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Issue No. 334 24 November 2006  

It’s Who The Economy Works For, Stupid
As the movement prepares for the National Day of Action on November 30, we embark on the third, final and, perhaps most difficult phase of the Rights at Work campaign.


Interview: Common Ground
Nature Conservation Council director Cate Faehrmann on the fight against global warming and how unions and greens can learn from each other.

Industrial: A Low Act
The Low Paid. The Fair Pay Commission knows who pays them. We can do something about it as they will not.

Unions: The Number of the Least
Forget 666 - 457 is looming as the scariest number for Aussie workers and their families, Jim Marr writes.

Politics: The Smoking Gun
Hayek's henchman, Raplph Harris, goes to free market heaven, writes Evan Jones

Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
They are supposed to ensure the wealth of well-being of individuals. Whats wrong with that? asks Neale Towart

Environment: Low Voltage
Nuclear Power and Prime Ministerial pronouncements are seriously short of a few volts, wrties Neal Towart

History: The Art of Social Justice
Tom Martin was a terrific cartoonist and part of a great tradition in labour movement history and culture, swrties Neale Towart.

Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
It pays the bills – usually – but going to work should come with a warning, wrties Jackie Woods.

Culture: A Forgotten Poet
There is little information on the public record about the radical working class poet Ernest Antony, writes Rowan Cahill.


 OWS: Cash for Query Scam

 Watchdog Bites Own Pups

 Silver Lining to Qantas Storm

 Wages Heading South Under WorkChoices

 Hardies Finally Coughs Up

 Face Up to Save Harbour

 STOP PRESS: Workers Docked for Meeting Pollies

 Telstra Redundancies ‘Inhumane’

 AWAs Carpeted

 Contracts Shut Down

 ILO Gets Tough on Forced Labour

 Houston Win Sparks Hope for New Era

 Full List of November 30 Venues


The Soapbox
Robbo Goes Green
John Robertson's speech to the Walk Against Warming

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at a former public institution and its contribution to NSW.

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ILO Gets Tough on Forced Labour

The International Labour Organisation has hardened its stance towards the use of forced labour in Burma, turning to the International Court of Justice because of the regime's reluctance to cooperate in eradicating the practice.

For the past decade, the ILO has been accusing Burma's military junta, which calls itself the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), of using forced labour, including women and children.

Burma is accused of violating ILO Convention 29 on forced or compulsory labour, which was ratified by that nation in 1955.

In 1996, the International Labour Conference set up a survey commission, which reported two years later that forced labour was "widespread and systematic" in Burma.

Since then, the government has fluctuated in its willingness to negotiate with the ILO, but without yielding on the underlying question of the eradication of forced labour.

In June, the delegates from Burma accepted the possibility of adopting a mechanism to deal with complaints of forced labour.

As evidence of goodwill, the government announced in July that well-known labour activist and lawyer Aye Myint would be released, and also dropped legal cases in the central district of Aunglan against victims of forced labour who had filed complaints.

But the brief lull came to an abrupt end in October, when authorities in Burma rejected three requirements outlined by an ILO mission to Rangoon, including the ILO's request for free, confidential access to whistle-blowers on forced labour.


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