Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 49 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 April 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Rebuilding from the Rubble
Ramona Mitussis, APHEDA's co-ordinator in East Timor reports on how Australian workers are contributing to rebuilding a nation.
*  East Timor: UN Poseurs Delay Reconstruction
Returning to the Dili compound where he spent five days under siege, HT Lee finds an aid bureacracy out of control.
*  Unions: The Last Bank in Minto
"It's a busy branch", Carol Davison insists, watching the crowd gather around the Commonwealth Bank branch at Minto Mall. By the time you read this, the branch will be another empty shopfront, stripped of its fittings, with junk mail starting to accumulate under the front door.
*  International: Workers of the World Unite
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia's keynote address to the ICFTU Congress in Durban, South Africa this week.
*  Olympics: Strange Tenants
Rentwatchers lifts the lid on the legacy the 2000 Games will leave on Sydney's tenants.
*  Politics: The Loneliness Crisis
Lindsay Tanner looks at the politics of the soul that form the backdrop of many of our social ills.
*  History: Songs of Solidarity
Visiting US labour acadmeic John Lund has found a new way to digest history - he commits workers' struggles to song.
*  Satire: Seven Launches 'Popstars' Spin-off
On the heels of Popstars comes a new show taking five minor celebrities and turning them into normal people
*  Review: Keating's Engagement
Whether it's analysis or self-justification, Paul Keating's new book is an engaging read.

APHEDA's Woman in Dili - Ramona Mitsussis

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East Timor: Reduced to Rubble

Free East Timor? For the Workers, It's Just Cheap
The ACTU has taken up the case of East Timorese workers being employed by international aid agencies including CARE Australia for just 40 cents an hour.
[ Full Story » ]

Maria Wins Historic Email Test Case
A woman sacked for distributing union material over an office email system has won in a landmark case.
[ Full Story » ]

More Hot Air: Cyclone Telstra Hits Townsville
Telstra staff cut off from work by floodwater after Cyclone Tessi hit Townsville this week have been denied special leave by management and told to take 'recreational leave' or leave without pay' instead.
[ Full Story » ]

Cleaners Walk: We Are Humans, Not Robots!
Over-worked NSW government school cleaners have downed brooms and walked off the job for 48 hours over a drive for faster work that has left them with just nine minutes to clean a classroom.
[ Full Story » ]

Reith's Day in the Dock Draws Near
Maritime Unions of Australia members are celebrating a court ruling against the Howard Government on the second anniversary of the Patrick dispute.
[ Full Story » ]

Olympics Tickets: One Size Doesn't Fit All
Unions have greeted revelations that tickets for the Sydney Olympics produced by a US company are too big for venue turnstyles with four weary words: "we told you so".
[ Full Story » ]

Back Door Sell-Off of Nursing Home Beds
Nurses fear thousands of public nursing homes beds are about to be offered to private commercial operators as the State Government moves to apply National Competition Policy to the aged care sector.
[ Full Story » ]

Entitlement Changes Fail to Protect Workers
The ACTU has told a parliamentary committee that proposed changes to Corporations Law are meagre and fail to protect vulnerable workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Shaw Sets Safety Guidelines
NSW Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Jeff Shaw, QC has introduced a sentencing guidelines bill for breaches of workplace safety.
[ Full Story » ]

Water Workers Ready to Walk
Industrial action is looming at Sydney Water and its subsidiary, Australian Water Technologies as management dodges a long-due pay rise.
[ Full Story » ]

Honour for Jack Mundy
Green bans legend Jack Mundy, honoured by the NSW Labor Council last night for his long-term contribution to the movement, has endorsed the broad push to grass roots organizing.
[ Full Story » ]

Lindsay Tanner Chat Session
Federal Labor frontbencher Lindsay Tanner will be in the Virtual Trades Hall this Friday lunch time to talk about the Politics of Loneliness.
[ Full Story » ]

Radio Free East Timor Fundraiser Thursday
Australian workers have the chance to set the tones of the streets of Dili by donating CDs for the fledgling radio station 'Voz de Esperanza' - the Voice of Hope.
[ Full Story » ]

Workers Online Turns 50 Next Week!
We're entering middle age! Workers Online has done what few independent publications have managed and made it to our fiftieth issue. That's more than Zeitgiest, the republican and The Eye combined!
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Public Meeting: Globalised Capital and International Labour.

  • Editorial

    Lest We Forget

    There was a lot of hand-wringing going on six months ago. Anyone remember? Little island to Australia's north; lots of building burning, disappearing locals, lots of scared foreign journalists?

    One of the strongest memories of the conflagration in East Timor was the feeling of helplessness and guilt that many of us held as aspirations of independence spiraled out of control.

    Helplessness, because of our government's inability to match the manouvrings by Indonesia's military that prevented early intervention; guilt because we realized deep down that Labor's 25 years of acquiescence to the East Timorese's occupation had contributed to their plight.

    The East Timorese got their independence; but they paid a lot for it. As this week's Workers Online chronicles, this fledgling nation has been left as rubble. The rebuilding process is painfully slow and ongoing damage to the East Timorese is still being done.

    But there is a greater threat; and that is as our collective attention turns to another of the world's hotspots, we leave the reconstruction of East Timor uncompleted, elbowed out by yet another good cause.

    The lesson of September '99 is that our commitment must be ongoing, our fortunes will always be intertwined.

    This is why NSW unions have joined forces with the local music industry in holding a series of concerts around the state to raise money for Voz de Esperanza (the Voice of Hope), East Timor's only working community radio stations.
    It's an exciting partnership between unions and musicians - placing politics and culture as the core building blocks of an emerging free society - and giving all of us to play our part in the rebuilding..

    Every Australian worker can contribute - through attending concerts, making donations to APHEDA, or choosing a hot CD from their selection to send to the streets of Dili.

    So join us in this important campaign, if you live in Sydney and you were outraged last September while Dili burned, get down to the Harbourside Brasserie this Thursday night and help the cause.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    HT Lee - On Timor Rewards Buster Punter Double Vision for WorkCover? Herron's Headache



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