Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 60 Official Organ of LaborNet 30 June 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Turning Tides
ACTU President Sharan Burrow reflects on the disappearance of the middle class and what the union movement can do about it
*  Unions: Fear and Loathing in Wollongong
For four days this week, too much unionism was barely enough. We bring you the highs and lows from behind the scenes and inside the bars of this week’s ACTU Congress.
*  Politics: The Group Hug
Opposition leader Kim Beazley came, saw and conga-ed. Here's what he said to the ACTU Congress.
*  History: Unions and Family Trees
Trade union records may not be the first port of call for a beginning family historian, but down the track a little, these records could bring to life an ancestor who previously was just a name printed on the page.
*  International: Fiji Bans Lifted
Fiji employers are expected to start reinstating all their workers over the next week, now that Australian union bans have been lifted at the request of the local union leadership.
*  Review: Room to Manoeuvre
Full employment with a highly skilled well-paid workforce is a realistic goal for Australia, despite the supposed constraints of globalisation.
*  Satire: Satan Subpoenaed To Cricket Inquiry
The King Commission of Inquiry into cricket match-fixing yesterday heard evidence from Satan that he never influenced Hansie Cronje to accept bribes.

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Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


Wobbly Radio


Delegates Take Centre Stage
Photo by HT Lee

Delegate Rights Up in 48 Hours
The Millennium Hotel, in Sydney's Kings Cross, has accepted a Hotel Union claim for the new ACTU Delegates Charter to be incorporated into their enterprise agreement within days of its adoption.
[ Full Story » ]

Email Express to Orange Rally
The Labor Council has organised for a special train to take unions and their members to Orange to support the Email workers in their campaign to save the Orange Plant.
[ Full Story » ]

Nose Stud Leads to Sacking
Body piercing may be fashionable, but some Canberra employers just don't keep up with the trends. Belinda Faulkingham of the Canberra suburb of Lyons is walking proof of this.
[ Full Story » ]

Shaw Walks, Costa Considers Future
NSW Industrial Relations Minister Jeff Shaw’s shock resignation has left the NSW Labor Council secretary considering his future after premier Bob Carr said he was entitled to a front bench position.
[ Full Story » ]

Reith's Waterfront Ghost Returns
Peter Reith's worst nightmare - the spectre of balaclava-wearing guards and savage dogs on Patrick's wharves - returned to the Federal Parliament this week in the form of questions on notice asked of the Minister by Shadow Industrial Relations Minister, Arch Bevis.
[ Full Story » ]

Free Trade: Debate We Have to Have
ACTU President Sharan Burrow says the union movement has positioned itself at the center of the global trade debate through it’s Congress resolution.
[ Full Story » ]

Superannuation to Hit 15 Per Cent
Unions will seek a fair share for retired Australians by campaigning to boost the minimum superannuation contribution to 15 per cent, following this week’s ACTU Congress.
[ Full Story » ]

ATSIC Chief Calls for Workplace Quotas
The Federal Government should pass legislation making it compulsory for all employers with more than 250 workers to have at least two per cent Aboriginal staff, ATSIC chair Geoff Clark says.
[ Full Story » ]

Those Bastards in There
Joy Mining Machinery workers in Moss Vale (NSW) are still locked out as meetings with the Company go nowhere.
[ Full Story » ]

Strike Marks Resurgence In Community Sector Activism
Over 1,000 Community Workers walked off the job and rallied utside NSW Parliament House last Friday in a show of anger and frustration with the NSW Government.
[ Full Story » ]

Casino Olympic Pay Deal
Sydney's Star City Casino workers have picked up a $500 Olympic bonus, as part of the negotiations for a new Casino Union enterprise agreement.
[ Full Story » ]

NSW School Staff Ban GST Work
Public Service Association members in Government School staff have banned all GST work because of the Government's paltry offer of financial assistance to cover the huge extra workload and responsibilities inflicted by the GST.
[ Full Story » ]

Workers Online Wins ACTU Media Award
LaborNet and Workers Online have shared the ACTU Media Award for online reporting with the AMWU website.
[ Full Story » ]

Update: Computer War Hots Up
Despite threatening Getonboard with legal action last week, Virtual Communities was still distributing information at ACTU Congress that they have told us is wrong.
[ Full Story » ]

STOP PRESS: Pay Equity Decision Handed Down
The Industrial Relations Commission of NSW has handed down an historic decision that establishes a new wage-fixing principle on Equal Remuneration.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • None the Wiser for History

  • Virtual Kelty

  • The Burke and Wills Syndrome

  • Rally for Refugees

  • industrial Gazettes Looking for a Home

  • Sharan Burrow at the IPAA

  • Editorial

    Congress Capers

    It only happens once every three years, which is probably often enough for all involved in this week's ACTU Congress.

    But for all the set-piece speeches and carefully controlled debates, it was a positive outing for the new ACTU leadership.

    The Combet-Burrow team push forward with their agenda of modernizing the unions, by implementing the findings of the [email protected] report and sending power back to the shopfloor.

    Real workers and union delegates took center stage from the start and many of the policies were specifically tailored to empower more workplace activism.

    It's not an approach that has universal support: many of those present were the beneficiaries of the old structures that are no longer serving the movement well. But the settings are right; although the actual action is still fairly limited.

    It was pity to see one newspaper characterize the Congress as a "Shift to the Left" - this seemed more like hope than analysis and easily pigeon-holed the ACTU where it can easily be dismissed.

    Likewise, the brawl over trade policy was more about managing a relationship with Labor in Opposition - something that, despite the rhetoric - the new ACTU leadership team delivered.

    For the LaborNet team it was a fun week, as our trade union correspondent's used our Congress facilities to broadcast their stories straight to the Web while we pushed computers under the table..

    The drama around Jeff Shaw's shock resignation only added to the excitement - especially for the man in the middle of the action who'll spend the weekend listening to The Clash's classic "Should I Stay or Should I Go?".

    Rest assured, whatever the outcome of that decision you'll be reading about it in next week's Workers Online.

    P.S. Sorry for the late delivery - server crashed Friday arvo!

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Greg Combet - The State We're In Moving the Goalposts Neale Towart's Labour Review Clark & Costa: Virtual Tools



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