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Issue No. 319 11 August 2006  

Good Versus Evil
So it's come to this - working women's groups that alert clients to union activities will be denied federal government funding and, effectively, forced to close.


Interview: A Life And Death Matter
Macquarie Street and Canberra are squaring off over safety in the workplace, NSW Minister for Industrial relations, John Della Bosca, explains what's at stake.

Unions: Fighting Back
When John Howard's building industry enforcer started threatening people's homes, one couple hit the road. Jim Marr met them in Sydney.

Industrial: What Cowra Means
The ruling on the Cowra abattoir case highlights the implications of the new IR rules, according to John Howe and Jill Murray

Environment: Scrambling for Energy Security
Howard Government hypocrisy is showcased in its climate change manoeuvring, Stuart Rosewarne writes:

Politics: Page Turner
A new book leaves no doubt about whether the faction came before the ego, Nathan Brown writes.

Economics: The State of Labour
The capacity of the state to shape the political economy and thus improve the social lives of the people must be reasserted, argues Geoff Dow.

International: Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

History: Liberty in Spain
Worker Self-Management is good management. The proof in Spain was in Catalania, Andalusia and continues in the Basque Country, as Neale Towart explains.

Review: Go Roys, Make A Noise
Phil Doyle thought he'd find nostalgia, but instead Vulgar Press' new book, Maroon & Blue is a penetrating insight into the suburban mind under stress.


 Sprung: Light on Day

 Mal Content to Challenge King

 More Standover Tactics in WA

 Qantas Holidays Delayed 150 Years

 Hockey Wields Stick

 We Have Ways of Cutting Your Pay

 Jihad Johnny Targets Women

 Council Workers Talk The Walk

 Trujillo Slices Millions Off Bottom Line

 Vehicle Jobs on Skids

 Teachers Suspend Selves

 Bishop Damns WorkChoices

 Workers Rights On The Road

 ACTU Backs Business, Germans

 Activist's What's On!


The Locker Room
Ruled Out
Phil Doyle plays by the rules

Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter One - Tommy and "The Boy"

Westie Wing
Ian West wonders what might happen if the NSW Coalition actually did win power next March at the State elections.

 Pimps and Prostitutes
 The Cruellest Cut
 Poll On
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Activist's What's On!

Support Omir

Builders labourer Omir Majstrovic was sacked in late July because he submitted a hearing claim on to his employer. A migrant worker, Omir was employed by Formbrace on the Hollands project at Parramatta.

To support Omir:

1) Ring and/or email Andrew Doud, the employer who unfairly sacked omir. Phone 02 9772 2755 or email [email protected]

2) Donate to the CFMEU Fighting Fund at the site, corner of George and Charles Street, Parramatta.

3) Enrol to vote and kick the Liberals out of office at the next federal election.

4) Ring or email Glenn Palin, the NSW Manager for the John Holland Group and demand that the owner of this project intervene and ensure justice for Omir and his family. Phone 02 9553 4288 or email [email protected]

New Matilda's Human Rights Launch, Melbourne

New Matilda's Human Rights Act for Australia campaign will be holding its Melbourne launch at 4.30pm on Sunday, 13 August at the Malthouse Theatre.

Australia is the only Western nation without a Human Rights Act or constitutional equivalent. This campaign is designed to change that.

The campaign was launched in response to the appalling treatment of refugees in recent years, particularly children, and the extreme anti-terrorism laws which were hastily passed late last year. So far the campaign has held launches in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Tasmania, Canberra, Darwin and many regional centres. We have attracted support from faith based groups, legal groups, refugee rights groups, civil liberties groups and many others.

The campaign is based around a draft Human Rights Act that was prepared by a team of legal and human rights experts. The Melbourne launch will coincide with the release of the final draft of this bill, which we plan to have introduced into the federal parliament as a private member's bill before the year is out.

Susan Ryan, AO, will be chairing the event and will be joined by an engaging list of speakers including Associate Professor Spencer Zifcak, who led the drafting team, Professor Larissa Behrendt, Sharan Burrow, Julian Burnside QC, Brian Walters SC, Max Gillies and Hilary McPhee, AO.

A copy of the draft bill and more information on the campaign is available at

Newcastle Politics In The Pub

6.30pm Tuesday August 15th 2006 Hamilton Station Hotel

Ecological or Political Decisions?
Guest Speakers:
Claire Dunn: Coordinator, Newcastle Branch of the Wilderness Society.
Martin Chamberlain (MAqua): Pt. Stephens Oyster and Pearl Farmer.

National Industrial Relations Forum 2006

Ends with cocktail evening

Fair Go From Here?
2nd in the 'Fair Go' conference series

Hosted by the Australian State and Territory Governments, this one-day event provides an opportunity for employers, workers, social commentators and academics to engage in constructive and open debate about the real impact of the federal Work Choices legislation on the Australian workplace.

The forum provides an affordable opportunity to hear a balanced and broad range of views from reputed experts in academia and advocacy and will discuss the implications of the federal government's industrial relations changes examine ways of working under these changes and the implications for IR in practice and explore ways forward in the new IR environment.

Date: Thursday 24th August 2006
Location: Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney
Time: 9.30am - 5.10pm

Conference website:
Fair Go website:
Conference Secretariat:
ICE Australia
Email: [email protected]

Rally for WA Workers

Sydney rally to support workers on the Mandurah railway project. 107 workers face fines of $28,600 and legal fees under the Howard Government's new work laws for taking industrial action.

Solidarity rally: protest the prosecutions
When: 10am, Tuesday, 29 August, 2006
Where: Trades Hall, 377 Sussex St, Sydney

Make Life Fair Everywhere

September 20, Wednesday,
Union-Aid Abroad APHEDA Annual Dinner
6.30pm for 7pm start
Petersham RSL (7 Regent St)
More info: 02 9264 6343 or [email protected]

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

A Conference - Dinner - Concert

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]

Pope Talks IR

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])


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