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  Issue No 37 Official Organ of LaborNet 29 October 1999  

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Trades Hall

Superman on the Big Lunch Break


Last Wednesday October 27 the Labor Council held A Big Lunch Break function at Hyde Park as part of the union movements on going campaign for less stressful workplaces. Mark Lennon outlines the day's events:

 
 

Superman Rolls off the Snags

Nine thirty Wednesday morning and the prospects for the Big Lunch Break (BLB) aren't looking good. The barbecue is a non-starter, the bread is still dough and the drinks are yet to be chilled. It looks like raw sausages are going to be the days highlight.

Despite the mini crisis the atmosphere at Labor Council is reasonably calm. Our casual gear - the result of an inspired decision of the secretary to declare the occasion a mufti day -has us at least feeling relaxed.

There is a call to arms. A few phone calls, a borrowed ute, a visit to the supermarket, a raid on the Trades Hall's furniture store and the BLB might at least make it to medium size.

Two hours later and the drama has moved on. The scene - Hyde Park. Weather- perfect. Barbecue- materialised. Stalls-erected. Music- pumping. Cast (aka Labor Council staff)- at the ready. BLB is go.

Midday and those searching for their stress free nirvana have arrived. The queue at the barbecue indicates that, for most, the way to a stress free life is first via the stomach. The secretary has taken control of the cooking as the queue continues to grow, quantity over quality is the cry, and half cooked snags start to roll off the barbie.

Meanwhile, others take the opportunity to find relief through a yoga class or, a massage or even some transcendental meditation. Some unkind individuals suggest the latter a necessity to cope with the digestion of the snags.

At another table, those in the union movement find their relief in squeezing the stress ball decorated with the face of the Workplace Relations Minister.

The Fourth Estate arrive.Their appears to be no story -but wait- the secretary at the barbecue dressed in his trademark black is great visuals. The camera snaps away.

An hour has passed and still they keep coming, the queues for massage and yoga grow. The food - almost exhausted - is miraculously replenished. (Was it the secretary)?

Two o'clock and its over. The workers have returned to their stations relaxed, comfortable but still to be convinced about the fare.

Four thirty and back at the Labor Council the team is exhausted and a little stressed. Some yoga perhaps, or massage? No, just get me a drink!


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*    Click here for the Big Lunch Break photo essay

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 37 contents

In this issue
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.
*
*  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.
*
*  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.
*
*  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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News
»  Ticket Machines Used to Spy on Workers
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»  Vics Look North for IR Inspiration
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»  Union Construct New Buildings for East Timor
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»  Holy Sheet! Dirty Olympic Linen to Cost Jobs
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»  Lunchtime Sizzles as Workers Burn
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»  Carnivale Changes An Assault On Working Class Migrants
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»  Child Carers Fight Christmas Lay-Offs
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»  Spiderman Strikes as Women Sink Second Wave
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»  Big Rail Fine Just Tip of Iceberg
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»  Micky Mouse Union Blocked by Commission
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»  Where Were You on November 6?
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»  POSITION VACANT: MEAA Inquiry Desk Officer
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Columns
»  Guest Report
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Piers Watch
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Letters to the editor
»  An X for President - Feedback
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»  Republican Soapbox
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»  Education an Asset for All
*

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