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Issue No. 356 21 December 2006  

The End
In vintage Workers Online fashion we have detected a minor, but telling, factual error in last week�s missive/suicide note. It�s not a seven year itch � this is, in fact, the end of an eight year project.


Interview: The Terminator
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson looks back on the highs and lows of a year when the battle lines were drawn.

Industrial: Vive La Resistance
Jim Marr glances back through a year of news and discovers plenty of reason for optimism�

Unions: Breaking News
The web offered new ways of covering unions issues. Here�s ten ways Workers Online tried to do things differently.

History: Seven Deadly Sins
Looking back on our annual year-ender editorials gives a nice overview of the journey we have taken.

Economics: Back to the Future
Political economist Frank Stilwell looks back at a year that saw the passing of the drivers of two strains of economic thought.

Politics: Organising and Organisations
Organising for unionists can mean overcoming the �union�. The �rolling of the right� by the BLF rank and file shows the power of workers united to defeat the power of bosses and certain union bosses.

International: Web Retrospective
Unions and the web � What's changed in the last seven years? The short answer is � everything and nothing, wrties Eric Lee

Review: Shock Therapy
Unreconstructed Kazakhi journalist Borat is unleashed on the �US and A� offending everyone � except the bigots.


 High Flyers Go For Gold

 Hospital Staff Prescribe Radical Surgery

 Holland Goes Dutch on Safety

 New Thinking to Transport Sydney

 Check Mate - Track Your Personal Info

 WorkChoices on a Trolley

 See No Evil, OEA

 Feltex Carpets PM's Fibs

 Workers Blood on the Walls

 Lift For Unfair Dismissal Campaign

 No Discrimination on Choice

 Vanstone Opens New Meat Market

 Activists' Notebook


The Future
So Where to Now?
Amanda Tattersall outlines her plans for Working NSW and the challenge of connecting research, communications and campaigning.

Gone But Not Forgotten
Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (1915-2006). His memory is still being honoured, writes Jim Marr

The Westie Wing
Our favourite politician bids adieu and hangs up his chestnuts.

 Hit For Six
 Kind Words
 Sorely Missed
 All the Best
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WorkChoices on a Trolley

A planeload of immigrants has been flown into Darwin to take the jobs of trolley collectors, earning $9 an hour at the Casuarina Shopping Centre.

The surprise Christmas present was delivered, in person, by a Starlink boss who told disgruntled locals he was flying north to discuss their grievances.

The LHMU has stepped into the breach to back 10 trolley collectors who want to be paid for working extra hours.

"These people aren't union members but they are low-paid workers being harshly exploited," LHMU industrial officer, Geoff Hull, said.

"They have no income and their families face a pretty miserable Christmas."

The dispute blew up after Starlink, a nationwide trolley collection contractor, order its Darwin franchise to increase hours but refused to pay extra money.

Local collectors say they now work as late as midnight for an effective rate of $9 an hour.

They have no beef with their immediate employer who took over the service after a previous contractor shot through without paying his bills.

"The employer has confirmed the replacement workers are migrants but we don't know if they are on 457 visas or not," Hull said.

"It is a ridiculous situation, flying foreigner in to undercut workers already being paid below the minimum wage. If they are on skilled labour visas it is even more ridiculous."

The LHMU is offering advice and hopes to set up a web presence where locals can offer the trolley collectors moral and financial support.

Hulls said Starlink had refused to negotiate and the collectors were taking their grievances direct to big retailers in the centre who had "some affinity" with the local community.


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