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Workers Online
  Issue No 66 Official Organ of LaborNet 11 August 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Shifting Sands
Michael Crosby Joint Director of the ACTU Organising Centre talks to Workers Online about the changing nature of union power, 'use it or lose it' coverage and how the ALP will have to deal with a transformed union movement.
*  Unions: Mission Possible
From Cambodia to Kyrghyzstan, from Malawi to Mozambique, this is one nurse who accepts certain missions where life is on the edge, and she loves it.
*  Economics: A Progressive Alternative
Andrew Scott outlines a policy approach for an ALP Government that aims to deliver social as well as economic progress.
*  International: Unions Back International Seafarer Deal
Shipping union representatives from 56 countries have decided to back a pioneering international collective bargaining agreement with ship employers.
*  Politics: Apolitical Myth
Over the last ten years one story about public interest in politics has found resonance, especially in the US. It suggests that people are no longer interested in political issues. Researchers from the Demos Foundation put this claim under the microscope.
*  Satire: Elaine Nile retires citing victory in "War on Masturbation"
There were emotional displays and many tributes paid today as Elaine Nile, Christian Democrat MP of 12 years standing, announced her retirement from the Parliament.
*  Review: Pure Shit
The 1970s Aussie drug classic, Pure Shit - a 70s Australian style Trainspotting - is being dusted off for a one-off showing at the Chauvel.

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Wobbly Radio


Fiji Union Head: Felix Anthony

It Will Happen Again Warn Fiji Unions
Fiji Trade Union Congress General Secretary Felix Anthony has urged the Australian Government to take a stronger stand against the interim Fiji administration or risk the possibility of future coups.
[ Full Story » ]

Telstra in Olympic Twist Over Games Allowance
While most public sector agencies are on the verge of signing an Olympic pay deal with their employees, reluctant public corporation Telstra is dragging its heels over an Olympic allowance.
[ Full Story » ]

FAAA Uncovers Sham Employment at Impulse
The Flight Attendants' Association has uncovered an 'employment structure' at new domestic airline Impulse which is designed to avoid the responsibilities of an employment relationship and industrial regulation.
[ Full Story » ]

Saloon Doors Flap as Wealthy Owner Walks
Several hundred people working for the franchise restaurant Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon have been thrown out of their jobs this week without any notice or warning.
[ Full Story » ]

ACOSS Slams Job Network
Tony Abbott's bluster about his beloved Jobs Network looked threadbare this week after ACOSS released a report slamming the performance of employment assistance services.
[ Full Story » ]

Scrap HECS Say Nurses
The New South Wales Nurses Association is calling on HECS charges to be abolished on nursing courses in order to fill 1300 nursing vacancies in NSW.
[ Full Story » ]

Fahey's Flog Off Fiasco
The Community Public Sector Union (CPSU) has claimed that a recent Office of Asset Sales and IT Outsourcing (OASITO) document proves that the Howard government is forcing 'market-testing' on all public service activities regardless of whether it is practical or efficient to do so.
[ Full Story » ]

Things Go Better With a $100 a Day Extra
Coca-Cola has agreed to a Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union demand to pay a bonus of up to $100 a day to its workforce at the Homebush Sydney Olympics site.
[ Full Story » ]

Shopping Centre Silent Over Greedy Grab
Retail workers stepped up their campaign against 'Pay to Work' parking proposals this week while Warringah Mall, owned by AMP, refused to comment on claims that these proposals were motivated by greed.
[ Full Story » ]

Selley's Workers Stick to Union
Weekend home renovators may find it hard to get popular Selleys products - such as Araldite, Polystrippa and Poly Filla - as 130 Selleys workers have voted to go on a seven day strike.
[ Full Story » ]

Taxi Incentive Needed to Avert Olympic Shortage
The TWU is pushing the taxi industry and NSW Department of Transport to offer drivers an incentive to work during the Olympics period as a means of averting an Olympic taxi shortage.
[ Full Story » ]

Sneaky Chubb Forced to Pay Redundancy
One of Australia's big security firms has been told they can't avoid paying redundancy payments when they switch their direct-employees to outsourced contract labour.
[ Full Story » ]

Seaforth Picket Marks a Year With Picnic
The Seaforth picket is now into day 243 and on the19 August it will be 12 months since the decision to close Seaforth TAFE was announced.
[ Full Story » ]

Road Rage! Air Rage! WORK RAGE!
Homicide and rape, kicking, biting, punching. Harassment, including sexual and racial abuse. Bullying, mobbing, victimisation. Leaving offensive messages, name calling. Deliberate silence. All in a days work.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Proud To Support s.11

  • Editorial

    Building power in the workplace

    Although 'organising' has become a buzzword in union circles many still think "organising" means "recruitment". As Michael Crosby points out in this week's interview it means much more than that. It is about building the power of union members in a workplace or industry.

    That means increasing numbers, certainly, but it also means much more. It means more and better training for delegates. It means genuinely empowering members in our structures. It means creating a union consciousness that workers will carry between jobs in an increasingly mobile world.

    Research by Britain's Demos Foundation shows that people's interest in politics and social issues hasn't diminished as is a common contemporary wisdom - it just manifests itself in different ways.

    For Generation X - young people - an interest in political or social issues may show through their patterns of consumption or through interest in environmental issues.

    After a long period of steady decline the key goal for the labour movement clearly is to engage and reengage working people with politics and activism. In particular the movement needs to listen to, talk to and prove its relevance to young workers.

    We have to look at innovative ways of making ourselves more relevant in a contemporary society - being wired, having leadership structures that reflect our membership, using the media and new technology in a savvy way.

    Some unions have come some way in transforming themselves to be more activist and member-focussed. The stats that chart our overall decline are a sobering reminder that we have a long way to go and we drift at our peril.

    As a delegate recently said to me: 'We're at the crossroads. If we continue the way we are going we're leaving workplaces worse off than when we got them. There is a real possibility our legacy will be negative if we don't change. That is a very big responsibility on us.'

    Noel Hester


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Away for the Games Swans 2000. A 3-Act Play Neale Towart's Labour Review Charge of the hyper rich



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