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  Issue No 64 Official Organ of LaborNet 28 July 2000  

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Letters to the Editor

Globalisation and Maintaining Our Lifestyle


Globalisation too often means the transfer of jobs from societies that have good standards of wages, work safety, workers' rights and environmental protection to countries where these fundamental human rights are poorer. This is resulting in an erosion in living standards in Australia without improving the lot of people in the countries to which our jobs are transferred. The final outcome will be a world where standards are set by the poorest country, rather than one where the lives of the world's poor are bettered.

The solution does not lie in the "old fashioned" methods of tariff protection where a fixed percentage duty is applied to all foreign goods. Such a tax merely rewards businesses that further cut wages and conditions in foreign countries while propping up inefficient procedures in our country.

I propose a tariff based on calculating the value of a good if it was produced at the Australian award rate of pay, with all workers' rights, health and safety regulations, and environmental protection laws. Such a tariff would be reduced as the foreign producer met the rules that would be imposed if the good was produced here. In other words, it would not force living standards down in the other country, but reward it as these standards were improved.

I further propose that all funds raised by such a tariff, after administrative costs, be allocated to foreign aid projects. This would ensure that Australia would not be seen to be profiting from the tariff or using it to subsidise local inefficiencies.

Gordon Murray


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*   Issue 64 contents

In this issue
Features
*  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.
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*  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.
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*  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.
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*  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.
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*  History: The Union's Roots in Song
We look at some of the songs that kept working people going through their darkest hours.
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*  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.
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*  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.
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*  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.
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*  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.
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News
»  McMeanies Skimp on Olympics Pay
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»  Lawyers Pose as Students to Nail Workers
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»  Fiji Union Protests on Wednesday
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»  Casino Plumps for Penalty Rates
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»  AWU’s Push For The Bush
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»  Inquiry Lifts Lid on "SweetShops on Wheels"
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»  Fair Traders Call for World Where People Matter
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»  Accor Makes 'Cheeky' Olympics Offer
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»  Sacking Threat Was ‘Group Therapy’
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»  Doing It For The Love Of It
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»  Deadline to Vote in ARM Poll Approaches
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»  Grief Support for Workplace Tragedies
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»  Workers Invited to Mark Federation
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  Viva Eavesdropping Jonesy
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»  Globalisation and Maintaining Our Lifestyle
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»  Crappiest Music Feedback
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