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  Issue No 8 Official Organ of LaborNet 09 April 1999  




*  Interview: John Coombs - The Mouse Who Roared
We talk to the man who stood firm in the face of the federal government’s all out assault on the waterfront 12 months ago.
*  Unions: The Waterfront One Year On
One year after what was arguably the biggest Australian industrial dispute in living memory and the Maritime Union of Australia is STILL Here to Stay.
*  History: Walsh Bay Wharves : Space and Place
For historians looking at a historic structure or site like the Walsh Bay wharves, there is a big difference between 'space' and 'place'.
*  International: Compo Search for UK Coal Miners
An international search is on for former coal miners who worked mines in England and Wales from 1954 and have since suffered from chest disease.
*  Review: War on the Wharves
Some of the most honest reporting of the waterfront dispute came from the pens of the nation's cartoonists.

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Wobbly Radio


MUA Commemorates Warf War

Angry Geeks Down Mouses in Industry First
Software engineers at Toshiba walked off the job this week in what is believed to be the first strike action in the IT industry.
[ Full Story » ]

Patrick dispute commemorated
MUA members nationwide commemorated the first anniversary of the MUA-Patrick dispute with sausage sizzles and speeches.
[ Full Story » ]

Costa Pushes Social Audit Plan
Labor Council secretary Michael Costa has been lobbying the new Carr Government to embrace his plan to conduct a social audit of the state.
[ Full Story » ]

Currawong: Majority Support But Veto Rule the Hurdle
NSW Labor Council secretary Michael Costa today vowed to pursue a joint-lease on its Pittwater property, Currawong, after the proposal won the support of 90 per cent of delegates.
[ Full Story » ]

A Firey Call: Give Currawong Back To The Unions
Room nights at Currawong should be made available to unions rather than individual holiday-makers, regardless of the outcome of the TM deal, a key affiliate said last night.
[ Full Story » ]

ACTU Braces for Reith’s Second Wave
ACTU President Jennie George has begun work on developing a community coalition to oppose Reith’s second wave of industrial laws.
[ Full Story » ]

Gordonstone Miners Come to Town
A packed public meeting last week heard direct from sacked miners about shocking injustices being perpetrated against working people in the isolated Queensland town of Emerald.
[ Full Story » ]

Women Take the Fight to Rio’s Front Door
Supporters of the Gordonstone miners this week took their message direct to corporate giant Rio Tinto.
[ Full Story » ]

Sydney Solictor Appointed ICTUR Secretary
Former Labor Council officer and solicitor David Chin has been appointed secretary of Australian national committee of (ICTUR) International Centre for Trade Union Rights.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor

After the War

One year on, the Howard Government's assault on the waterfront has achieved myth status.

Trouble is, many of the myths that are emerging seem to be so far removed from the events of 12 months ago that they seem more like fairytales.

Like the gushing pieces in the finance pages spouting how increases in the value of Patrick shares make Corrigan the winner.

Or the collective memory loss of the Canberra press gallery that absolve Reith from his conspiracy to cast him as a contender for the job as national leader.

What seems to have been forgotten is that the war was an attempt to break the Maritime Union and, through association, the trade union movement.

And that despite the best, most cynical advice that money could buy, that Reith and Corrigan failed to bust the MUA, who held the line backed by so many rank and filers from all working backgrounds.

Those thousands of union officials who joined picket lines around the country to support the MUA could be forgiven for thinking it was only a dream -- or a nightmare.

Until you look at the real outcome. The MUA is still representing its members, only this week negotiating a new deal for P&O workers. The union movement has been reinvigorated by its success. And people throughout this society, recognise the importance of having someone there to stand up for the little guy when injustices are perpetrated.

Peter Lewis


Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
Anne Jones on the Child-Care Titanic Terry's Secrets to Footy Tipping Costa on the Social Audit Piers on Pierswatch!


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