone for mitts in an inspiring cinematic slug-fest. Nathan Brown is ringside

Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
Mel Cheal asks who Howard thinks he is kidding to the tune of the ‘Dad’s Army’ theme song.

N E W S

 Secret Policemen's Balls-Up

 Centrelink Breaches Cyber Law

 Examiner Pulps Cadet

 Food Truck Flattens Woman

 Will They Know It's Christmas?

 Death By Nestle

 Taskforce On Safety Charges

 Archbishop Preaches End Of Civilisation

 Union Drives Tassie Train

 PM Cold on Lunch Date

 Seafarers Scupper Sell Off

 Fraser Terror-fied

 Tribute to HT Lee

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
No Place For A Woman!
Doreen Borrow spoke to the Public Service Association’s women’s conference in September about her experiences of working life that span seven decades.

Postcard
North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Locker Room
Disaster
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West MLC, gets all casual in his latest missive from the Bear Pit.

L E T T E R S
 Rat’s Army
 Kev's Confusion
 Make Ads Not Law
 Nice One, Workers!
 Dog Eat Dog
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Seafarers Scupper Sell Off


French seafarers who seized a Mediterranean ferry and faced down a naval assault have forced a rethink on privatisation plans.

Armed French military personnel stormed the fPascal Paoli in Marseilles on September 27 after 30 union members took charge of the vessel, owned by the government run Corsica-Mediterranean shipping company SNCM.

All 30 seafarers were arrested and subsequently released.

Another two SNCM ferries, the Mediterrannée and the Napoléon Bonaparte, were prevented from leaving the port of Marseilles on 20 September.

Marseilles port workers carried out solidarity action in support of the seafarers, preventing 40 vessels from sailing.

The actions have led to the French government backing down over plans to privatise the SNCM company.

The French government was planning to sell off SNCM to investment company Butler Capital Partners. The unions - French ITF affiliate Fédération Nationale des Syndicats Maritimes CGT and the Corsican Syndicat des Travailleurs Corses - claim that some 300 to 400 redundancies would result from the sale.

"We oppose the privatisation of SNCM pure and simple. We also condemn the aggression perpetrated by the law enforcement agencies and the army on Pascal Paoli," commented Yves Reynaud, ITF inspector for the Fédération

Générale des Transports et de l'Equipement CFDT.

However, the government is now stating that a wholesale sell-off is no longer on the cards; instead, it plans to hold on to 25 per cent of the company, with 67 per cent going to Butler Capital and its competitor Veolia-Connex, and eight per cent to workers.

Backed by a number of other unions, including ITF affiliates the Fédération Générale des Transports et de l'Equipement CFDT and the Fédération FO de l'Equipement, de l'Environnement, des Transports et des Services, the CGT

union confederation is insisting that the government retain a majority shareholding.

Negotiations on the future of the company are continuing.


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