Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 67 Official Organ of LaborNet 18 August 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Slyly Selling the Silver
In their recently published book Privatisation, Sell-off? or Sell out? (ABC Books), Bob and Betty Walker took a long hard look at the major government asset sales of the last decade. Here they tell Workers Online what they've learnt.
*  Politics: Dysfunctional Society
Noel Pearson looks at the plight of Aboriginal people through a prism of class and comes up with a challenging perspective on Aboriginal welfare, law and order and the state of our society.
*  History: Money Power
Should the People or the Banks Rule? Reserve Bank Governor McFarlane thinks he knows the answer. Eddie Ward was pretty strongly of the opposite view when the ALP introduced the Commonwealth Banking Legislation in 1945.
*  International: Soccer Pro Tackles Nike
Olympic sponsor Nike is under pressure over its human rights record in the run up to the Sydney Games.
*  Economics: Globalony
Frank Stillwell looks at the contradictory nature of the globalising economy and fears it is turning into a race to the bottom.
*  Satire: IVF Debate: Federal Government Tells Lesbians: "Get Fucked"
MELBOURNE, Monday: The Federal Court decision to allow single women and lesbians to use infertility treatment in Victoria has been attacked by the Federal Government, the Catholic Church and by pro-family community groups.
*  Review: Confessions Of A Union Buster
It's not a new tome but the threat for Australian Unions remains the same if not greater as when this book appeared five years ago.

Noel Pearson Speaks Out

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Westfield...Doing it Tough?

'Shoot to Kill' Powers Under Union Fire
The Federal Government's sweeping new legal powers that would allow the military to crush civil dissent, have come under fire from a wide range of unions.
[ Full Story » ]

SDA Launches Appeal for Struggling Multinational
The SDA has stepped up its campaign against Westfield's 'pay-to-work' scheme by encouraging shop assistants to donate money to 'the struggling multinational' in its time of need.
[ Full Story » ]

Hated Anti-Worker Law Junked
New Zealand's infamous Employment Contracts Act got junked this week with the creation of a new, more worker-friendly Employment Relations Act.
[ Full Story » ]

Bellicose Joy: Baseball Bats and Tinsel
Bellicose American style industrial relations continue to characterise the long-running Joy dispute in Moss Vale, on the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
[ Full Story » ]

Selleys Fight Kicks On
The Selleys dispute has stretched into a second week as the company refuses to budge in enterprise bargaining talks.
[ Full Story » ]

Fiji To Dominate SPOCTU Summit
When the South Pacific and Oceanic Council of Trade Unions (SPOCTU) meets in NZ from Monday August 28 the crisis in Fiji and its effects on the island workforce will be high on the agenda.
[ Full Story » ]

Trade Unionists Stand In ARM Elections
Elections for the Australian Republican Movement are about to start and there are a number of trade unionists standing for various positions.
[ Full Story » ]

Sydney Hosts Child Care Conference
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 » ]

Roboboss Corrigan Straddles Lemon
Chris Corrigan should invite journalists and others out to Port Botany, Sydney, to witness his robotic straddle in action, before he can expect anyone to take his latest claims seriously say the MUA.
[ Full Story » ]

Staff Vote With Feet At Commonwealth
More than 350 staff have left the Commonwealth Bank in the last six weeks due to poor pay and low morale leaving the bank battling to staff its branches in time for the Olympics says the FSU.
[ Full Story » ]

Paying Dues Made Easier
Labor Council will apply to the NSW IR Commission seeking a clause be inserted in State awards that would require employers to collect and remit union dues at the request of an employee.
[ Full Story » ]

Telstra Risks Roasting Workers
CEPU President Laurie Chalker hot under the collar and up in arms about Telstra placing their members at risk of being electrocuted.
[ Full Story » ]

East Timor's Year One Celebration
The Australia East Timor Association has organised a one day seminar at Leichhardt Town Hall to mark and celebrate the first anniversary of East Timor's historic U.N. Referendum on self-determination.
[ Full Story » ]

Senate Applauds Australian Seafarers
THE Australian Senate this week passed a resolution applauding Australian ships and Australian seafarers for their role during the deployment of Interfet forces in East Timor.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Magistrates Need a Union

  • Tom's Mantra

  • Editorial

    Wanted: A Vision of Government

    'Residents of Sydney used to joke about salesmen who could sell you the Harbour Bridge. After the experience of the 1990s, that doesn't seem so funny,' Bob and Betty Walker write in their book Privatisation: sell off or sell out?

    After analyzing the major floats of the 90s (seven of the largest were sold for $42 billion and were worth double that in private hands by the end of 1999) the Walkers come up with a reasonable conclusion - honest, robust and transparent debate is required before governments implement major policies such as the flogging off of assets.

    The Walkers raise the important point that much of the debate about government since the 80s has been a negative one about what governments shouldn't be doing instead of a more positive approach about what government should be.

    One of the problems with privatization is that debate focuses on the need for 'smaller' government and precludes government initiatives that could enhance the community.

    The complexity of these issues and the reminder that there are no shortcuts to effective government are starkly highlighted in Noel Pearson's thought-provoking 'Light on the Hill' speech published this week in Workers Online.

    Pearson's description of Aboriginal society in Cape York as being 'in a terrible state of dysfunction' will jar the sensibilities of many non-Indigenous Australians.

    In particular his comments on how welfare and law and order affects white and black communities in different ways are bound to be contentious.

    Pearson argues that the Welfare State provides security and opportunity for development that is enabling for working class, white Australians when it exists alongside employment. In the communities of the Top End where whole local economies depend on welfare its effects have been disastrous he says.

    Whether you agree or not one thing is to be welcomed from his intervention. Australia needs more black voices, and more diverse black opinions rattling the cage if the outrageous plight of Indigenous Australians is to be tackled effectively.

    Noel Hester


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    You Are Watching Big Brother When Brash is Beautiful Paul Howes' Week on the Web Tory Froth



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