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  Issue No 85 Official Organ of LaborNet 23 February 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week


Activists Notebook

A forum for regional workers, action in support of Western Sahara and a fundraiser for Emily's List are all on the activists' agenda for the next weeks.


Wollongong Forum - Regional Australia Deserves a Fair Go!

Recognising the need to urgently address the disparity between regional and metropolitan areas, Transport Workers' Union together with the South Coast Labour Council is holding a community forum in Wollongong with representatives of the local community to highlight the need for improved wages in regional Australia and to demand a better deal from the Federal Government.

This forum will provide the community and general interest groups an opportunity to discuss experiences, emphasise the necessity for improved wages in regional Australia and raise awareness of other issues including Australian Workplace Agreements and the implications of the Federal Government's Industrial Relations system.

The forum is open to all members of the community and will be held on Monday 26th February between 10.00am and 12.30pm at level 9, Wollongong City Council, Burelli Street, Wollongong.


Free Western Sahara

Rally for a free Western Sahara Tuesday 27 February 12 pm Moroccan Consulate 11 West, St North Sydney

Hundreds of Australians will join with thousands of others around the world next Tuesday 27 February to call for a free Western Sahara.

Speakers to a Sydney rally, including Democrat Senator Lyn Allison and ICJ Justice John Dowd will tell Morocco that their brutal occupation of the small African nation must end.

"Morocco's vicious invasion brings shame on them, and on the international community who have done nothing to stop them," said Kamal Fadel, Western Sahara independence movement representative.

The occupation has seen thousands of Saharawi people killed, many more tortured or simply disappear and over 180,000 others fl ee to refugee camps.

The 27 February is the Western Saharan national day, celebrating the day that the Spanish left he country in 1975.

This year, the day is especially important as escalating Moroccan aggression is bringing the region to the brink of war.

This escalation comes as the mandate of the UN mission, which has been in the country since 1991, is due to expire on 28 February.

A coalition of Australian parliamentarians, trade unionists, humanitarians and students have been campaigning around this issue for the last year.

"Morocco's increasing aggressive attitude should be of concern to all fair-minded citizens," Kamal said.

"We Saharawis are heartened by the support the Australian people have shown for us by organising the rally on the 27 th ."

For more information contact Phil Davey, on 0414 867 188.


EMILY's List to Celebrate International Women's Day!

Starring Joan Kirner and the EMILY's Polstars - female NSW candidates for the Federal Election.

Also featuring:

Ros Kelly - Federal Minister 1989-94.

Sandra Nori - NSW Minister for Small Business & Tourism

All women and men who want to support female candidates into Parliament are welcome! In NSW, we are lagging behind in the ALP goal of 113 females. The fantastic win in Queensland also elected 27 female MPs out of 64 and 16 were specifically assisted by EMILY's List.

Great raffles! (Well it is a fund raiser):

- Facial/massage/hair treatment at Bruce Mann Hair & Beauty Salon

- Books from Shearers

- Palace Cinema tickets

When: 7.00pm for 7.30pm, Monday, 5 March 2001

Where: Martini Bar & Restaurant

1/99 Norton Street


Cost: $50.00 (three course meal and drink)

Bookings: Melanie Stewart

Phone: 02 9230 2488 or

Fax: 02 9230 3043 or

Email: [email protected]

RSVP: Before Friday, 2 March 2001


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 85 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Tony Abbott � Workers' Friend?
The new Workplace Relations minister relives his own union background and explains why he�s really just another worker at heart. Honestly.
*  Politics: The Politics of Petrol
Australia might be burning, but is it a fire that can be brought under control?
*  Organising: The Battle of Campsie
SDA delegate Maria Kavaratzis recounts how the Campsie Big W has been transformed into a union shop.
*  History: Scabbing Through the Ages
Neale Towart looks back at how popular culture has treated those workers who have not considered themselves part of the collective.
*  International: Diary of a Showdown
The Korean Metal Workers Federation recounts a week which culminated in violent attacks on workers outside the Daewoo factory.
*  Economics: Debt Dumping Campaign Enters New Phase
The millennial deadline might have passed, but Jubilee 2000 is not giving up the fight for debt cancellation for the world�s fifty-two poorest countries.
*  Health: The Real Drug Wars
As Africa attempts to deal with the HIV crisis, access to the medicines that can relieve victims� suffering is emerging as a major humanitarian issue.
*  Satire: Liberals Claim Triumph in Queensland
John Howard has claimed the Liberal Party�s decimation in Western Australia and Queensland as a triumphant vindication of his party�s embracing of the national competition policy.
*  Review: Beyond a White Australia
As we ponder the One Nation renaissance, a new book challenges the current debates around xenophobia and the perceived threat of danger from Asia.

»  Labor To Move on Outsourcing Scams
»  Opera Workers Join Freeloader Chorus
»  Independent Eyes for Asbestos Deal
»  Employment Records Must Be Protected
»  Workers to Float Down Oxford Street
»  Competitive Tendering Hits Welfare Sector
»  Violence Hits Indonesian Dispute
»  Locked Out, �Cause The Boss Won�t Talk
»  New Laws To Protect Carers
»  Acoustic Shock Cases Tip of the Iceberg
»  Teachers Fed Gives Free Membership to Students
»  Miners Union Calls for �Community Dividend�
»  Hanson's Nursing Plan Bad for Health
»  Refugee Plight Focus of NESB Network
»  Unions Pause On New Safety Laws
»  Heavy Handed Tactics Leave Speedo Workers Exposed
»  Activists Notebook
»  Vale: Charlie Fitzgibbon (1922-2001)

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  No Shrinking Violet
»  Service Fees a Cop Out
»  Not Quite Right on Discrimination
»  Explaining it to Pauline
»  The Canada Bay Debacle

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