Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 76 Official Organ of LaborNet 03 November 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Withering On The Vine
Cooking shows and 'Bugs fucking to Mozart' may become the staple diet on our ABC as news and current affairs face a war of attrition. Quentin Dempster gives Workers Online an insider's view of our endangered national broadcaster .
*  US Election: Sugar Candy Politics
Like in everything else, Americans like their politics sugar coated. A Nation in denial, they are happier maintaining the fantasy that the world is a fine and dandy place says Michael Gadiel.
*  US Election: George W. Bushwhacked by Texas Truth Squad
The Texas Truth Squad are a group of Texan union members travelling the US on a crusade to expose the Republican presidential nominee as a corporate rogue who in his time as Governer proved himself as an enemy of the worker.
*  History: Federation and the Labour Movement
National celebrations will mark the Centenary of Federation next year. The labour movement's opposition to Federation at the referenda held around the Australian colonies in 1899 will attract less commemoration, although the republicans of 1999 might have benefited from reflection on the causes of working class discontent one hundred years earlier says Stuart Macintyre.
*  International: Unions Mac Their Day
McDonald's - the biggest employer of young people around the world - is increasingly becoming the target of union recognition campaigns, backed by human rights groups concerned about the fast food chains practices in countries such as Indonesia, China, Russia, Canada and Germany.
*  Satire: Wiranto’s charity album inspires genocidal maniacs everywhere
Indonesia’s favourite former strongman, General Wiranto, has recently decided to record an album of love songs. Entitled To You My Indonesia, Wiranto’s album has already sold 8,000 copies and is raising money for refugees.
*  Review: What About the Workers?
A big, gruff bloke in a blue singlet, on strike or just not working, and generally being difficult. That's the trade unionist for you. Barry Cohen's new book What About the Workers? shows this image may have a bit of truth about it, but he would be telling a few good yarns while he was standing about.

The funny side of Sussex Street

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Unions Seek Community Backing For $28 Pay Rise
The ACTU will seek the support of community and church groups for a fair pay rise for the lower paid in this year's Living Wage case. ACOSS has already shown its support.
[ Full Story » ]

Retailers Renege On Fairwear Code
Now that Fairwear has put in place the tools for monitoring the Code of Practice - a chance for real improvements in wages for outworkers - the big retailers have decided to back out of the accreditation systems.
[ Full Story » ]

Senate Slams State Sector AWAs
THE CPSU is hailing yesterday's Senate committee's unanimous report on AWAs in the public service as a "complete vindication" of its strong stance opposing individual contracts.
[ Full Story » ]

TAB Bosses' Gamble Threatens Cup Day
If you want to punt on next Tuesday's Melbourne Cup through your phone account get on early. A mean spirited and recalcitrant TAB management has put call center activity on the day in doubt.
[ Full Story » ]

Fijian Workers Fear Economic Meltdown
Fiji Hotel workers are worried that this latest coup attempt will further harm the island nation's economy and democratic institutions.
[ Full Story » ]

Outsource or Perish Says Government
The Federal Government has imposed a $7million penalty on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFFA) for failing to meet deadlines over the outsourcing of the department's IT network and corporate service functions according to the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).
[ Full Story » ]

Say Sorry, Ministers
Senior Howard Cabinet Ministers want to blame hotel workers and cleaners - members of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union - for their own political woes.
[ Full Story » ]

Union Women Set The Pace
The governing body of the ACTU comprised equal numbers of women and men for the first time since it was formed in 1927 when it met this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Toxic Foreign Flag Ship Threatens Reef
The MUA is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the grounding of a Malaysian container ship BungaTeratai Satu on the Great Barrier Reef.
[ Full Story » ]

Push For 'Casuals' Parental Leave
The ACTU says it will run test cases seeking parental leave rights for long term casuals and reasonable working hours guidelines for all Federal award workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Joy Counts Cost Of Scabs
When Joy Mining Machinery workers returned to work last week after almost seven months of lockouts and strikes, they found their Moss Vale worksite defiled.
[ Full Story » ]

White Boys Talk About Black History
A public debate on Aboriginal Affairs between Henry Reynolds, Paddy McGuiness, Keith Windshuttle, Bob Gould with Hall Greenland in the chair is lined up for next week.
[ Full Story » ]

Senate Asks ANU To 'Please Explain' Archive Cuts
The Senate yesterday asked ANU to justify its proposed cuts to the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, - the largest non-government archives in Australia.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Up Front Robber More Honest Than Banks

  • New Offer For Telephone Users

  • Earthworkers Unite

  • Editorial

    Dan Quayle Reincarnate

    For anyone following the United States presidential election it is hard to imagine how someone with such a poor track record in politics and with such a laughable public persona as George W. Bush could actually be on the verge of becoming the most powerful person in the world come Tuesday. It seems uncannily like the reincarnation of Dan Quayle in the top job.

    Bush represents what is a virtual oil oligarchy in one of the United States most reactionary states which despite its oil wealth ranks in the lowest percentiles of most social indicators. In many ways this election is a referendum on the values of Texas - minimal government, capital punishment, little welfare, harsh law and order and poor environmental controls - all to be extended to the wider American political stage.

    As Michael Gadiel observes Americans like their politics sugar coated and Australian politics seems very real and gritty by comparison.

    In this week's interview Quentin Dempster puts forward some reasons why that might be so.

    A well resourced public broadcaster plays a large part in underpinning a strong democracy providing strong mechanisms of accountability, robust debate, intelligent analysis and a vehicle for minority views and voices from the regions to be heard.

    The ABC and SBS, when looked at objectively, have made major contributions to the development of a robust Australian democracy, an independent national identity and a relatively diverse intellectual environment. All this is done at small cost in the context of overall Government expenditure. Both networks are national treasures now under threat from a vindictive and self-interested Government.

    In contrast the United States with its highly commercialised media and weak public broadcasting produces an electorate that Michel Gadiel describes as 'hooked on breast implants, pop music, cars, fast food, diets, exercise equipment, guns, and television with a political culture to match.'

    It's a road we should avoid.

    On that note this is my last week in the editor's chair. Peter Lewis will be returning to his post next week after ending his European odyssey.

    Noel Hester


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    End of the Odyssey Hang Up Your Rabbits' Feet Paul Howes' Week on the Web Welcome World To George's Texan Nightmare



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