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Issue No. 315 14 July 2006  

Give Truth A Chance
Civic values - aah another boring conservative rant. Well, perhaps, but here goes.


Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
When the mobs took over the streets of Dili it was the people of East Timor that bore the brunt. Elisabeth Lino de Araujo from Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA was there to witness what happened.

Unions: Staying Mum
Penrith mums, Linda Everingham and Jo Jacobson, are at the heart of a grassroots campaign to boot Jackie Kelly, out of federal parliament. Jim Marr caught up with one half of the sister act.

Economics: Precious Metals
There's a lot of spin around AWAs in the mining industry, but Tony Maher argues all that glitters is not gold.

Industrial: The Cold 100
The Iemma Government has come up with 100 reasons why WorkChoices is a dud, with 100 examples of ripped off workers

History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
This month's Blacktown Rally was not the first time workers had stood up for their rights in the region, writes Andrew Moore.

Legal: Free Agents
Is an independent contractor a small businessperson or a worker? The answer depends upon whether the contractor is genuinely ‘independent’ or not, writes Even Jones.

Politics: Under The Influence
Bob Gould thinks Sonny Bill Williams is a hunk; he reveals all in a left wing view of The Bulletin’s 100 most influential Australians, questioning the relevance of some, and adding a few of his own.

International: How Swede It Was
Geoff Dow pays tribute to the passing of Rudolf Meidner, one of the architects of the Swedish model of capitalism.

Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
These punk rockers are out to KO WorkChoices. Nathan Brown joins the fray.


 Howard's $30m Rip Off

 Jetstar Sells Job Interviews

 Jail or Jobs - Seamen Choose

 Vanstone Mum on Rorts

 WorkChoices Whacks Chalkies

 Telstra MIA in Bush

 WA Safety Rep On Mission

 Sallies Join Sack-A-Thon

 CFMEU Dips Out on Fullback

 Pollies Brush Sick, Kids

 Pollie Cries Like a Croc

 Training Minister Gives Himself an A

 25 Years On the Grass

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Work Choice: US Military Style
John Howard has learnt a few lessons on workers rights from his Texan buddy, writes Rowan Cahill.

Westie Wing
As Pru Goward slams into the glass ceiling of the NSW Liberal Party, Ian West considers how women are faring under the Howard-Costello Government.

The Locker Room
A World Away
Phil Doyle is pleased that a display of subtle beauty and athletic grace has been overtaken by some good old-fashioned mindless violence

 Real Hero
 Howard vs World
 Marching Orders
 Tough as ABC
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25 Years On the Grass

A Japanese engineer, sacked for refusing to do compulsory company callisthenics, is celebrating his 25th year of strike action this month.

Tetsuro Tanaka, a union activist at telecommunications equipment manufacturer OKI Electric, has kept a daily vigil of his former workplace for a quarter of a century.

Every morning he sings and plays guitar at the factory gates, spending an entire day there once a month on the anniversary of his sacking.

Tanaka wields his guitar, singing about attacks on unions, the corporate undermining of mateship, and the loneliness of the sacked worker. For an income he relies on music teaching and concert dates at union and folk gigs.

He has been presented with human rights awards, sung at union concerts, provided support for other sacked workers and, as recently as last month, was being forcefully evicted from an OKI shareholder's meeting.

Last month he gave moral support to a protesting schoolteacher, suspended without pay for refusing to stand and sing the national anthem.

Tanaka says the compulsory callisthenics was less about fitness and more about conformity, and the companies actions were simply a ruse to get rid of him for being a union troublemaker.

Recent media reports claim Tanaka's troubles started when management identified him as a union activist after he also objected to forced redundancies and complained that managers were bullying his workmates.

OKI, who sponsor the St George Illawarra Dragons NRL club, presented Tanaka with two options, take a job a long way from his home, or 'agree' to be fired. He took neither, instead taking up his stand outside the factory gates in a ritual that has become so regular, local schoolkids time themselves by Tanaka's presence - if he's still singing they aren't late for school.

"The most important thing is not to think of yourself," Tanaka recently told the media. "Don't protest selfishly, don't think of yourself. The conclusion to a life of selfishness is unhappiness. Clever people profit by helping others. Recently I have felt very happy. Fired people have no retirement age."

Sydney documentary maker, Maree Delofski, is making a film entitled Mr Tanaka Will Not Do Callisthenics.


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