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  Issue No 53 Official Organ of LaborNet 12 May 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: The Fruitful Shaw
After ten years in Parliament, NSW Industrial Relations Minister Jeff Shaw looks at some mountains still to be climbed.
*  Politics: Budget in Reply
Opposition Leader Kim Beazley replies to the Federal budget and paints Labor's alternative vision for the future.
*  Economics: Petition to Move a Mountain
A child born in Zambia or Tanzania or Bolivia owes more to international creditors than she or he will ever earn in a lifetime.
*  International: Solidarity in a Cold Climate
After an overnight bargaining marathon, Norway's unions have secured most of their main demands and have now ended their nationwide strike.
*  Health: Workers Health Centre Comes of Age
In 2001, the Workers Health Centre will celebrate its 25th anniversary, making it the longest running independent trade union based health and safety service in the country.
*  History: A Tribute to the Fallen
A Canadian tractor operator is seeking help to produce a book on monuments to people killed in the workplace.
*  Satire: Ralph Web Ring Busted
Following the dismissal of 27 Telstra employees last week for downloading hardcore pornography on their work computers, Ralph magazine sacked five employees yesterday for downloading positive images of women.
*  Review: Waterfront - Through the Reporters' Eyes
Fairfax journalists Helen Trinca and Anne Davies have skillfully transformed the waterfront war into the sort of thriller that any self-respecting Hollywood mogul would reject for being too wild to be true.

Through the Journo's Eyes

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May Day - Youth Wing

Costello Backs National GST Pay Claim
Treasurer Peter Costello's post-Budget comments that upcoming tax cuts are not compensation for the GST will be used to support pay claims for workers, ACTU secretary Greg Combet said today.
[ Full Story » ]

Conference Call: Support the NSW Way
Firms pursuing policies at odds with the values behind the NSW industrial relations laws should not receive financial support from the Carr Government, unions will argue at the ALP State Conference next month.
[ Full Story » ]

Games Rail Service in Limbo
State Rail will be forced to find an extra 3,000 temporary staff after rail workers this week withdrew co-operation from pre-Games preparation over the rejection of their Olympics bonus claim.
[ Full Story » ]

Shaw Moves on Email Protection
The NSW Privacy Commissioner will be asked to develop guidelines for the monitoring of workplace emails while the Carr Government considers broader legislative protection for unions to communicate electronically with their members.
[ Full Story » ]

Salami Reform: Reith Chops Up the Nasties
New industrial laws introduced into Parliament this week are nothing more than Peter Reith's second wave in slices, according to the Federal Opposition.
[ Full Story » ]

Advocate in Trouble Over Rural Sackings
Questions have been raised over the role of Peter Reith's Employment Advocate in the sacking of four workers at the Toorallie mill in Bombala in southern NSW.
[ Full Story » ]

Unionists take to Streets for May Day 2000
In the wake of violent demonstrations around the world on May Day, Sydney trade unionists last Sunday celebrated May Day in a more traditional way by holding a march and rally.
[ Full Story » ]

Shareholders Rattle Rinto Tinto Cage
As a shareholders revolt hit Rio Tinto's London AGM this week, the company's new chief executive claims he wants "peace" in Australia's coal industry.
[ Full Story » ]

Joy Dispute Widens With Midnight Run
The Joy Manufacturing Company dispute on the Southern Highlands has widened with furtive moves by the company, including late night truck movements to transfer equipment from the site to another base in Wollongong.
[ Full Story » ]

Employers Fail to Defy History
The NSW Employers Federation have maintained their tradition of opposing every safety net wage rise in history, arguing against the $15 awarded to federal workers flowing onto NSW despite the boom conditions in the state.
[ Full Story » ]

Indonesian Labor Educator Reports to Local Unions
You are invited to a unique opportunity to hear directly from Ms Hemasari Dharmabumi, the coordinator of the new APHEDA supported program in Indonesia, the Labor Education Centre.
[ Full Story » ]

Big Drum-Up This Wednesday
The second in our series of fundraisers for APHEDA- Union Aid Abroad takes place this Wednesday with the Big Drum Up for East Timor at The Basement on Wednesday night.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Fan Mail

  • Hate Mail

  • Impressed With Stan

  • Our PM: The Royal Gerbil

  • A Personal Campaign

  • Editorial

    Vision of a Small Man

    These are exciting times. A world opening up through network technologies, a new economy growing at amazing speed, a society in transformation.

    But if you were to gauge the state of play by the Howard Government's fifth budget, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were living in very different times.

    This week's budget hit new heights in the shrinking of the public policy. If it's possible to reach a standard of excellence for mediocrity, this is it.

    It's easy to blame Costello. The Human Smirk has put in a shocker - spooking Telstra and bowling full tosses to the union movement, while dressing up a deficit as a surplus as he attempts to bribe the electorate into accepting the retro reform that is the Goods and Services Tax.

    But it's not his fault alone. While some Budget's are painted on vast canvasses, this one has all the breadth of a postage stamp - hamstrung as it is by the GST and the Prime Minister's inability/refusal to engage a changing world.

    Probably the most damning aspect of the budget is actually one if its revenue raising measures - the $2.6 billion from the sale of digital spectrum.

    This only highlights the errant stupidity of the Howard Government in handing over far more of this public asset to TV broadcasters as part of the cosy deal to give them a monopoly to introduce Pay TV.

    When the Howard Government is finally consigned to the dustbin of history, the betrayal of the Australian people by destroying a local datacasting industry before it had even begun will be seen as an enduring legacy.

    So what are we left with today? A murky calm as we wait for the GST to hit; another attempt to place the balancing of an accountant's book at the center of public policy.

    The federal budget may have been a yawn, but that doesn't mean it was without meaning. It's just that most of it is bad.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    What's Wrong with May Day Buster Punter - What the World Needs Now Neale Towart's Labour Review The Human Smirk



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