The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 299 17 March 2006  

For Queen and Country
There’s nothing like a Commonwealth Games – and one on home turf to boot – to get one thinking about Australia’s relationship with Britain and the monarch who still reigns over us.


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.


 Fleas Bite Back

 Visa Boss Restrained

 Howard's Holiday Secrets

 Picket Buster Carpeted

 No Ticket No Start For Asbestos

 On The Road Again

 WorkChoices Goes Mental

 United Cuts Hit Turbulence

 Bad News for Bullies

 Vegie Contracts Poisonous

 Mac Attack

 Work Choices Canned

 Work Pressure Kills: Judge

 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

 Revelations of St John
 Save Frost
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees



Activist's What's On!

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

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.

Thursday 23rd March

Cost: $9/$6 conc. gleeclub welcome

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

To book: 9660 2333 or [email protected]

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


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 299 contents

email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2006

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online