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Issue No. 298 10 March 2006  

Home Truths
The truth has been breaking out in all sorts of strange places this week.


Interview: Organising In Cyberspace
Workers Online speaks to the ACTU's Union Organiser of the Year, Greg Harvey from the RTBU, who has been using cutting edge ways to communicate with a blue-collar workforce spread across five states.

Industrial: How Low Is Low
Neale Towart looks at the much hyped link between minimum wages and employment

Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Govwernment has begun rolling out workshops to inform employers on how to use WorkChoices. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.

Unions: Bad Medicine
Nathan Brown reports on how Australia Post’s dodgy Faculty Nominated Doctor system is leaving sick workers feeling worse.

History: Right Turn, Clyde
Bob Gould believes news of Clyde Cameron’s demise may be premature

Economics: Long Division
Kenneth Davidson looks at a successful political strategy

International: Union Proud
A University of California librarian calls for union labels to increase worker visibility

Politics: Howard’s Sick Joke
Phil Doyle looks at an attack on one of the great achievements of the union movement

Indigenous: The year of living dangerously
That mob in parliament house seems to be hopelessly out of touch with Indigenous Australia. So much so, that Graham Ring wonders if the House on the Hill is becoming a ‘cultural museum’.

Review: Lights, Camera, Strike!
Mandrake the Electrician has been down to the video store over the summer and rounded up the Top Ten Union Movies of all time.

Culture: News Front
If the owners are selling off papers, perhaps the unions should buy them says Mark Dobbie.


 Wipeout: Minchin Surfs New Wave

 Scoop-idity: How The Truth Was Nicked

 Howard's Bastard Under Lock and Key

 Bank Shops Skilled Workers

 Debnam Dogs on Libs

 Jacko: "I'm Bad"

 Computer Strike Could Crash System

 Builders' Cleavage Strikes Gold

 Andrews Cops Legal Buffeting

 Brough Love for Women

 CFMEU Aids Escape

 Hunt on for Asbestos Crims

 Unions Counsel Queen

 Guests Get Pizza Topping

 Download a Pollie

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Australian Fascism
Rowan Cahill critiques Gerard Henderson’s unique take on history

Westie Wing
Will Westie's Wings be clipped, or will the Hills Angels repent and deliver?

The Locker Room
The Heart Of The Matter
Phil Doyle rolls up the red carpet and celebrates the death of an old foe

 Howard, My Part In His Downfall
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Activist's What's On!

Tune in to Workers Radio Sydney 88.9FM Weekdays 5:30am - 9:00am

International Women's Day March & Rally

"Come so far - yet so far to go!"

10.30am, Saturday 11 March at Town Hall Square

finishing at Hyde Park North.

Greet the Queen



We are all proud of our Sydney Opera House - Australia's landmark building. However, the Sydney Opera House is now the focal point of a battle for workers rights.

When the Queen last visited the Sydney Opera House, there was respect for workers rights. However this visit comes as workers at the Opera House are being victimized and forced to work on individual contracts.


10:30am - Monday 13th March 2006

Assemble at the Opera House and rally for JUSTICE!

The 2006 Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA raffle

Is now open!!!

We invite you to take part in this year's Raffle by buying a ticket, selling

tickets or encouraging your family and friends to participate.

FIRST PRIZE Round the World Trip for Two. Imagine, you and a friend heading

off around the world on a trip of a lifetime!! Every ticket gives you the

chance to win the great prize of a ticket for two around the world with $720

spending money and one night's accommodation in London thrown in.

SECOND PRIZE Acer Travelmate Laptop Computer. You will be able to go

anywhere with this great laptop, valued at $1,300. Acer Travelmate Model

2304Lci, Celeron M-350 with new 1MB Cache, 15" Widescreen, 256MB RAM, 40GB

Hard drive and many more features.

Raffle tickets can be purchased from 1 March 2006:

· Ph: 1800 888 674 Fax: (02) 9261 1118

· Email: [email protected]

· Online at

Human Rights...Negotiable?

What would an Australian Bill of Rights do for you?

