Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 44 Official Organ of LaborNet 03 March 2000  




*  Interview: The Big Fella
Opposition Leader Kim Beazley speaks about Labor’s evolving relationship with the trade union movement in the post-Accord era.
*  Unions: An Interactive Resource
The priority for unions in the 21st century is organising and growth. Greg Combet’s unions @work report identified the direction unions should be moving.
*  Media: Public Hearings
As the big media players look increasingly tarnished, the broadcasting minnows like FBi are seeking their share of the airwaves.
*  History: Labour History Under Siege
In good labour tradition, the history section of Workers Online begins the year with a call to arms.
*  Olympics: Games Greed Boosts Homeless Numbers
'Homeless in Sydney' is shaping up to be the theme of the Olympics with many property owners evicting tenants and pushing up rents.
*  Women: No Time To Be Casual
International Women’s Day is a day to take action. As a shop steward or union delegate why not use IWD as an opportunity to encourage the women in your workplace to join the union?
*  International: Serbian And Kosovo Unions Meet
The Italian metalworkers has hosted meetings on how to build a different future for the workers in the Balkans.
*  Labour Review: What's New
Read the latest issue of Labour Review our resource for students, activists and officials.
*  Review: Rock and a Hard Place
A hippie festival? Alternative? No way...the music festival know as the Big Day Out (BDO) is fast becoming a mainstream youth cultural event, a snapshot of the broader society that unions are struggling to engage.

The Big Guy launches LaborNet

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Will this stuffed bird save the workers?

Directors: Two Strikes And You’re Out
Company directors could face their own form of mandatory sentencing if rarely used provisions of the Corporations Law are enforced to protect workers from serial liquidators.
[ Full Story » ]

Track Workers Face Spot Drug Tests
Rail maintenance workers are being forced to sign individual contracts that include spot drug and alcohol tests, and private motor vehicle inspections by a NSW government-owned corporation.
[ Full Story » ]

Big Bird Fights Ansett Jobs Flight
A giant emu has emerged to champion Australian workers as Ansett staff face the prospect of job losses in the wake of the airline’s takeover by Air New Zealand.
[ Full Story » ]

LaborNet A Step Forward in Democracy
Opposition Leader Kim Beazley has praised LaborNet of setting a new standards in online politics and representing “a substantial step forward in democracy”.
[ Full Story » ]

From the Lorry to the Creche, We're Watching
Workers are facing a wave of Big Brother attacks as employers move to install sophisticated technology in workplaces as diverse as child care canters and council trucks
[ Full Story » ]

Penal Provisions Against Teachers Condemned
The decision to launch legal action against the NSW Teachers Federation was an inappropriate action for a Labor Government, the NSW Labor Council said last night.
[ Full Story » ]

Auditor General Moves on TAFE
The NSW Auditor-General is reviewing of the entire TAFE system amidst concern the closure Seaforth TAFE is a sign of broader mismanagement.
[ Full Story » ]

Yahoo! Under Fire for Union Censorship
Leading Web portal Yahoo! has banned an advertising campaign by American workers who were using banner advertisements to push their campaign to form a trade union.
[ Full Story » ]

Unrest Bubbles Over Coke Sackings
Filipino workers are seeking support from consumers of the world after the snap sackings of 500 Coca Cola workers just before Christmas.
[ Full Story » ]

Jennie To Sign Off Online
Outgoing ACTU President Jennie George will spend her final hours in the job looking to the future, taking part in an online chat with casual women workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Basic Goods Sought for East Timorese
The National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) has a warehouse now in Marrickville, which is receiving donated goods for East Timor.
[ Full Story » ]

Western Sydney Added to Campus Tour
A date at the University of Western Sydney’s Nepean campus has been added to Labor Council secretary Michael Costa’s ‘Bald Truth’ campus tour.
[ Full Story » ]

Pay Equity Update
The Labor Council’s push for an equal pay principle is gathering steam, after employers moved to accept the union movement’s key aspects of the submission.
[ Full Story » ]

STOP PRESS: Mac Attack Tuesday
Let McDonalds Know! Parks Are For People: barbeque outside McDonalds near the university on NSW. 10 Barket Street Kingsford, Tuesday March 7, noon - 1pm.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • A Moral Dilemma

  • In Praise of Silly Suits

  • Deface a Face 'Discourteous'

  • Editorial

    Accord-ing to the Heart

    When asked about the prospect of a formal accord between the union movement and a future Labor Government, Kim Beazley observes "it takes two to tango".

    The Labor leader is right to recognise the reticence amongst unions for another formal relationship; the institutionalised arrangement of the Accord years was a key factor in the slide of union membership.

    But the question that emerges is: without an Accord, what sort of relationship will the two wings of the labour movement forge when they are exercising real power?

    Beazley talks of a "good structured dialogue - a sharing of information about the issues of the day." But is this sufficient?

    If the experience of state Labor Governments is any guide; power often deafens the ears to friendly dialogue. Unions soon join the queue amongst a long line of interest groups seeking the ear of Ministers, as bureaucrats push policies that attack the interests of the union members who have worked so hard to see Labor win power.

    Without an Accord, how does the movement hold the Party to account for the decisive support it gives at each and every election?

    Part of the answer must come from the politicians who represent Labor recognising they are part of the movement and not there because of their own innate, personal brilliance. In a team game, it is the show ponies who inevitably let the side down.

    One of the problems in redefining the relationship between the party and the unions is that many in the political wing have not taken the time to understand the shift to organising, from top-down to bottom-up unionism.

    If it hasn't already sounded, this is the death knell for an Accord; but what replaces it will be far more dynamic, challenging and ultimately rewarding for both sides of the movement - a real avenue into our heartland.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Kate Lundy on Cyberdemocracy Global Gladiators Mark Lennon’s Power Surge The Mad Monk



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