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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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Activist's What's On!

Civic Forum

Katoomba ALP would like to invite you to:


With Tanya Plibersek, MP (Federal Member for Sydney and Shadow Minister for Work and Family, Childcare and Youth and Women)

and Dr John Falzon (National Director of Social Policy, St Vincent de Paul Society).

SATURDAY, 22 APRIL 2006, 2-4 PM

Katoomba Civic Centre, Katoomba Street

Children are most welcome (we will provide some activities, but can't provide any supervision).

Enquiries - call 4782 4517


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


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.

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

The Take

As part of May Day week AMWU NSW is screening THE TAKE to raise funds for the ZANON FACTORY WORKERS so they can finish their documentary "Heart of the Factroy".

You can be part of international trade union solidarity by coming to our screening on:

Wednesday 3rd May 6 pm AMWU Granville 133 Parramatta Rd Granville

Friday 5th May 6pm Tom Mann Theatre 136 Chalmers St Surry Hills

Entry by donation $10

APHEDA will have DVDs, inlcuding THE TAKE for sale.

Plus East Timorese woven art.

Food and drink will be on sale.

Rock the Block music festival Saturday May 6

The 'Rock the Block' Festival, on Saturday May 6, 2006, boasts 5 hours of non-stop music, from rock and hip-hop to acoustic and electronic pop, as well as the Blackscreen Indigeneous film-series.

The festival is being put on to raise money to refurbish a community dance studio at the Tony Mundine gym, and will play host to well known acts such as Wire MC and Andorra, as well as nationally recognised acts like Combat Wombat and Ozi Batla, from the Herd.

Other acts include Indigenous acoustic musician James Henry, Tribal Ashes, the Urban Guerillas, Jesse Morris and the Project and Gisele Scales.

The festival also includes the Australian Film Commission's Blackscreen film series, including a wonderful documentary on Sydney's original Black theatre, from the 70's, and a number of moving and beautifully shot recent productions, such as 'Green Bush' featuring David Page.

Rock the Block will kick off in Lawson St Redfern at 1pm, although people are encouraged to come a bit early if they want to grab some lunch before the music starts.

The festival is a family day with kid's entertainment provided, along with the music and films. Entry is by donation, with a discount drink and sausage ticket for those who donate.

Please contact Lani at the Aboriginal Housing Company on 9698 9249 or Joel Beasant at [email protected] for more information.

Rock the Block is an alcohol-free event.


National Peace Conference Invitation

Thursday, May 25, 7pm

Public Meeting, Storey Hall, RMIT, Swanston St, City

Saturday, May 27 Registration from 9am

Maritime Union of Australia, 46 Ireland St, West Melbourne

The conference seeks to foster better international connections and

develop a clearer coherent national strategy for peace. It will coincide

with tours by significant international players in the peace movement


Hassan J'umar: President of the Iraqi Oil Workers Union, Cindy Sheehan,

from Goldstar Families for Peace, USA. Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats

Against Occupation. Dr Salam Islmail, From Doctors for Iraq, Muslim

Association of Britian and Stop the War Coalition.

Cost :

$50 for one or two delegates,

$20 (waged observer) $10 (unwaged observer)

Conference Dinner Saturday $20 waged, $15 unwaged

Contact the conference roganising committee on:

Phone: 0418 316 310

Email: [email protected]

Mail GPO Box 1473, Melbourne VIC 3001

May Day March and Rally

Sunday 7th May at 11am at Hyde Park North

More info from Warren Smith on 02 9264 5024


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