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  Issue No 47 Official Organ of LaborNet 24 March 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Telstra Troubleshooter
Andrew Hillard first blew the whistle on Mal Colston�s expenses rorts; now he�s taking on Telstra over its tactics to drive down wages and conditions.
*  Unions: A Christmas (Recruitment) Story
Staff at the Illawarra Mutual Building Society organised their own Christmas present - and, with the help of a little e-mail, delivered 80 new members to the ASU's Clerical and Administrative Branch.
*  International: A Move to the Left?
John Passant look�s at �Red Ken� Livingstone�s tilt at Mayor of London and what it means for the Radical Left.
*  Legal: Going Broke: What Workers Should Do
A no nonsense guide to protecting your entitlements when the boss goes bust.
*  Politics: "I Can't Believe It's Not Peter Reith":
The NSW Labor Government is waging a dirty campaign against the NSW Teachers Federation in order to gain the upper hand in the long running award dispute.
*  History: One Big Nation
In the 1920�s rural Australia was arguing for its share of the national wealth through The Bush Workers Propaganda Group.
*  Satire: Toddler Death Fallout: BMW Releases New Oven
The Victorian Government has turned up the heat on the gambling and car industries following a spate of children being locked inside cars.
*  Review: The Stranger from Hobart
In his controversial new book, Peter Botsman lifts the lid on the unsung hero of federation, Andrew Inglis Clark

Blowing the Whistle on Telstra

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Insurance Deal Guarantees Entitlements
As National Textile Workers finally receive their entitlements, unions in a Sydney workshop have secured accrued benefits through an innovative insurance scheme.
[ Full Story » ]

Casual Work Inquiry Moves Closer
NSW Premier Bob Carr and unions have reached in principle agreement for an inquiry into labour hire that could set new benchmarks for the entire East Coast of Australia.
[ Full Story » ]

Questions Over National Push for 36 Hours Week
The Grollo deal with Victorian building unions is unlikely to spread into NSW and other states in the short term, as key enterprise agreements do not expire for another two years.
[ Full Story » ]

WA Govt Pulls Plug on Unionists
Western Australia's Education Department has blocked all electronic mail sent by a trade union members working in the agency.
[ Full Story » ]

A Fair Day�s Surf
The Fair Wear campaign to ban clothing made in sweatshop takes on a new wave this weekend when it targets surfers and beachgoers.
[ Full Story » ]

Hotel Workers Jam AIRC
More than 300 Melbourne hotel workers this week gave the ACTU Living Wage Case a human face, when 300 chefs and room attendants quietly filed into the court to listen to proceedings.
[ Full Story » ]

PM's Security Guards Walk off the Job
The Prime Minister's Australian Protective Service staff at Kirribilli House walked off the job this week for 32 hours, as a long-running pay dispute escalated.
[ Full Story » ]

SOCOG Dances: Budget Not There
Two weeks into the MEAA campaign to gain recognition for professional performers involved in the opening and closing ceremonies at the Sydney 2000 Games, SOCOG says, "We don' have room in the $50,000,000 budget to pay the performers."
[ Full Story » ]

Women Win Right To Wear Trousers
Female lounge attendants at the QANTAS Club Lounge at Melbourne Airport have won the right to wear trousers to work.
[ Full Story » ]

Another Rustbucket On Our Coast
Waterside workers in Burnie stopped work on the Cypriot flag of convenience Nicolas Star this week after uncovering rusted lashing chains and weevil infested food.
[ Full Story » ]

Catholic School Teachers Endorse Strike Action
Industrial unrest in NSW is escalating with teachers in NSW Catholic schools voting to hold a one day strike on Wednesday, 29 March over a salary dispute.
[ Full Story » ]

We Can't Share the Spirit If We Can�t Afford the Rent
Tenancy advocates Rentwatchers are set to release new information and a series of case studies that demonstrate once again the adverse social impact of the 2000 Olympics.
[ Full Story » ]

Unionist Honoured Posthumously
Wal Liddle was one of the people who built the union movement at the grass-roots level - never a high-profile official, but an on-the-job activist � the very life-blood of the union movement
[ Full Story » ]

Radio Free East Timor
Australian musicians have joined forces with the trade union movement to raise funds for �Voz de Esperanza� (Voice of Hope), East Timor�s only radio station.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Carr's Parisian Lunchmate

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  • Editorial

    By-Passing the Uglies

    NSW Premier Bob Carr's move to support an inquiry into the regulation of labour hire, raises interesting issues not just for workers in precarious employment, but on the broader plane of state-federal relations.

    By responding to the calls of trade union and legitimate employers in the industry to look at how to prevent a downward spiral in wages and conditions, the NSW Government is taking a leadership role nationally.

    But more importantly, Carr has signalled that any remedies can not be confined to NSW alone. To prevent progressive laws backfiring through a flight of capital to other states, he wants NSW to work with Labor Governments in Victoria and Queensland to develop a joint position on the issue.

    On one level this is pure pragmatism - in the face of a hostile federal government, Social Democratic state administrations must work together rather than pulling each other apart.

    It's also a natural extension of the way the 1996 NSW Industrial Relations laws have already been used as a model in Queensland and are being looked at by the Bracks Administration.

    But the devolution of the reform agenda away from the federal government and down to regional governments working in cooperation could also be a sign of things to come.

    While we have watched states undercutting each other for investment in recent years - the idea of collective policy-making circumventing a national government suggests a maturing in our mad grab for global money.

    Regions will still set their own priorities - but they will also work together on issues to create level playing fields in the interests of their citizens.

    It will take a change of government federally to determine whether this is a sign of the end of federalism, or just a reaction to an insipid and ineffective federal administration

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Troy Bramston on the Politics of the Internet Through the Schooner Glass Paul Howes on Costa�s Campus Tour All the Queen�s Man



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