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  Issue No 64 Official Organ of LaborNet 28 July 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Greg Sword Unsheathed
The NUW national secretary is set to be endorsed as ALP Federal president next week. He talks about the relationship between the two wings of the labour movement.
*  Unions: Phone Rage, Headaches and Stress
A comprehensive survey of the call centre industry conducted by the ASU has revealed an industry workplace culture dominated by excessive monitoring and stress.
*  Economics: And the Winner Is .... Sydney?
Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt looks at the export impact of the Sydney Olympics and asks if we'll win gold.
*  International: Western Sahara: Referendum Or War?
A June UN referendum in Western Sahara could have provided the people of Western Sahara a chance to exercise their right to self-determination and independence. It didn't.
*  History: The Union's Roots in Song
We look at some of the songs that kept working people going through their darkest hours.
*  Media: Unchaining the ABC
The ALP needs to rethink our public institutions to determine how they might better deliver the ends for which they were originally established.
*  Environment: Motorways Fail the Pollie Test
Our daily grind of congested roads, polluted air, and frustrated motorists is putting all and sundry to the test, and not least Liberal and Labor politicians.
*  Satire: Murdoch Launches Bid for Under-9s Netball Team
Sydney's lucrative junior league netball broadcasting market has been shaken by a bid by one of the world's most predatory entrepreneurs, Rupert Murdoch, to secure ownership of the most successful team in the league.
*  Review: Espionage a Trois
The Whitlams' brass section his teamed with some of the hippest cats in Sydney to make the sort of music you'll want to shoot baddies to.

Music to Shoot To

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Chasing the Corporates

McMeanies Skimp on Olympics Pay
Fast food chain McDonalds is paying its Olympics Game workforce more than $5.00 per hour less than other Sydney 2000 workers after demanding they be exempt from a pay deal covering the event.
[ Full Story » ]

Lawyers Pose as Students to Nail Workers
Workers protesting outside the Sydney corporate offices of Chase Manhattan Bank yesterday were photographed by a union-busting lawyer masquerading as a student journalist.
[ Full Story » ]

Fiji Union Protests on Wednesday
A national union led protest, which should shut down all of Fiji, will go ahead next Wednesday despite the latest turmoil in that country, Fiji TUC General Secretary, Felix Anthony said today.
[ Full Story » ]

Casino Plumps for Penalty Rates
Sydney's Star City Casino has decided to buck the trend in the hospitality industry by re-introducing penalty rates for weekend and night work.
[ Full Story » ]

AWU�s Push For The Bush
The Australian Workers Union�s �Push For The Bush� is on, with emphasis on rural accommodation and amenities in and around the southern NSW town of Hay.
[ Full Story » ]

Inquiry Lifts Lid on "SweetShops on Wheels"
The harsh realities of the long distance rucking industry have been exposed in public hearings before the NSW Motor Accidents Authorities Safety Inquiry into the Long Haul Trucking Industry in Sydney this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Fair Traders Call for World Where People Matter
Labor leaders - former and present - may think they're talking rubbish about fair trade but rank and file unionists refuse to be cowed.
[ Full Story » ]

Accor Makes 'Cheeky' Olympics Offer
Negotiations for an Olympics bonus with Australia�s largest hotel group, Accor, broke down this week with the company offering Hotel Union members an insulting figure which can only create turmoil in the hospitality industry, the Hotel Union Assistant Secretary, Mark Boyd said today.
[ Full Story » ]

Sacking Threat Was �Group Therapy�
A linen manufacture found to have wrongfully dismissed a worker admitted that the threat of the sack was a motivation technique that had been used 27 times over a ten year period on a single worker.
[ Full Story » ]

Doing It For The Love Of It
The child care industry has had an explosive growth in the last decade but too few people want to recognise the impact of this growth and the changes in values it has created.
[ Full Story » ]

Deadline to Vote in ARM Poll Approaches
Republicans wanting to vote in the upcoming ARM elections have until 5pm August 8 to join the organization.
[ Full Story » ]

Grief Support for Workplace Tragedies
A special forum is being held to help union officials give support to people who lose a colleague or family member to a work related death.
[ Full Story » ]

Workers Invited to Mark Federation
The organisers of a massive Centenary of Federation march to be held in January 1, 2001 in Sydney will recreate the �Eight-Hour Day Banner� to recognize the contribution working people have made to the nation.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Viva Eavesdropping Jonesy

  • Globalisation and Maintaining Our Lifestyle

  • Crappiest Music Feedback

  • Editorial

    Selling the Knowledge Nation

    The two wings of the labour movement come together in Hobart this week for what is likely to be the last ALP Conference before the next Federal Election.

    While much of the substance of policy has already been decided, the way it is presented publicly will have a significant bearing on Labor's chances of regaining power.

    Much interest will be placed on the meat that Labor places to the bones of Kim Beazley's 'Knowledge Nation', the ALP's high-road to growth strategy which actually embraces the opportunities of the Global Age.

    The biggest difficulty Beazley faces is in translating these high ideals into an image that Labor's traditional constituency can claim as their own.

    If the message for blue-collar workers is "you must become smarter", then the One Nation backlash which has now morphed into the anti-globalisation movement will only gather steam. That's because the message is one of exclusion

    But if Labor can weave their policy strands into a message that "we have the tools to work smarter with what we've got", then there's some real potential for re-engaging the electorate.

    Of course, the fair trade/free trade debate will be a decisive test of the current leadership's ability to work with blue-collar unions to give their members a stake in Beazley's Knowledge Nation

    It's fine for a former Prime Minister to come in all guns blazing, but it will be interesting to see how the incumbent leadership deal with the issue.

    It is to be hoped that a truly 'progressive' position will emerge where the role of working people in this open and internationally engaged Australia can be properly defined. This will involve quantifying the benefits of globalisation as well as acknowledging the costs.

    It's a tough ask, because it's a difficult, often painful story to tell. But the telling of it with compassion, candour and vision, will be a true sign of leadership.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Policies for a Knowledge Nation In the Land of Dreams Neale Towart's Labour Review Victoria's Number One Tool - Victor Perton



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