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  Issue No 62 Official Organ of LaborNet 14 July 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Fair Trader
AMWU boss Doug Cameron is gearing for a showdown with the ALP over their free trade agenda. But what's he really on about?
*  Politics: Free Trader
Trade Minister Peter Cook states his case for coninuting trade liberalisation and why the 'fair trade' agenda is against the interests of Australian workers.
*  History: Organising - Fifties Style
What do the new wave of organisers do? Pretty much the same hard slog that Audrey Petrie did in the 1950s around Sydney for the Hotel, Club and Restaurant Union (HCRU).
*  Unions: The Whistleblower
A lone Chinese seafarer is fighting to stop a Panamanian flagged vessel from dumping toxic waste into Australian waters
*  International: Jakarta Breakthrough
Indonesian workers have just won a new historic bill of rights which gaurantees them legal protections when they form unions.
*  Solidarity: Rio Versus the Rest of the World
Union members around the world have taken part in a week of international action against the mining giant Rio Tinto. Andrew Casey looks at all the hot spots.
*  Satire: Amnesty Branch Targets Lazy Letter Writer
Police are investigating claims that the Glebe branch of Amnesty International has captured and tortured a member whose tardiness in letter writing had become renowned.
*  Review: Little by Little
Clinton Walker's groundbreaking book, CD and video charts the careers of indigenous artists like the legendary Jimmy Little.

Cameron & Cook Lock Horns

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Hyde Park Plaza Workers Prepare to Fight

Hotel Workers Get Serious on Olympic Pay
Sydney Hotel Union members are gearing up for a huge industry-wide meeting on Monday July 24, to discuss their concerns about the Olympics, and what will happen to them at their workplaces
[ Full Story » ]

Global Rio Tinto Campaign Bites
Mining giant Rio Tinto is feeling the heat of a global trade union campaign and has signaled it wants to make peace with its Australian workforce by offering them collective agreements.
[ Full Story » ]

Nike Faces Olympics Shame
Global sports giant Nike faces some pre-Games embarrassment with trade unions planning to bring an Indonesian victimized after organizing workers to Sydney to tell the real story of how they 'Just Do It'.
[ Full Story » ]

Cameron Calls for 'Social Audit'
The head of the Manufacturing Workers Union has called on an incoming Labor Government to undertake a 'Social Audit' into the impact of free trade policies.
[ Full Story » ]

Orange Rally Softens Email Job Losses
Orange workers are crediting last week's rally with forcing Email management to come clean with their plans to shed ten per cent of the workforce and averting further job losses.
[ Full Story » ]

No Joy in the Chase
Striking Joy Mining Machinery workers from Moss Vale sat in the boardroom of the Sydney office of the Chase Manhattan bank last Friday seeking some answers.
[ Full Story » ]

Reith Scheme Short Changes Workers
ACTU President Sharan Burrow has labelled Peter Reith's Employee Entitlements Support Scheme a 'political football' designed by the Minister to short change workers who lose entitlements due to company insolvencies.
[ Full Story » ]

World Banks' PNG Edict: Six Thousand Bucks per Job!
The World Bank has tied a grant of $40 million to Papua New Guinea to the condition that the public sector slash 7,000 jobs - or 14 per cent of all staff.
[ Full Story » ]

New Wages Scam - Sink Company to Avoid Pay
A doctors' surgery has deregistered itself in the middle of proceedings for under-payment of its workers, raising fears of new legal loopholes to help employers avoid meeting their responsibilities.
[ Full Story » ]

Shaw Returns to Bar Room Life
Former NSW industrial relations minister Jeff Shaw has wasted no time getting back into court since his shock decision to leave politics a few weeks ago.
[ Full Story » ]

Newman! Minister Dumps on Staff for GST
Centrelink workers are demanding a public apology from Family & Community Services Minister Jocelyn Newman after she blamed them for the impact of the GST on welfare recipients.
[ Full Story » ]

Taxi Drivers Win GST Justice
With the confusion surrounding the GST allegedly ebbing, it's worth sparing a thought for bailee drivers of NSW Taxis.
[ Full Story » ]

Unchain Your Mind
On the eve of the national conference of the Australian Labor Party in Hobart many of Labor's foremost thinkers and activists are gathering in Melbourne to present new ideas for Labor in power.
[ Full Story » ]

ACTU Womens' Conference
Female trade unionists from around Australia will converge on Adelaide in August for the ACTU Women's Conference.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Political Hackers and the Law

  • Still a Role for Tariffs

  • Fair Trade - Australia Would be Hit Too!

  • Mexican Greens - A Different Analysis

  • Korean unrest - All the Latest Here

  • Editorial

    Labor and the Della Debacle

    If there's any good to come out of this week's frenzy over John Della Bosca's GST comments, it's that the prospect of Labor sweeping to power on a purely negative campaign are probably shot to pieces.

    For those of us who reckon that politics should be about ideas for the future, rather than just stunts, the Della gaffe could be counted as a blessing. I mean, if I'd seen Simon Crean waving a price tag in one more Question Time, I would have puked.

    For Kim Beazley, the undermining of the anti-GST agenda may actually be a blessing as well. It gives him a chance to recast his vision and flesh out his concept of the Knowledge Nation into a story that the Australian public will embrace.

    One of the difficulties in recent months has been that while Beazley's been working to wrap his story about how Australia can embrace the New Economy and it's manifold opportunities, his daily message had been shrunk down to three letters.

    While he wanted to paint on the big canvas, it was as if he was being lured into John Howard's micro-land where accountancy has become a fetish. That lure is a lot less attractive now.

    The other thing this hiccup must do is refocus Labor on what it's agenda actually is. The difficulties it is facing around two current policy debates shows how important this is.

    The first is datacasting. Labor's capitulation to the TV networks has helped the Howard government bed down what could be the worst act of political favouritism this country will see in the 21st century.

    Labor's involvement in killing the datacasting industry in its tracks could be regarded as political expedience when the focus was on the GST. But if it were seriously tied to a Labor policy based on the Knowledge Nation, it could only be seen as the capitulation it is.

    The second is the trade debate - to which some space in this issue has been dedicated. The 'fair trade' backlash is a reaction to both parties' failure to tell the story of the benefits of globalisation - in the broadest sense of the word.

    The field is clear for a political party to approach the future with vision, optimism and, most of all, a game plan. While Howard roams the globe celebrating the past he leaves a void that must be filled.

    Free of the GST shackles and with a genuine policy orientation towards an open, global economy, where compassion and tolerance sit alongside new ideas, Beazley would be a shoe-in. What's more, it would set the scene for a better Labor Government when he got there.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    David Moore on Transforming Justice National Heroes and Tax Avoidance Neale Towart's Labour Review Maxine McKew - Out to Lunch



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