|Issue No 81||08 December 2000|
Rural Line Drawn on Telstra
Wagga Wagga has decided to fight back over Telstra closures that have claimed hundreds of jobs in rural Australia.
Unions, business people, politicians and ordinary citizens are rallying around seven workers set to lose their jobs when the company shuts it's Corporate Shared Services unit in the town next month. The workers - popularly tagged the Wagga Seven - have rejected offers of redundancy, or relocation to Brisbane, to spearhead the fight against Telstra's program of rural closures.
More than 1000 Wagga Wagga residents signed a petition opposing the proposed closure within two hours of it hitting the streets this morning. The petition was the first shot in a campaign launched by the CPSU Communications Union, in conjunction with the Wagga Trades and Labour Council, and enthusiastically supported by local councillors, state and federal politicians.
CPSU organiser Andrew Hillard said he had been "astonished" by the strength of feeling in the southern NSW community.
"Almost everyone signed the petition and many added unsolicited comments that left no doubts about the strength of their feelings," he reported. "In the space of 24 hours we have had unequivocal support from local people, businesses and civic leaders."
Federal Member, Kay Hulls, pledged to raise the issue in the National Party caucus and to personally take up the closures with Telstra chief executive officer, Dr Ziggy Zwitkowski.
State MLA, Daryl McGuire, has also backed the union-led campaign.
Mr Hillard said the campaign had "stepped up another gear" after a town meeting, supported by the local council, in Wagga Wagga's Union Hotel last night.
Interview: Back to Work
After a stretch of unemployment following the 1996 election, former Keating Minister Robert Tickner is now helping others find work.
Media: Reality Check
Aiden White, head of the international journalists' union, argues that online journalism presents a new set of challenges for organising.
Economics: In the Same Boat
In an unprecedented move, a coalition of industry, community and trade union groups have joined forces to address long-trerm unemployment.
International: Nepalese Hotel Workers Ask for Support
Hotel workers in the small Himalayan nation of Nepal have finally decided to vent their anger and call a general strike for Monday - over a 21 year old dispute.
Unions: Speaking in Tongues
Labor Council's Mark Morey outlines the successful campaign by local government workers for a community language allowance.
History: Fighting Words
The anti-conscription campaign of 1914-18 tore the ALP apart; but this was not the first time the labour movement took a militantly anti-war stance.
Politics: A New Socialism
In an extract from his new book, political economist Frank Stilwell argues the need for a new radicalism to counter the Third Way
Satire: Roy Slaven on the Rampage
John Doyle's history of the ABC stretches back to a 1958 evening in Lithgow on which he was "scared shitless" by Blackboard on Mr Squiggle.
Review: Mauled in the Bear Pit
Vengeance may be sweet but it is always made better when you are able to write a book about yourself that also provides the opportunity to dump a bucket load on those who undertook your removal.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005