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Issue No. 308 26 May 2006  

If the Answer is Nuclear ….
At least George Dubya still has some influence. Not in his own country, certainly not in Europe, not even in the former dominions of Latin America.


Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Reverend Jim Wallis is leading a crusade to take the moral debate into the public arena.

Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Government has begun a series of workshops to sell its WorkChoice vsision. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.

Unions: Lockout!
Jim Comerford’s eyewitness account of the 15-month Lockout of 10,000 New South Wales miners in1929-1930 records the inside story of Australia’s most bloody and bitter industrial conflict

Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Professor Ron McCallum argues the WorkChoices laws are built on a fundamental fiction.

Politics: Labor Pains
Labor has dealt itself out of the crucial workplace relations debate by failing to articulate a credible policy alternative to Howard’s new WorkChoices legislation, argues Mark Heearn and Grant Michelson

Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Evan Jones pays tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith, a big man who never stopped arguing that economics should serve the public good, not create public squalor.

Corporate: House of Horrors
Anthony Keenan takes a tour of Sydney’s notorious, Asbestos House, courtesy of Gideon Haig.

History: Clash Of Cultures
Neale Towart with a new take on Mayday through the words of a punk icon

International: Childs Play
An ILO report into Child Labour shows some progress is being made to curb this gobal scurge .

Culture: Folk You Mate!
Phil Doyle dodges Morris Dancers to find signs of Working Life at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over the Easter Weekend.

Review: Last Holeproof Hero
Finally, a superhero who has worked out how to wear his underpants. Nathan Brown ogles V for Vendetta


 Death Site Under Wraps

 Lets Get Physical, Building Bosses

 Retailers Spotlight Wage Cuts

 Sparkie Vote Will Go To the Wire

 More Front Than Meyer

 Nine Vanish in Melbourne Triangle

 Black is White, Andrews

 Kev Nicks from Kids

 Toothless Tiger Squeals

 High Standard Bugs Boss

 Labor Roots In Graft Allegations

 Security Posted

 ALP Urged to Front Up

 On the Road Again

 Activists What's On


The Soapbox
Albo's Meltdown
Labor's environment spokesman Antony Albanese argues that Chrernobyl is one reason why the ALP should stand firm on nuclear.

The Locker Room
A Sort Of Homecoming
Phil Doyle plays to the whistle.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West reports from Macquarie Street on some strange collective acction.

 Spotlight on WorkChoices
 Noll On
 Riders on the Strom
 No Gerry Can
 Insight Fires Up
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Activists What's On

A Bill of Rights for Australia? Speakers include Hon Bob Debus NSW Attorney-General & Member for Blue Mountains Susan Ryan New Matilda (former Senator and Minister) Professor George Williams Director, Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law UNSW Saturday 27 May, 4.30pm to 6.30pm Katoomba Civic Centre For more information contact John Derum, 4751 3298 Inner West IR forum to fight WorkChoices Greens MP and industrial relations spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says an upcoming public forum in Annandale, with high profile speakers like environmentalist and unionist Jack Mundey, is designed to help overturn Howard's WorkChoices laws. "The Greens will be using our local community networks to bolster the ongoing campaign against WorkChoices, with the aim of winning back the working and living conditions that unions have established over the past century," Ms Rhiannon said. "Following on from our major forum last June, before WorkChoices became law, we have organised speakers from a broad range of areas including the church, academia and the union movement. Greens Ban leader Jack Mundey said John Howard has with one fell swoop destroyed every person's right to fight for better working conditions and the environment. "The movement against WorkChoices is far from over. We need to keep mobilising support in the community for unions' right to represent workers," Mr Mundey said. Greens Councillor for Leichhardt and candidate for Balmain in the 2007 NSW elections, Rochelle Porteous, said the Greens were committed to working with unions and the community to oppose the Liberal's attack on wages and conditions. "We are inviting the community to come to our forum and help build a broad based movement to defeat these regressive WorkChoices laws," Cr Porteous said. Community and Unions: Defeating Howard's WorkChoices Forum: 2-5pm, Saturday 3 June 2006, Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, 79 Johnston St. Speakers include: Jack Mundey, Rev Dr Ann Wansbrough Uniting Church; Professor Frank Stilwell; Adam Kerslake Unions NSW, Brett Holmes General Secretary NSW Nurses' Association, Rochelle Porteous Greens Councillor Leichhardt and others from transport, building, hospitality and cleaners unions. Pre-forum photo opportunity: Lee Rhiannon, Jack Mundey and Rochelle Porteous handing out forum leaflets to Inner West residents. Banner Making Workshop A banner making workshop is being held in preperation for the June 28 rally in Blacktown. Where: Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre When: 2pm, Friday, June 16 For more information call Dianne on 4782 1117 Work, Industrial Relations and Popular Culture Conference Monday 25 September 2006, Brisbane Work and Industry Futures QUT, and the Department of Industrial Relations Griffith University are convening a one-day conference that explores Work, Industrial Relations and Popular Culture. David Pope, the cartoonist behind the Heinrich Hinze cartoons will be Keynote Speaker with his presentation - "Is the pen mightier than s356? Cartoons and Work" ( We welcome any paper that explores the manner in which popular culture is used by unions, management or policy makers or alternatively, how work and industrial relations is represented within popular culture. Sub-themes for the conference include: - Policy, Influence and Modern Mediums - Which is Reality, Work or TV? - Popular Music: Is it the End of the Working Class Man? - Working in the Movies: What do we see? - Popular Culture as a Teaching Tool. Call for Papers. Abstracts are due 14 July 2006 Full papers are due 11 September 2006 Location; Southbank, Brisbane.

The convenors would welcome participants to submit proposed titles earlier to assist in preparations. For further information please contact Keith Townsend ([email protected]) or David Peetz ([email protected])

Rekindling the Flames of Discontent: How the Labour and Folk Movements Work Together


The Brisbane Labour History Association is holding a Conference/Dinner/Concert on Saturday 23 September. This event will explore the historical relationship between the labour movement and the folk movement in Australia with a particular emphasis on Queensland.

Why? To celebrate the history of the interaction between the Folk and Labour movements, and promote its longevity.

When? Saturday 23 September. Conference from 1pm. Concert from 7pm.

Where? East Brisbane Bowls Club, Lytton Rd, East Brisbane, Next to Mowbray Park

It is still in the formative stages, but to date the following are confirmed:

1-5pm CONFERENCE (will include music with the presentations):
Doug Eaton on John Manifold & the Communist Arts Group in Brisbane, Brisbane Realists
Bob & Margaret Fagan on Sydney Realist Writers
Mark Gregory on trade union & labour songs/music, nationally/internationally
Lachlan & Sue on international perspectives

5 - 7pm Drinks followed by DINNER

7 - 11pm CONCERT
Combined Unions Choir
Bob and Margaret Fagan
Mark Gregory
Jumping Fences
For more information contact the BLHA President Greg Mallory on [email protected], or Secretary Ted Reithmuller on [email protected], or Dale Jacobsen on [email protected]


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