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Issue No. 303 21 April 2006  

Brand Spanking
It took the Easter Bunny, a couple of diplomatic crises and a bit of classic Howard wedge politics to shift industrial relations off the front pages, but if you think the story is over, forget it.


Interview: Head On
John Buchanan has been warning that WorkChoices would be a car crash. Now he surveys the damage.

Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
CFMEU Mining national secretary Tony Maher lets fly at the new industrial laws.

Industrial: Vital Signs
In his new book, Craig Emerson argues that destroying unionism will not be in Australia's long term interests.

Economics: Taxing Times
Frank Stilwell argues that there are progressive alternatives to the slash and burn approach to tax reform.

Environment: It Ain’t Necessarily So
Don't let anyone tell you that jobs and the environment are opposities, argues Neale Towart.

History: Melbourne’s Hours
Neale Towart reluctantly pays homage to Victoria's celebration of the eight hour day.

Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
John Howard is deciding more and more foreign workers should come into this country - without the rights of citizenship, writes John Sutton,

Review: Pollie Fiction
For someone barely 25 years Sarah Doyle has an enviable track record in theatre behind her.

Poetry: The Cabal
Poetry returns to Workers Online with this rollicking ode to employer power.


 Costello Plans Super Swindle

 Control Freak Turns Hand to AWAs

 ‘Clean Start’ Sweeps Into Action

 Fleas Leave Andrews Scratching

 The $130 Question: What is He On?

 Howard Stings Liberal Mum

 Apprentices Assume Missionary Position

 $80,000 for Friendly Act

 David Phoenix Rises Again

 Rights At Work Worth Playing For

 Qantas Sackings Grounded

 Eight Hours Play

 TWU Boss Gaoled

 Activist's What's On!


Democracy in Action
Former NSW Premier Neville Wran's speech to commemorate 150 years of responsible government.

The Westie Wing
There has been activity aplenty in the NSW Parliament this month, reports Ian West.

The Soapbox
From Chaver to Cobber
John Robertson, Unions NSW Secretary, hosting Passover at Sydney Trades Hall discovers the first comrades followed a bloke called Moses.

Postcard from New Orleans
Mark Brenner surveys the long-term impact of Hurricane Katrina on the regions workers.

The Locker Room
My Country Right Or In Lane Five
Phil Doyle observes the golden shower at the recent Commonwealth Games, and asks what it means for the last great unpredictable drama.

Vale Bill Hartley
Unlike some of his comrades, Bill Hartley never departed from his position as a radical nor did he die rich in assets, writes Bob Scates.

 Say No To Optus
 Lying Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them II
 What Tax Cuts?
 Belly Says It’s Time
 A Word Of Warning Stop
 Mexican Revolution
 Well That Clears That Up Then
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Letters to the Editor

Mexican Revolution

This afternoon a Victorian trade union colleague mailed me an envelope containing 50 leaflets for the Workers & Community National Day of Protest Wednesday 28 June. The leaflets were produced the Victorian Trades Hall Council, featuring the ACTU logo. The leaflets advertise the National Day of Protest on June 28 beginning at 10am. It calls on workers and the community to assemble at one of four locations and march to city centre. In inspiring bold red print it reads, "Together we are unbreakable!"

Once again, our Victorian trade union colleagues have the jump on us by distributing posters and leaflets two months before the Day of Protest. This is one reason why they were able to mobilise over 100 000 people for the 2005 November 15 rally.

Sadly, very few people in NSW are even aware of the June 28 National Day of Protest. Indeed as I write this letter, there is a debate amongst Union NSW affiliates to decide whether or not there will be protest action on June 28. Given the recent sackings you would expect Unions NSW to jump at the opportunity to organise another November 15 style protest.

Unfortunately there are sections of the union leadership trying to restrict our campaign to a „Just Vote ALP‰ strategy. If Beazley‚s popularity and performance is any indication, we are doomed. There‚s no guarantee that a future Labor government will repeal the legislation unless the union movement keeps campaigning to defeat the legislation on the ground. Even if the ALP is elected, if there hasn't been enough of an industrial campaign and mass protests all an ALP government will do is to merely ameliorate the worst aspects of the legislation.

Many agree we need a national stoppage to signal to employers and the government that they will face industrial action if they attempt to use the new anti-union laws.

Especially in the weaker workplaces, workers will need the confidence to resist the use of the new laws by their employers. This is needed to overcome the sentiment amongst some workers that the campaign is over and that there‚s nothing they can do until the next elections. Howard hopes the union movement won‚t organise a national stoppage or mass protests.

Members should pass motions that call on Unions NSW to organise a Workers & Community Day of Protest on June 28 and call their unions to find out what they are doing. As the Victorian's are saying, "Together we are unbreakable!"

John Gauci


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