Presented by the Port Jackson ALP State Electorate Council

Saturday 11 March 2006

Leichhardt Town Hall 2- 4:30pm

Cnr Norton & Marion Sts, Leichhardt

Guest Speakers

The Hon. Rob Hulls MP Victorian Attorney General

Julian Burnside Queen's Counsel, Refugee Rights Advocate, Author

Tim Palmer Walkley Award Winning Journalist, ABC Jakarta

The Hon. Susan Ryan Chair of the New Matilda Human Rights Campaign

Cook Islander fundraiser

A fundraiser is being held for Samuel Kautai and the other Cook Islander workers next Saturday, the 11th March at Belmore Bowling Club, Leyland Pde, Belmore from 7pm. Cost is $20. Please see leaflet attached.

Please feel free to distribute amongst your networks.

Jennifer Glass

PA to State Secretary, Andrew Ferguson


Construction & General Division

3rd Anniversary of war in Iraq

March and Rally for Peace and Justice for the Iraqi people

Saturday 18th March starting at 1pm at Belmore Park

Organised by the Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition and the Sydney Stop The War Coalition

More info at

John Howard: 10 Years On

It is now 10 years since John Howard was first elected as Australia's Prime Minister.

This forum will consider the Howard Government's 10 years in power and the impact it has had on Australia.


Julia Gillard MP, Shadow Health Minister

Gerard Henderson, columnist with the Sydney Morning Herald

Judith Brett, Author

When: Wednesday 22 March from 6.00pm to 7.30pm

Where: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Cost: Free

Chair: Senator John Faulkner, President of the NSW Fabian Society


The Katoomba Branch of the ALP presents the Oscar-nominated story of CBS journalist Edward R Murrow, who took on the malevolent power of muckrating Senator Joseph McCarty. In a climate of fear, Murrow and his dedicated staff defied corporate and sponsorship pressure to examine the lies and scaremongering tactics perpetrated by McCarthy during his communist 'witch-hunts'.

Newsweek has called it 'a passionate, serious, impeccably crafted move tackling a subject Clooney cares about deeply: the duty of journalism to speak the truth to power.'

Written and Directed by George Cloonet. Starring David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, george clooney, Jeff Daniles, Robert Downey Jr and Frank Lagella.

Introduced by Roger Milliss with champagne supper and discussion.


7.30 pm - Thursday 30 March

Bookings essential - Tickets $20/$15 concession

Available from Megalong Books & Mt Vic Flicks

Or phone 0401 369 935 or 4782 3429

Email: [email protected]

A fundraiser for Katoomba ALP

"We cannot defence freedom abroad by deserting it at home." Edward R Murrow


Tue 4th April, 6.30 PM.

The first meeting of the Victorian Activist Group will be held 6.30 PM,

Tuesday 4th April 2006. Meeting Room 9, Community & Public Sector Union

(CPSU), 11th Floor, 575 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Light refreshments will be

provided. RSVP to [email protected] by Monday 3rd April.

The Activist network enables members and supporters to meet and share

recourses locally as they support Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA's overseas

projects and campaigns.

Palm Sunday

Ecumenical service March and Rally

Sunday 9th April, 1pm at Prince Albert Park Parramatta, finishing at Parramatta Town Square

Organised by the Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition

More info at


Thu 20th April, 6.30 PM

Make it a date to remember!

Join Melbourne members and supporters at the Cinema Nova for a night of film

and fundraising. Raising much needed dollars for Union Aid Abroad-APEHDA's

overseas projects, tickets are just $20/$15 to see the Academy Award

nominated film Tsotsi in it's first week of release (see below for movie

blurb). Thursday 20th April 6.30 PM at the Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon Street


Contact Steve Mullins for bookings (payment MUST be made before the night)

Mobile: 0413021412 [email protected]

Tsotsi - (m) nominated for Academy Best Foreign Language Film

Set amidst the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto - where survival is

the primary objective - Tsotsi traces six days in the life of a ruthless

young gang leader who ends up caring for a baby accidentally kidnapped

during a car-jacking. Tsotsi is a gritty and moving portrait of an angry

young man living in a state of extreme urban deprivation. His world pumps

with the raw energy of Kwaito Music - the modern beat of the ghetto that

reflects his troubled state of mind.

The film is a psychological thriller in which the protagonist is compelled

to confront his own brutal nature and face the consequences of his actions.

It puts a human face on both the victims and the perpetrators of violent

crime and is ultimately a story of hope and a triumph of love over rage.

