Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 30 Official Organ of LaborNet 10 September 1999  




*  Interview: The Seeds of Genocide
Brian Daluz, from the Council for the National Resistance of Timor, believes Timorese are being herded into concentration camps.
*  Unions: The Mice That Roared
Hotel housekeeper Belinda Nicholls stole the show at the Second Wave rally with her story of the triumph of a group of newly-unionised workers.
*  International: The Hand of God?
John Passant asks whether Turkey’s Earthquake was a natural disaster or a criminal act.
*  Republic: The Republic Debate: Should It Go Into Extra Time?
In the battle of political - sporting analogies, a skeptic states his case.
*  Legal: Call Waiting
The Federal Court has put a dampener on outsourcing within a corporate structure.
*  Satire: Ticketing Chaos!
Sydney Olympics to be held in Beijing
*  Review: The Thirteenth Floor
A new film challenges the boundaries between reality and “virtual” reality and explores some of the moral issues that these technologies will introduce.
*  Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
Read the latest issue of Labour Review, a resource for union officials and students.

Eric Lee Improves his Wardrobe

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Wobbly Radio


Timor Hunger Strikers' Plea

Ramos Horta Calls for Workers’ Support
Nobel Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta has urged Australian workers to do whatever they can to pressure the Indonesian Government to bring the violence in East Timor under control. Includes details of protest actions
[ Full Story » ]

Sydney Unionists Forced to Leave Dili
Two Sydney trade unionists were tonight in Darwin after being forced out of the UNAMET compound in Dili, leaving just 40 United Nation officials in the devastated capital.
[ Full Story » ]

TWU Questions Timor Action
A key union has questioned the real effect of industrial bans being placed on Indonesia, fearing the action could be playing into the hands of the Indonesian military.
[ Full Story » ]

SOCOG Called to Cancel Indonesian Contracts
Textile workers have called on Games Organisers to immediately cancel the contracts of Indonesian producers supplying uniforms for the 2000 Olympics.
[ Full Story » ]

Union Busters To Go Cyber
Professional web-site hackers hired by big companies to infiltrate trade union web-sites could be the next generation of union-busters, Internet activist Eric Lee warned this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Not-So Aussie Post for Sydney 2000
Postal services to the Olympic Village during the 2000 Games will be carried out by an international mail delivery service rather than Australia Post, unions have been told.
[ Full Story » ]

Horror Tales - the Nights of the Living Dead
Funeral workers fear they are being turned into zombies as they are forced to work around the clock, picking up dead bodies by night and then organising their burial by day.
[ Full Story » ]

Asbestos Sufferer Bequests $30,000 To Union
Even as he approached death, former carpenter Wal Liddle, was determined to look out for the interests of his fellow building workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Woodlawn Workers Edge Towards Justice
There are “good prospects” that sacked Woodlawn miners will receive the $6.5 million they are owed in unpaid entitlements, following union negotiations with the mine’s receivers.
[ Full Story » ]

Telstra Shareholders Asked to Block Union-Busters
Workers are appealing directly to Telstra shareholders to scotch the company’s anti-union agenda, after management moved to end payroll deductions for union membership dues.
[ Full Story » ]

Reith Letter to be Revealed in Conspiracy Case
A Federal Court judge has ordered the release of a letter from Workplace Relations minister Peter Reith to the Employment Advocate which unions believe will support its allegations of conspiracy between the two over Melbourne’s Federation Square project.
[ Full Story » ]

Shock: Tele Thumbs Up For New Years Eve Holiday
The Carr Government appears set to grant workers a half-day public holiday, after the state’s loudest interest group - the Daily Telegraph - gave the proposition the thumbs up.
[ Full Story » ]

Tales From the Picket Line
About 1500 people gathered in Sydney this week for a spirited rally as part of the 24 Hour strike called by the NSW Teachers Federation and supported by the NSW Public Service Association.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • League's Working Class Takeover

  • Proverb for the Cyber Age

  • Postcard from the Emu

  • Mind Your Language

  • The Other Young Speaker

  • Timor: A Call to Action

  • A Letter to Downer

  • Editorial

    Passive Observers

    There is a terrible feeling of helplessness for those of us watching the atrocities in East Timor unfold with such brutal inevitability.

    Stuck in a gridlock that has been 25 years in the making, we search desperately for a fix - military action, political action, consumer action, industrial action, economic sanctions. And we are told that each course could be futile - perhaps even counter-productive.

    The only surprise about the crisis is that it comes as such a surprise. Six months ago Sister Josephine warned this would happen; three months ago the ACTU delegation raised the same concerns, even last week - as the voting took place - our reporters there were warning the situation on the ground was a nightmare waiting to happen.

    And how were these warnings received? Those of us who are interested monitored the news and shook our heads disapprovingly. Most just ignored it as another bad news story and reached for the latest issue of Who magazine, where the only crises are the love lives of the rich and fatuous.

    Until all hell breaks loose and the horror is in our living rooms and we expect our leaders to do "something" to stop the unbearable truth from being realised.

    What else can we do? We all have our obligations - our jobs, our homes, our families - and there are not enough hours in the day to process all this information. We have our lives to live, comfortable with our place in the world order, removed from the poverty of our neighbours. That is someone else's problem.

    Which is all true. But when these outrages confront us on our own doorstep we should not be surprised. We have ignored them for 25 years and a couple of days outrage will not rewrite history.

    None of which means we should not keep doing all we can to pressure the international community to ensure the violence ends and the referendum is honoured. But we have no right to expect a quick or easy fix.

    For in a very real sense East Timor is the inevitable result of our collective passivity.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Why Rural Australia Deserves a Pay Rise Greg Matthews says ‘Yeah. Yeah’ to Solidarity Deirdre Mahoney on the Social Audit Conference Piers’ Resistance



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