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Workers Online
  Issue No 45 Official Organ of LaborNet 10 March 2000  




*  Interview: Working Women
Nareen Young talks about how services are being delivered to our most vulnerable workers - and what unions need to do to make them their own.
*  Unions: Into the New Frontier
IT professionals are part of the new workforce that unions need to win over - and while they are often contractors, they're workers too.
*  History: Handling The Ladies
1943 - women were filling the gap in the workforce left by the diggers abroad and Australian managers needed some advice on how to deal with these strange creatures.
*  Technology: Building The Hypermacho Man
In a stinging critque of the ‘Wired’ culture, Melanie Stewart Miller argues digital cultural is creating a new super-Man.
*  International: The Long March Home
Trade union women round the world used International Women’s Day to launch the World March of Women Against Poverty and Violence.
*  Satire: Kerosene Dilution Racket
The nursing home industry has been rocked by a new scandal with the revelation that some unscrupulous proprietors have been diluting their patients’ kerosene baths with illicit liquids.
*  Review: Power and the Back Bar
In an upcoming book, Julia Gillard argues the ALP retains a male culture that is fast losing step with contemporary society.

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Mardis Gras Revellers Farewell Jennie

Services Threatened Over Olympic Bonus
Arrangements for transport and emergency services during the Olympic Games are under a cloud after the Carr Government indicated there would be no extra money for workers placed on special rosters.
[ Full Story » ]

Games Edict: Dance for Free
Performers at the Opening and Closing ceremonies at the Olympic Games have been told they’ll have to dance for free if they want to be part of the event.
[ Full Story » ]

Revealed: Secret State Transit Corporatisation Plans
A Cabinet Minute has been prepared advocating the corporatisation of the State Transit Authority, in an apparent payback for a decision to purchase a private bus line.
[ Full Story » ]

Women Demand Better Pay from Faye
‘International Women’s Day is a day to take action,’ according to a media release from the office of Faye Lo Po’, the NSW Minister of Women. Women from the social and community service sector did just that on Wednesday.
[ Full Story » ]

Telstra, Banks Whack Rural Australia
Unions are forging broader community alliances as major moves by Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank this week raised the spectre of further job losses in regional areas.
[ Full Story » ]

Casuals Inquiry Still On Union Agenda
NSW workers are maintaining pressure on the Carr Government to investigate the impact of casual work on their lives, following the resignation of the woman they want to chair the inquiry, ACTU president Jennie George.
[ Full Story » ]

Shaw, Sams Pay Tribute to John Whelan
In another major loss for the trade union movement, outgoing NSW Labor Council president John Whelan has been honoured for his more than 20 years of service.
[ Full Story » ]

Teachers’ Website Mysteriously Blocked
Teachers attempting to access the NSW Teachers Federation website from schools this week were surprised to discover the site was blocked with a notice stating they were accessing explicit pornographic material.
[ Full Story » ]

Cash Bonus for Bilingual Workers
Council workers who use community languages as part of their work could receive a $13 per week bonus if a case in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission is successful.
[ Full Story » ]

Women Demand Better Pay from Faye
‘International Women’s Day is a day to take action,’ according to a media release from the office of Faye Lo Po’, the NSW Minister of Women. Women from the social and community service sector did just that on Wednesday.
[ Full Story » ]

Shareholders Push Global Action
The Rio Tinto Shareholder Coalition, backed by worker-owners and trade unions in Australia, Europe and the United States, this week launched an unprecedented global shareholder proxy contest.
[ Full Story » ]

Fair Wear Conquers Schools
Three major school uniform suppliers and 11 NSW schools have signed up to the Fair School Wear as the campaign to help end exploitation of clothing outworkers extends into the community.
[ Full Story » ]

TWU Calls on Workers to Steer Clear of Woolworths
The Transport Workers Union has called for working people to reconsider shopping at Woolworths after an activist for driver safety was banned from one of the retail giant’s stores.
[ Full Story » ]

Push to Strike Out Parrish Directors
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has been asked to investigate whether the directors of Parrish Meats should be prevented from setting up companies in the future.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • TV Show Seeks Bankrupt Worker

  • Crosby Spot On

  • Confused About Workplace Rights

  • Global Campaign Against Yahoo!

  • Teachers Row

  • Editorial

    When It’s Just Too Hard

    Attention on Jennie George's decision to stand down as ACTU President on International Women's Day has raised some pertinent issues about the role of women in the broader labour movement.

    Through the round of farewells, there was unsavoury undercurrent: here was the first ACTU President in living memory who was not being moved into a safe political seat to build on her contribution to labour.

    While Jennie remains philosophical about this, it should jar us all that, for once, the factional chiefs have decided it's just too hard to find her a place in politics. Nothing personal, it's just too hard.

    The same justification can be used to explain many of the issues that still enshrine women as something less than equal in both the labour market and the broader society.

    Nothing personal, but it's just too hard to put meaning into gender pay equity, to get down and nut out a way to properly value the contribution women make in the workplace.

    Nothing personal, but it's just to hard to get out and organise lowly paid female workers, leaving government funded organisations like the Working Women's centre to pick up the slack.

    And nothing personal, but it's just too hard for individual families to reorganisation the domestic arrangements so that partners can more fully share in both family and working lives.

    That's the thing about big changes in society, they often sound good but invariably are hard, requiring a shift from the comfort zone we all, regardless of gender, inhabit.

    But in the context of the broader changes occurring across our society - the flattening of structures including our working lives - we are being made to shift whether we want to or not.

    The challenge for all of us is to view this shift not as a threat but an opportunity to build new structures and ways of doing things that don't replicate the injustices of the past.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Jennie George's Final Sign-Off Kate Lundy on Sports Funding The Final Tributes The Minister for Caged Hair



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