Winner, 2005 Toronto Film Festival, People's Choice Award


29th April 2006 from 1:30pm.

This year it is all about the history - and ongoing battles - of working class women. Join us for stories, memories, hope, singing and beer.

Tickets are $30, which includes dinner.

If you wanna get on board the bus (walkers are welcome & free), please let us know ASAP - you'll have a confirmed seat if you get us the money before the day - please make cheques payable to the PROUD TO BE UNION COMMITTEE INC (send to Struggles, Scabs & Schooners - c/- FSU, PO Box A2442 Sydney South 1235).

RSVP to Chris ([email protected] or 0438 898 198) or Sian ([email protected] or 8222 3346) for more information.


With the country on the edge, what can one person do?

A new Australian play crashes through at the Old Fitzroy in April with a story of

intrigue and crisis in personal and public life. Political Fiction, by Geoffrey

Sykes, is a parable of Australia now, in which hope and despair are pitted

against each other... with surprising results.

A disgruntled member of the government, a young singer and a free thinking staffer in

Foreign Affairs. Their journey, through sex, power, intrigue, betrayal and - finally - clear

vision, is a graphic exploration of what faces us all in our fallible attempts to relate to the

wider world.

Political Fiction plays and replays with the myths that control our public world ˆ when the

country is on the brink, what can one person do?

Playwright, documentary-maker and academic, Geoffrey Sykes has put words in the mouths

of some of Australia's finest actors and has written for some of our most provocative

exhibitions and theatre events including those at the National Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW,

MCA and the Powerhouse Museum.

Directed by Robina Beard (NAISDA, Ausdance, Belvoir, Adelaide Festival) and starring

Sarah Doyle, Alan Popely, Karen Cobban and Marc Kay, Political Fiction moves at pace

from Australia to South America and back as conspiracy brings people together, then blows

them apart...


April 18 to May 6


Cnr Cathedral and Dowling Streets, Woolloomooloo

Tues-Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm

Tickets $27 ($19 concession)

Book (02) 9294 4296 or online at

Beer Laksa and Show deal (from 7pm) $33

Cheap Tuesdays and Previews (April 18 and 19)

Presented by Southview Projects

May Day Toast

Monday, 1st May at 6pm at Souths Leagues Club

Tickets cost $30 each and are available from Jaime Midson on 02 9264 5024

May Day March and Rally

Sunday 7th May at 11am at Hyde Park North

More info from Warren Smith on 02 9264 5024

Lesbian Teacher Sacked

This headline is still possible in 2006!

Why is it still legal in NSW private schools to sack gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teachers and expel students because of their sexuality?

Why does the Anti-Discrimination Act provide no protection?

What needs to be done to stop this ridiculous situation?

Public Forum

6-8pm,. Tuesday March 14, 2006

Mori Gallery, 168 Day Street, Sydney

Contact: Greens MP Lee Rhiannon 9230 3551, [email protected]

Greens campaign:

Dave Peetz in conversation with Jennie George

Brave New Workplace: how Individual Contracts are Changing our Jobs

By David Peetz

The federal government's new industrial relations laws were passed just before Christmas: will the High Court challenge from the NSW state government overturn them? If they remain, how much is going to change anyway? Foremost IR expert David Peetz peels away the claims and counterclaims to examine the 'big picture' and explain who benefits and who loses under the new system.

Once employees knew they would be paid properly for working nights and overtime and that they couldn't be dismissed on a whim. Now employees are being asked to do their own bargaining, one on one. Employers and government claim this will lead to higher productivity, while unions and church groups cry foul. What's really going on?

The push for individual contracts for employees overturns a century of collective efforts to create basic rights and a 'fair go' in Australian workplaces. David Peetz closely examines the corporate and government doublespeak to uncover what's really happening in relations between employers and employees. Explaining who benefits from individual contracts and who doesn't, and how this is already changing the way we work, Peetz locates individual workplace contracts in a wider debate about whether we are moving away from collective ideals towards individualistic values.


David Peetz is Professor of Industrial Relations at Griffith University. He worked for ten years in the former Commonwealth Department of Industrial Relations, and is author of Unions in a Contrary World.

Cost: $9/$6 conc. gleeclub welcome

Venue: Upstairs @ 49, gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe

To book: 9660 2333 or [email protected]


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