Workers Online
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  Issue No 46 Official Organ of LaborNet 17 March 2000  




*  Interview: Bob Carr’s Awful Truth
The NSW Premier on Laborism, factions and why the Cabinet Office isn't running the state.
*  Unions: The Stellar Experiment
The agenda for the future job-shedding program by Telstra has been revealed via it's bastard child, Stellar.
*  Technology: Roboboss is Watching You
Behind the hype of the information age is a sinister side where workplace surveillance robs employees of all privacy and dignity. Sometimes, though, it provides welcome security.
*  International: Kiwi Reforms To Spark Union Revival
The head of the New Zealand trade union movement is optimistic that workers will come back to unions once a fair industrial relations framework is put in place.
*  Politics: Ethical Politics and the Clinton Affair
The vote by the US House of Representatives in December, 1998 on whether to impeach President Bill Clinton could be regarded as a debate about the acceptability of dirty-handed politics.
*  History: Living Library
Sydney’s Mitchell Library archives house some of the most extensive records of our political heritage.
*  Satire: Reconciliation, Aussie Style
The majority of Austrlaians want Aboriginals to adopt ‘our’ values: “Why can’t they be ignorant racists too?”
*  Review: Casino Oz
Laurie Aarons' new book puts the spotlight on the growing gap being the rich and the poor.

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Trashing Telstra

Carr Vows to Move on Casuals
NSW Premier Bob Carr will initiate talks with Labor Governments in Queensland and Victoria to develop a national response to the growing problem of job insecurity.
[ Full Story » ]

NSW Government in Hot Seat Over Individual Contracts
The outsourcing of State Transit’s Infoline to the controversial Telstra off-shoot Stellar has outraged call centre unions who say a NSW Government agency is taking advantage of Reith’s IR laws.
[ Full Story » ]

Telstra Troubleshooter Bombs Stellar
The focus on Stellar follows the decision this week by a former Telstra human resources manager, Andrew Hillard, to blow the whistle on the telecommunication giant’s anti-union agenda.
[ Full Story » ]

Illegal immigrants Working Next Door to PM
Building workers have uncovered shonky immigration scams involving the employment and exploitation of illegal immigrants in the industry.
[ Full Story » ]

Education Department Hit By Massive Fine
The NSW Department of Education and Training has been hit with a fine thirty times more than the penalty the Teachers Federation faces over recent industrial bans, after being found guilty of failing to provide a safe place of work for rural staff.
[ Full Story » ]

Victims Comp Changes Exclude Traumatised Worker
Workers who have had guns held to their heads during armed hold-ups would have no avenue for compensation, if the recommendations of a NSW Parliamentary Committee report are adopted.
[ Full Story » ]

SOCOG Agrees: Ceremonies Not an Eisteddfod
Olympic organisers have agreed to allocate positions for paid performers at the Sydney 2000 opening and closing ceremonies, following pressure from the MEAA.
[ Full Story » ]

Senate Guts 'Ships from Hell' Bill
The Federal Opposition has prevented the deregulation and degradation of the Australian shipping industry.
[ Full Story » ]

Campaigners Seek Dissident Web Domains
Consumer activist Ralph Nader is proposing a new class of domain names for community activists like: dot sucks, dot.union, dot. ecology and dot.complaints.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • The Real Big Fella

  • That's It For Labor

  • Join Australia's Gas Out

  • Tribute to Jennie

  • Editorial

    Running the State

    When asked how he'd describe his own Premiership, Bob Carr talks of 'achieving the impossible - reconciling economic growth with social justice'.

    As Carr reels off his government's achievements there is some grounds to justify his headline - his 1996 industrial relations law are significant, there have been increases in the social budget and the economy is delivering prosperity to a growing number of workers.

    But there are down-sides that it is all too easy for a leader with a big majority to gloss over: many of the new jobs are precarious and non-unionised, the public sector reform agenda is being pursued with the zeal of the economist not the social reformer, the education system is in disarray.

    More alarmingly, a series of union proposals to adapt the 1996 laws to address the new demands of a fast-moving labour market - such as regulating independent contractors and labour hire - have been gathering dust for nearly 12 months.

    Statements by the Premier that he is committed to working through job security, in concert with other Labor states are to be welcomed; but they shouldn't be a substitute for decisive action now.

    Despite his protestations that the bureaucracy supports his agenda, rather than imposes its own, the suspicion remains that these sensible proposals are being held up by faceless technocrats with no sympathy for the labour movement.

    Who, for instance, has decided to outsource State Transit's information line to a non-union call centre, as revealed in this week's issue?

    And who made the call to seek fines against a trade union involved in industrial action with the overwhelming support of its membership?

    If Carr were truly reconciling social justice and economic growth, those issues just wouldn't arise.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Janice Crosio on Worker Entitlements Peter Moss' Plea to the Swans Neale Towart's Labour Review Teachers' Pet - David Penberthy



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