Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 59 Official Organ of LaborNet 23 June 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Holding the Line
Diwan Shankar, Assistant National Secretary of the Fiji TUC, is in Australia to consolidate support for his members and plead for ongoing bans.
*  Technology: D-Day for VC?
NSW Labor Council secretary Michael Costa explains the motivations behind the new Get on Board computer-internet venture.
*  Legal: Knock, Knock - Who's There?
When the nine year old son of CFMEU construction division state secretary Andrew Ferguson recently responded to a Saturday door knock, it was neither a friend nor a Jehovah's Witness.
*  Unions: Are You a Good Listener ?
Mark Hearn goes inside the Energy Australia call centre to find a workplace where there is a code for evrything - even trips to the toilet.
*  International: Union Observers Barred from Zimbabwe Poll
Five observers from the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and 19 other South Africans aligned to Zimbabwe's Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice are among 233 observers barred by the Zimbabwean government from monitoring the parliamentary elections.
*  History: Community, Class, and Comparison
Despite its occasional romantic tendencies, new labour scholarship is mapping collective action within working class communities.
*  Satire: Rural Poor Return to Labor
Thrilled by the great new branding, the new Country Labor party has caused scenes of great rejoicing in the country.
*  Review: The Wicked Webs We Weave
LaborNet web-meastro Paul Howes trawls the web for some hot sites for all you political junkies.

Fijian union leader Diwan Shanker

What you can do

Notice Board
- Check out the latest events

Latest Issue

View entire latest issue
- print all of the articles!

Previous Issues

Subject index

Search all issues

Enter keyword(s):

Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


Wobbly Radio


Have I got a deal for you!

STOP PRESS: Get on Board Moves Virtual
Just 24 hours after the launch of the Labor Council's computer-Internet deal, Virtual Communities has updated its package - proof that competition works!
[ Full Story » ]

Orange at Risk - Call for City's Help
Threatened workers from the western NSW town of Orange are pleading for support from city workers as a cloud looms over the future of the city with its largest employer Email facing takeover.
[ Full Story » ]

Unions to Get Equity in New Computer Deal
Individual affiliates that promote the 'Get on Board' computer deal will receive equity in the company in return for their participation, Labor Council secretary Michael Costa said today.
[ Full Story » ]

Aussie Competition Laws Protect Fijian Terrorists
The ACCC has been accused of using local competition laws to support Fiji's coup leaders for exploring whether bans imposed on the Pacific nation by Australia unions breach the Trades Practices Act
[ Full Story » ]

Union Rat Sinks Industrial Laws
The intervention of a former union leader has prompted cross-bench MPs to block a key aspect of the Carr Government's industrial relations reform package.
[ Full Story » ]

Olympic Rail Deal Struck for Games Period
Public transport workers have struck a deal with the Carr Government to secure a special flexibility payment for the duration of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games worth $4.00 per hour.
[ Full Story » ]

GST Fears for Union Delegates
Union delegates and shop stewards who collect union fees from fellow workers and receive small payments for their work will have to register as a business or face a 48 per cent with-holding tax.
[ Full Story » ]

No Cigars for Casino High Rollers
In a world first Australia's Casino Union has won a decision to ban smoking on gaming tables at Sydney's Star City Casino.
[ Full Story » ]

Frustration Boils Over Olympics Blowout
The Carr Government was today condemned for patching up the Olympic budget while allowing sores in the community sector to fester, as thousands of community workers took unprecedented.
[ Full Story » ]

Support for Campaign Against TAFE Cuts
The New South Wales Labor Council is supporting the Teachers Federation in its campaign to reverse a 10 per cent cut to the TAFE budget and job cuts and to safe-guard the quality of TAFE education.
[ Full Story » ]

Private Sector Health Workers Seek Pay Equity
"Show me the Money!' has become the rallying cry amongst workers in private hospitals sick of being paid about $80 per week less than workers in public hospitals.
[ Full Story » ]

Bosses Hoist on Own Petard
Four workers were seriously injured on Wednesday 21 June in an accident involving another materials hoist collapse. The accident occurred at a home unit development in Bankstown when the top half of a barrow material hoist on level three of the building collapsed onto the ground floor.
[ Full Story » ]

Construction Industry Assists East Timor Training
Australia's construction industry has pledged its support for the reconstruction of East Timor by funding a Vocational Training Centre in Dili.
[ Full Story » ]

AFL-CIO Leader to Address Congress
One of the leading union officials from the United States, AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard Trumpka will be a keynote speaker at next week's ACTU Congress in Wollongong.
[ Full Story » ]

Full ACTU Congress Coverage on LaborNet
LaborNet will be on board at next week's triennial ACTU Congress and will cover proceedings via our Live News Feed.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Freudian Slip

  • Volunteers in Policing

  • Tax Farce

  • Editorial

    Grandstanding and the Cyberwar

    Next week I'll have the honour of giving a brief address to the triennial ACTU Congress which be meeting in Wollongong.

    I've been asked to outline Workers Online and Labornet and the work we've been doing to develop a trade union culture in cyberspace.

    What I won't be talking about is the Labor Council's new computer venture Get-on-board - developed to provide access to computers and the internet for working people, while maintaining a large stake in the company for the labour movement.

    Nor will delegates see anything about the venture, which at the very least, provides a level of competition sadly lacking at the moment.

    That's because the ACTU's preferred computer supplier, Virtual Communities, is sponsoring the Congress and have a monopoly on peddling their wares. What's more, I've been asked to provide a script in advance. That's business.

    If I had the freedom (or dare, I say it, the guts) this is what I'd be saying to the ACTU Congress about the current cyberwar:

    * There is no criticism - implied or otherwise - of Greg Combet or Sharan Burrow in our current activities to develop a computer package that meets our requirements - put simply, they inherited a dud.

    * Time has vindicated our arguments that Bill Kelty undervalued the union movement's asset - it's membership network and that a few very smart entreprenuers are now poised to make a killing at our expense. According to documents we've seen, one of the principals, has an $80 million stake after one year's work.

    * We now have an alternate vehicle that can offer unions substantial equity in a vehicle that will deliver on Kelty's noble dream of enabling the information poor. In fact, it's the sort of deal he would have got if he'd put the idea out to tender.

    * The deal gives the union movement a choice: in terms of the hardware/software package, the business model and the equity. To their credit, apart from the Congress arrangements, the ACTU has welcomed this competition.

    So let the competition begin! For those in Wollongong, you're welcome to a briefing we're holding on Tuesday night before the Fiji dinner. For the rest of you, have a look at our outline and comparisons by clicking here:

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Challenge from the Left George Piggins on the Rabbitohs' Court Case Teach Safe says YouthSafe Steve Harrison - Labor Rat



    [ Home ][ Notice Board ][ Search ][ Previous Issues ][ Latest Issue ]

    © 1999-2000 Labor Council of NSW

    LaborNET is a resource for the labour movement provided by the Labor Council of NSW

    Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

    [ Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Credits ]

    LaborNET is proudly created, designed and programmed by Social Change Online for the Labor Council of NSW


     Labor Council of NSW

    [Workers Online]

    [Social Change Online]