Workers Online
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Workers Online
  Issue No 34 Official Organ of LaborNet 08 October 1999  




*  Interview: A Crack to the Skull
Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Nick Lewocki took on the Carr Government’s radical rail refrom agenda and walked away a winner. He looks back on the week the trains stood still.
*  Economics: Green Backs and Dirty Dollars
Paul Ehlrich says the real culprit behind the environmental crisis isn't so much the huge numbers of people in the world or conspicuous over-consumption in the West but an economic system that confuses price with cost.
*  Unions: Tally Ho!
A landmark meat industry decision might not have the impact the reith cheer-squad hopes for.
*  History: The Western Express
West Australian historians are undertaking a project to chronicle that state's rich rail history.
*  Republic: The Referendum: A Spot of Reading
John Passant looks a the propaganda passing as information in the lead-up to the referendum.
*  Indigenous: Australia Snubs Nose at the UN
The United Nations General Assembly will be told that Australia has breached an international convention on racial discrimination that Malcolm Fraser’s Government ratified 24 years ago.
*  International: Desert Flashpoint
The United Nations has confirmed that demonstrations were suppressed in Western Sahara last month.
*  Review: Temper Democratic
Humphrey McQueen has been a fearless critic of received opinions across a range of subjects for many years, and as a consequence has been criticised or more often ignored in debates in Australia.
*  Satire: Tax Cuts Come in the Nick of Time for Struggling Packers
Welfare groups have called upon on the Federal Government to bring forward the date of proposed capital gains tax cuts.
*  Labour Review: What's New in the Information Centre
Read the latest issue of Labour Review, a resource for union officials and students.

Rail union stalwart Nick Lewocki

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Carr fronts up to conference

Shaw Slams Rio Tinto Decision
NSW Attorney General Jeff Shaw has raised doubts about the legality of this week’s landmark decision by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission dealing itself out of enterprise bargaining.
[ Full Story » ]

Conference Sizzles - Now for the Meat
Successful State ALP Conference resolutions on the social audit, industrial relations reform and new guidelines for competitive tendering will be the first tests of the Premier’s new high-level advisory board with the labour movement.
[ Full Story » ]

Cabinet Capers in the Dark Tower
Bureaucrats and political staffers overseeing the passage of reforms to the NSW industrial relations system were this week invited to a talk by a right-wing commentator on the need for radical labour market deregulation.
[ Full Story » ]

Anger at Imported Beds for Games Village
The Olympic athletes village will be furnished with imported goods made in South-East Asian non-union sweatshops, unions representing local workers have claimed.
[ Full Story » ]

Cowboy Behaviour at the Equestrian Centre
Contractors working on the new Olympic equestrian centre at Horsely Park have been warned against riding their tractors like cowboys.
[ Full Story » ]

Wanted: Hardened Hacks with Hearts
The media union is calling for journalists to act as mentors for young cadets and copykids making their way in the industry.
[ Full Story » ]

Security Employers Break Law in West
Security firms are supposed to uphold the law. But 41 per cent of employers break industrial laws, according to a Western Australian Government study.
[ Full Story » ]

Confronting Images on Display
Confrontation and camaraderie were features of the war on the waterfront. Now an exhibition of photos on show at the Australian National Maritime Museum Sydney commemorates both.
[ Full Story » ]

Rooting and Rocking for the Republic
Supporters of the Republic a chance to play their part in the coming weeks, starting with a trivia night in Sydney’s west hosted by Roy and HG and culminating in a major concert at the Metro featuring Jimmy Little and Karma County.
[ Full Story » ]

Organiser of the Year to be Announced November
Union officials and activists have a month to bid for an overseas trip and the chance to work for an overseas trade union organisation.
[ Full Story » ]

Fears for Timorese Who Got Out
Aid agencies are worried that East Timorese in other parts of Indonesia are being prevented from returning to assist in their homeland’s reconstruction.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Off With Their Funds!

  • At the Child Care Coalface

  • Walsh Bay Development Backed

  • Editorial

    No Space for SLACkening Off

    The Premier's decision to establish the State Labour Advisory Council (SLAC) to hear first-hand trade union concerns about his reform agenda are a timely reminder that Labor needs labour. Without it, they are just another bunch of poll-driven pollies.

    The announcement of the new body acted as a circuit-breaker for rising union anger at the ALP State Conference about the direction of government policy and ensures the stream of resolutions passed over the weekend are more than just words..

    But the real test will come in the coming months where matters of substance, such as industrial relations reform and the pace and nature of (as opposed to the need for) public sector reform, are discussed.

    The importance of this source of information is highlighted by news that the senior bureaucrats that surround the Premier were this week being serenaded by slash and burn deregulator Des Moore.

    He's the one who pushes the types of industrial relations policies that Peter Reith rejects as "adventurous", a man who would smile approvingly at this week's Rio Tinto where the independent umpire fell on its sword.

    That officials should waste their time attending talks by commentators of this ilk should put trade unions on notice that they can't presume the advise that Labor Ministers receive is consistent with Labor Party policy.

    As rail unions have learned, just because you talk the talk, doesn't mean you'll walk the walk.

    Finally, an apology to all those who had difficulty in accessing last week's issue. Our server is having trouble dealing with the amount of traffic we're generating. This is the sort of technical problem we don't mind having. Keep spreading the Workers Online word and help us crash again!

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Ray Hunt on Tax Reform Greg Radley on Reclaiming the Game Deirdre Mahoney on Gay Discrimination at Work The One-Eyed Propagandist



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