|Issue No 38||05 November 1999|
Reith : Directly Elect the ACTU President Too
Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith believes the same principles that support directly electing an Australian Head of State should also apply to the ACTU President.
Reith told Workers Online that he believes rank and file unionists demanding a direct vote for President would also want to have a say in the head of the union movement
"That would be a hell of a lot better system for the ACTU .. people would have a genuine say," Reith says in the interview - published in full in this issue.
"Now, even Jennie George was complaining about the fact that there was a meeting to settle her succession and she didn't have a say.
"It is a pretty natural instinct for people in a democracy to say "give us a say please" - there's no wonder they are browned off with the ACTU President and Secretary."
In the interview Reith also claims that the battle between capital and labour is over and the two are no longer on opposite sides.
And he called on the ACTU to abandon the organising model and adopt a servicing approach to unionism, claiming it was based on outmoded organisational models.
"The workforce does not want to be organised by people outside of their workplace," Reith says
"What they want is the capacity to manage their own affairs - sure with minimum protections and the like and a fair system in place to allow them to manage their own affairs.
"But they basically want to have the say to manage their own affairs, to be involved and participate in those affairs, which in my view is right at kilter - at odds to the concept of a shop steward who comes into the workplace - or a union secretary - and says: "Well, today I've got good news for you. I'm going to organise you all."
Interview: Peter Reith
We�ve fought him for the last four years, perhaps it�s time to try to understand him.
Education: The Boston Strangler
If the teachers' salaries "offer" had been any good, John Aquilina, the Minister for Good News Only, would have made the announcement and been seen to promote it.
Economics: Key Indicators
A new ILO publication provides real cross national comparisons which show that Australian workplaces rate very well on productivity, wages and non wage measures
Unions: Dili's Union Presence
The International Federation of Journalists� Safety Office for the Media in East Timor (SOMET) is conducting an investigation into the recent killings of two journalists in East Timor.
History: Maritime Dispute Records
A Joint ACTU � ASSLH project will identify and preserve as many records as possible arising from the 1997-98 Maritime Dispute.
International: Western Mining into Guns and Gold
An Australian mining company, Western Mining Company Limited (WMCL), has effectively won the support of the Philippines army in its battle with traditional owners in Southern Mindano.
Satire: Gay Scientists Isolate Christian Gene
Gay scientists today released a study which, they claim, at last identifies the �Christian Gene".
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005