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  Issue No 57 Official Organ of LaborNet 09 June 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Cocky Labor
On the eve of State Conference, Country Labor convenor Tony Kelly outlines how Labor is stealing the ground from under the National Party's feet.
*  Economics: Millenium Work Ethics - A New Social Partnership?
The future of work in the twenty-first century will be both provocative and challenging, according to Professor Russell Lansbury.
*  Politics: Extracting the Digit
Labor's federal communications spokesman Stehpen Smith outlines the Party's position on the controversial datacasting legislation currently before Parliament.
*  History: Hot Off the Press
Check out what's in the latest issue of Labour History - A Journal of Labour and Social History,
*  International: The East Timor of Africa
Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta will this week tell a Sydney audience of the parallels between East Timor and the nation described as the last colony in Africa - the Western Sahara.
*  Environment: MUA Snail Men Honoured
Brisbane wharfies Lehi Munday and Mal Monro look an unlikely Watson and Sherlock double, but their keen detective work has helped win the Southern Queensland MUA Branch two national environment awards.
*  Satire: Howard Says 'Sorry'
In a startling apology to the Aboriginal community, Prime Minister John Howard said last night he was deeply sorry that he turned up to the Corroboree 2000 celebrations.
*  Review: Front Stage and Pulp Fiction
The Waterfront War has made the transition from industrial showdown to cultural icon. Now it's inspiring artists.

Life as Art

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Rival Computer Deal Imminent
A computer deal to deliver home computers and Internet access to workers' homes for less than $10 per week will deliver 66 per cent equity to the key stakeholders - the NSW Labor Council and NSW ALP.
[ Full Story » ]

Conference to Set New Ground Rules for Labor
Measures to place greater responsibility on the Carr Government to monitor the employment practices of agencies and firms receiving state grants will be the focus of trade union-sponsored resolutions at the ALP State Conference.
[ Full Story » ]

Call (of Nature) Waiting for Telstra Workers
Telstra call center staff wanting to use the toilet are being forced to raise their hands and seek management permission first, according to a stinging report into the agencies' practices.
[ Full Story » ]

Democrats Come Through on Third Wave
The Australian Democrats this week answered the call of thousands of workers by rejecting Peter Reith's plan to outlaw industry-wide bargaining.
[ Full Story » ]

Joy's Bizarre Student Bid
Lawyers for the embattled Joy Manufacturing Company have targeted university students in a desperate bid to contain protest and opposition.
[ Full Story » ]

Commonwealth Bank Staff Strike
Thousands of Commonwealth Bank staff Australia-wide are on strike in protest of the Bank's appalling treatment of customers, its refusal to provide adequate staff and its underhand attempts to drive down some employees' wages.
[ Full Story » ]

Liberal Students Spark Uni Walk-Out
A decision by a Liberal-dominated student union board to outsource campus food and beverage services has sparked the first ever strike at the university of New South Wales.
[ Full Story » ]

Union Targets Asbestos Shonks
The CFMEU has started a major drive to clean up the asbestos removal industry in light of shocking breaches of their members' safety in the last few weeks.
[ Full Story » ]

Needle Stick Injury Sparks Waste Strike
Garbage supplies across the state will be affected next week by a 24-hour strike in the waste industry over a series of needle stick injuries suffered by workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Security Guard Wins $100,000 in Back Pay
A Brisbane security guard member of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, Stephen Fennamore, has just picked up an extraordinary record payment of almost $100,000 in back pay following an extended court case.
[ Full Story » ]

Paddy Troy Memorial Prize
This annual award of $500 is sponsored by the Maritime Union of Australia and administered by the Perth Branch of the Society for the Study of Labour History.
[ Full Story » ]

Robbo for Post-Conference Smoko
LaborNET's Virtual Trades Hall will be hosting a special Wednesday "Post-Conference" Smoko to discuss the impaact of this weekend's NSW ALP Conference on trade unions
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Casual Treatment

  • Expo 2000 Opens with Violence Against Left

  • Child Care Laws Should Go Further

  • Editorial

    Rallying to the Cause

    Behind the pictures of this week's rally against the Reith industrial laws some interesting issues within the movement were played out. At its heart are the questions: Why do we rally? And for whom?

    Labor Council had intended the rally to follow an organizing model of having only rank and file workers from a diverse range of backgrounds speaking to the crowd.

    The logic behind this was that everyone knows that union officials hate Reith. But testimony from real workers was the stuff that would influence the Democrats to change their minds.

    Not only that, but as the rally provided an opportunity to showcase union activity to a television audience, we should do all we can to create user-friendly images that would help us in our broader mission to attract people to the movement.

    The strategy unraveled when several unions decided to hold a march and rally at Town Hall, before the rank and file rally. At this event, a series of union leaders got on the stump and berated Howard and Reith.

    Not surprisingly, these were the scenes that dominated the final TV News package: angry union leaders, angry workers, angry movement - scenes that all our research tell us is a big turn-off for the general public.

    As the ill-fated Canberra rally showed, big events are very difficult to control and the media is only too willing to keep us in the stereotypical box.

    On one level, there is nothing wrong with powerful blue collar unions doing what they do best. They did, after all, provide the bulk of the numbers to the rally and the Democrats did end up blocking the legislation.

    But if we are really serious about opening up the union movement to a new market and embracing an organizing model, it may be time to rethink our methods of demonstration.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Enough is Enough George Piggins on Red and Green Day Mary Yaager on Compo Changes The Slug Man Cometh



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