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Workers Online
  Issue No 73 Official Organ of LaborNet 13 October 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Righting The Wrongs
Improving the lives of Aboriginal people can't be taken out of the context of the economy, welfare and other areas says Bob McMullan, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
*  Economics: At The Mercy Of Gamblers
The plunge of the Australian dollar relative to the greenback has consequences for Aussie workers according to Frank Stillwell.
*  History: Labour History Under Seige Again
The Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre have recently been informed of proposed changes to the Noel Butlin Archives Centre (NBAC), changes that will cut staff by more than 50% and leave the Archives mothballed in the tunnel where the repository is situated.
*  Workplace: Fighting The Flexible Firm
We are told that hardship and exploitation at work is dying out, and the new economy offers opportunity, freedom and job satisfaction for all. Richard Sennett unveils the true nature of the flexible workplace.
*  Safety: Being bossed around is bad for your health
A survey of more than 3,000 Australian workers has revealed that some 54% of workers experience intimidating behaviour in their workplace. In almost 85% of cases it is employers, managers and supervisors who are identified as the culprits.
*  Unions: Discrimination
New to the union and the maritime industry and with only a few days casual work to live off, Stephen Rolls courageously spoke up against individual contracts during a job interview with Burnie Port Corp.
*  International: Serbian Workers and Their Unions Fight for Freedom
Serbian workers and their unions have been at the forefront of the struggle for democracy in Yugoslavia as they led a general strike in response to attempts by President Slobodan Milosevic to nullify the defeat he faced in the Sept. 24 election.
*  Satire: A few more years of civilised brutality will advantage Aborigines: Ruddock
CANBERRA, Tuesday: The Minister for Reconciliation Philip Ruddock has defended his comments to French newspaper Le Monde claiming that Aborigines were disadvantaged because they were late in coming into contact with developed civilisations.
*  Review: Poetry For Workers By Workers
Poems about the trials and tribulations of a waitress and what you learn in a chocolate factory are among the gems from the 925 anthology.

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Costa on the Grill

Rorter Reith's Gotta Go Say Unions
Unions have called for Peter Reith's sacking after he admitted that he flouted ministerial guidelines on the use of taxpayer funded phone cards.
[ Full Story » ]

Reith's Wharf Secrets Return To Haunt
Not only is Reith under attack in parliament, in public and in the media over the rorting of his government Telecard, it now looks almost certain that his involvement with the Dubai debacle, the Patrick Dispute and the mass sacking of 2000 MUA members can not be kept secret much longer.
[ Full Story » ]

Unions And Community Groups Call For Bank Social Charter
The Finance Sector Union, consumer and senior citizens groups are calling on the Federal Government to create a social charter for banks.
[ Full Story » ]

Landmark Victory Extends Severance Pay To All
In a landmark decision the AIRC has ruled that all employees who are made redundant are entitled to receive severance payments.
[ Full Story » ]

5 Day Strike Burns BHP Coal
Workers at three BHP Queensland coal operations walked off the job for 5-days this week as the industrial dispute over new enterprise agreements escalated.
[ Full Story » ]

Parramatta Workers Enjoy Union Chill Out
Parramatta workers turned out in droves to attend the NSW unions' second Annual Stress Free Lunch Break for Mental Health Week.
[ Full Story » ]

Report Finds Fatigue Fatalities Avoidable
A Parliamentary report into fatigue in the transport industry has revealed up to 30% of road fatalities could be avoided if recommendations including a review of existing agreements in the transport industry and the inclusion of fatigue management as an industrial issue are adopted.
[ Full Story » ]

Queensland Peak Union Body Elects First Female Secretary
For the first time in its 115 year history Queensland's peak trade union body, the Queensland Council of Unions, has elected a female general secretary.
[ Full Story » ]

The Joy of Burning Rubber
It has been an eventful week on the Joy Mining Machinery picket line. On Sunday Opposition Leader Kim Beazley took time off from an ALP fund raising function to visit the Moss Vale workers who have been on the line for six-months since the breakdown of enterprise bargaining processes.
[ Full Story » ]

A one day conference called Human Services, sponsored by NCOSS is to be held on November 2. The conference will cover the benefits and costs of embracing IT in human services.
[ Full Story » ]

Unions Raise A Motza To Combat Youth Suicide
Michael Costa, Labor Council Secretary and the Minister for Health, Craig Knowles launched a union initiative this week to raise funds for vital research into the proper treatment and cure of schizophrenia, as part of "Mental Health Week".
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Not a Fan

  • No Justice-No Peace

  • Blow Up the Councils

  • Vindicated

  • Editorial

    A Sleazy Government

    Down on the NSW Southern Highlands at Joy Manufacturing what should have been a small dispute easily resolved has dragged out into a bitter battle over the last six months because of the legal machinery given to the employer by Peter Reith. It has scarred a small community.

    Two years ago, driven by his pathological hatred of the MUA, Reith justified the sacking of 2,000 Australian waterside workers because he alleged they were rorters in one of the most vicious attacks ever on an Australian union.

    He's been a party to over 30,000 public servants losing their jobs in a senseless and ideologically motivated attack on government services. (One of the ironies of this scandal is Reith blaming the bureaucracy for the failure to detect the racking up of 11,000 unauthorised calls on his telecard. The red tape he has been zealously taking to with a razor was put in place exactly to avoid this sort of catastrophe.)

    Reith's legacy to Australia will be a trail of real life human tragedies and suffering. All this has been rationalized by the relentless demonisation of the union movement - that we're rorters and dishonest self-serving bullyboys!!!

    Reith wasn't the only source of Government sleaze this week. We also found out we were paying for the Minister of Health's fags and cholesterol rich blue blood food to the tune of $35,000!

    But despite the spotlight been focused on Reith and to a lesser extent Wooldridge, the real King Of Sleaze is John Howard. As Margot Kingston pointed out on the Sydney Morning Herald's website this week 'his failure to clean up the system which led to the mess is, quite simply Nixonian.'

    Howard has covered up this story for months. If the Canberra Times hadn't broken the story this week we would never have known. He has refused to stand Reith down even though he is a central protagonist in a police investigation of a serious fraud.

    Sleazy, sleazy, sleazy.

    The real remedies in this sorry saga should be resignations not repayments.

    Noel Hester


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Great Southern Lands Betting to win Neale Towart's Labour Review Penthouse Pete Laid Bare



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