Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 37 Official Organ of LaborNet 29 October 1999  

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Features
*  Republic: Yes, It's Time
Opposition leader Kim Beazley invoked the spirit of '72 when he launched the ALP's Republic campaign.
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*  Interview: What Price a Just Republic?
Magistrate Pat O’Shane is far from happy with the republican model. But she still believes a Yes vote is her best chance for genuine constitutional reform.
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*  Economics: Who the EFIC are you?
If you have not heard of Export Credit Agencies, don't be surprised because it seems they're not too interested in letting the public know what they do.
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*  Unions: Old Habits Die Hard
With the release of its blue print [email protected] the ACTU seems to know where it wants to go. But again it has failed to face up to the underlying structural issues preventing it from getting there.
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*  Legal: Second Wave: Reith's Non-Right to Strike
Peter Reith has called his new laws the Workplace relations Amendment (More Jobs Better Pay) Bill 1999. If legislation is to carry these new, colloquial titles then the ‘More Control, Less Freedom’ Bill would be a better title.
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*  International: Wahid’s New Team
Indonesias new government is blemished by Suharto-era appointees but an advance for reform, says Indonesia’s trade unions.
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*  History: They Fought Them on the Airwaves
Radio broadcasts were an important weapon in the long-running struggle for equal pay.
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*  Satire: Revealed: SOCOG Reserving Gold Medals for Tattersalls
The scandal over the secret allotment of premium tickets for the 2000 Olympics escalated today with the news that members of Sydney’s elite Tattersall’s Club will receive Gold Medals without actually competing.
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*  Review: What The Age Wouldn’t Print
Some time before Monday 18 October, Age editor Michael Gawenda saw red and then got out his blue pencil. An article, heavily critical of Robert Manne, written by Overland editor Ian Syson, was pulled by Gawenda.
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Spiderman Stalks the Senate

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Ticket Machines Used to Spy on Workers
The State Rail Authority has been accused of breaching privacy laws by using electronic data received from station ticket machines to take disciplinary action against rail workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Vics Look North for IR Inspiration
Victoria’s new industrial relations minister Monica Gould has held talks with her NSW counterpart about the process of re-establishing a state industrial relations system.
[ Full Story » ]

Union Construct New Buildings for East Timor
The CFMEU is delivering the first of 14 multi-purpose pre-fab buildings to East Timor next week.
[ Full Story » ]

Holy Sheet! Dirty Olympic Linen to Cost Jobs
A western Sydney company is under threat following a deal by Olympic organisers to sell off linen to NSW hospitals after the Games.
[ Full Story » ]

Lunchtime Sizzles as Workers Burn
Hundreds of Sydney office workers had a free lunch on the Labor Council this week when the Big Lunch Break highlighted the dangers of working long, unbroken hours.
[ Full Story » ]

Carnivale Changes An Assault On Working Class Migrants
Changes to the board of the multicultural arts festival Carnivale represent an attack on working class migrants by bureaucrats who want to see a return to a traditional folkloric festival.
[ Full Story » ]

Child Carers Fight Christmas Lay-Offs
Child care workers are fighting a push by the industry’s biggest employer to move them onto fixed term contracts that would see them engaged on a seasonal basis from March to November - then terminated - then re-employed for the following year.
[ Full Story » ]

Spiderman Strikes as Women Sink Second Wave
“An Arachniphobiacs nightmare”. This is how Mistress of Ceremonies Suzanne Jameison opened the women’s rally held this week outside the Sydney Senate Inquiry into the ‘Second Wave’ industrial legislation.
[ Full Story » ]

Big Rail Fine Just Tip of Iceberg
Government rail authorities face further prosecutions in the wake of a massive $420,000 fine against the State Rail Authority handed down in the NSW Industrial Relations commission this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Micky Mouse Union Blocked by Commission
Peter Reith’s agenda to replace established trade unions with enterprise unions has failed its’ first significant test in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Where Were You on November 6?
When Australia votes for a Republic on the historic night of November 6, 1999, there is only one place to be – under the stars on the Northern Broadwalk of the Sydney Opera House at The Big Yes, with Roy and HG and a swag of Republican heroes.
[ Full Story » ]

POSITION VACANT: MEAA Inquiry Desk Officer
The Alliance is looking to employ, on a six month contract, an Inquiry Officer to join the National Inquiry Desk in Sydney.
[ Full Story » ]


Letters to the Editor
  • An X for President - Feedback

  • Republican Soapbox

  • Education an Asset for All

  • Editorial

    White Noise

    The current Republic debate highlights the increasing inability of both politicians and the media to moderate a meaningful public debate.

    The masses of undecided voters are confronted by competing arguments, presented with such conviction that they are ultimate truths that even those engaged in the question are left dazed and confused.

    The Monarchists have been particularly culpable; erecting a campaign around fear, lies and loathing - the Weimer Republic; the prospect of a second vote and the unsustainable proposition that the ARM proposition gives politicians more power.

    The Republicans have done their cause a disservice too; demanding a centralised single message campaign, rather than encouraging the diversity of opinion that people like Pat O'Shane, a direct electionist who is voting Yes, could have brought to their cause.

    But perhaps then poorest performers have been the media - too keen to run the referendum as a football match, analysing the tactics rather than the substance of the debates until, despite all the acres of newsprint, the people are left feeling as though they are ill-informed.

    The tired notion of 'objective' journalism should be looked at; the convention that fair reporting entails presenting competing views as always of equal merit; rather than situating them in the context of the debate.

    Where for instance, has the class analysis of the ACM been while they pillory the 'elites' of the ARM? How can millionaire's daughter Kerry Jones get away with her tacky jibes against the elites? And how can political reptiles like Nick Minchin deride the politician's republic?

    In this climate it is hardly surprising that many voters appear ready to throw their hands in the air and just vote No, because they are fed up with the whole issue. If they do, it will be an indictment of all the participant's in this poorly run public debate, particularly the moderators.

    Peter Lewis
    Editor


    Columns

    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Ian Ferguson on Democracy International Greg Radley on the Melbourne Cup Superman on the Big Lunch Break Inside the Gangland

     


    
    

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