Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 32 Official Organ of LaborNet 24 September 1999  




*  Interview: His Daily Fix
Graham Richardson talks of his transition from national politics to talkback radio and his ongoing jobs as a fixer.
*  Politics: Requiem to the Third Way
The swing to Labor in Victoria shows clearly that once again Australian voters have rejected economic rationalism. The result, and the reasons for it, should worry John Howard.
*  International: A Common Struggle for Freedom
It may not get the headlines, but Western Sahara has some chilling similarities with East Timor.
*  Unions: Woolscour Workers say No to Peter Reith
Workers at Canobolas Wooltopping - a woolscour plant near Orange, in central west New South Wales, have just sent a message to Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith: thanks, but no thanks.
*  Legal: Outlawed Acts of Consicence
The recent boycotts in support of East Timorese indepndence highlights the extremism of Reith's second wave.
*  History: Was Manning Clark A True Believer
A Canberra history conference shines the spotlight on Australia's most famous historian.
*  Review: Paranoid Echoes
The calls to examine the Australian–Soviet documents in the Moscow Literary archives have grown in volume over the past year.
*  Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
The latest issue of Labour Review - a resource for officals and students.
*  Satire: Kennett Boosts Chances: Two More Independents Dead
Caretaker Premier Jeff Kennett today admitted that voters perceived him as arrogant and out of touch, but insisted that they were wrong.

Richo: Still Fixing

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Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


Wobbly Radio


Sniper Victim - Medical Supplies Needed

Public Servants Seek Leave For Timor
Nurses and teachers have asked the State Government to approve paid leave for workers prepared to assist with East Timor’s post-independence reconstruction as the need for medical supplies increases.
[ Full Story » ]

Goodbye Green Bans - Dumped by the Wave
Environmental bans, economic blockades and other protests of conscience will be outlawed if the Howard Government’s proposed second wave of industrial relations changes is passed by the Senate.
[ Full Story » ]

Government Rules Nobble Public Sector
Public sector guidelines on equal opportunity, superannuation and health safety are making it impossible for government agencies to win competitive tenders, unions from across the factions will argue at next week’s ALP State Conference.
[ Full Story » ]

ACTU Pushes On With Privatised Portal
Unions will have to lock into the ACTU-Virtual Communities computer deal for ten years if they want to reap a profit from the venture, according to the latest details of the plan formerly known as Vizard.
[ Full Story » ]

Powerful New Years Eve Deal for TransGrid
Workers employed by the state’s electricity grid, Transgrid, have secured a 500 per cent bonus for working on New Years Eve to be on hand in case the Y2K bug bites.
[ Full Story » ]

Banks Grill Staff on New Fees
The Commonwealth Bank has been paying staff to attend focus groups to discover how they’ll cope with anger over a raft of new customer charges - including payment for information on account balances.
[ Full Story » ]

Off the Rails - Workers Gagged
Relations between unions and Transport Minister Carl Scully continue to deteriorate with the State Rail Authority refusing to release employees to participate in Joint Consultative Meetings.
[ Full Story » ]

Staff Frustration Boils Over at Sydney Water
Frustrated ASU members at Sydney Water have called for a general stoppage at the corporation next Wednesday. It will be the first industrial action across the whole organisation since 1995.
[ Full Story » ]

Kennett Nose-Dive: Botsman Picks It
Brisbane Institute director Peter Botsman may be the only political commentator to have picked Jeff Kennett’s spectacular fall from grace in last week’s Victorian state election.
[ Full Story » ]

Academics Fail Non-Union Deal
In a warning to tertiary institutions looking to bypass trade unions, University of New South Wales academics have voted overwhelmingly to reject a non-union enterprise deal.
[ Full Story » ]

Nike in Indonesia: Military Employed to Intimidate Workers
Forty humans rights and labour organisations around the world have condemned Nike for continued abuse of its workers in poor countries.
[ Full Story » ]

The Laugh’s On Barry
Former Hawke Government minister and best-selling author Barry Cohen is attempting what many would say is the impossible - filling a book with humorous stories about the trade union movement.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Freeloader Push on Track

  • It's Worse in Detroit

  • Working Class Aesthetics

  • WorkCover Inspectors: Shaw Replies

  • Editorial

    A Meaningful Contribution

    Whenever there is industrial action in this city a certain tabloid newspaper rolls out the line "this just shows how out of touch the union movement really is."

    They were at it again this week, fitting the events around a rail stoppage into their convenient world view.

    But looking at the issues canvassed by Workers Online, you'd have to wonder who it is that is really out of touch.

    Take East Timor. When violence erupted, who was it that led the public campaigning to pressure the Howard Government into action?

    And now that peace keepers have arrived, who is it that is coordinating the campaign for gathering medical supplies?

    When peace is restored who will it be bringing in the skilled workers to assist reconstruction?

    Who is it that residents call on to lend a hand when developers and councils combine to destroy bushland or buildings that the community hold dearly?

    When government loses track of its constituency, who is it that runs the arguments and highlights the impacts of contracting out and competitive tendering on rural communities? As Kennett licks his wounds he might look ruefully north at the scrutiny Labor Premiers' face.

    When New Years Eve, 1999 falls on a Friday who raises a stink about the fact that workers will be forced to miss the night for pittance?

    They may not get the public credit, but without the trade union movement the answer to all the above questions would be no-one.

    Yes, industrial action is by its very nature disruptive. But so would a world where no-one gave a stuff.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Eric Lee's Internet Ashes Chris Christodoulou on a Saintly Merger Michael Gadiel on the Deal Formerly Known as Vizard Conspiracy Theory: Piers is a Plant



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