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  Issue No 86 Official Organ of LaborNet 02 March 2001  

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News

Shangri-La: Lawyers Take Over from Thugs

By Andrew Casey

The Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta is hoping to beat its workers, and their union, into submission by initiating legal action in Indonesian courts for US$8.6 million.

In recent days, hotel management has launched a raft of actions against the workers including damage to property, reputation and restraint of trade.

" These actions are intended only to intimidate employees and their union representatives, " ACTU President Sharan Burrow said today.

Ms Burrow - who is also President of the ICFTU-APRO - was speaking from Tokyo where this Asia-Pacific regional trade union organisation is meeting and has resolved to act against the Shangri-La hotel and resort chain in other countries.

Already in Australia construction unions have threatened not to build a new Shangri-La hotel in Melbourne while the hotel and resort chain is in dispute with Indonesian hotel workers.

ICFTU-APRO is a 50 year old peak regional trade union organisation with its head office in Singapore and about 40 peak national trade union affiliates from throughout Asia and the Pacific.

The Shangri-La hotel and resort chain - headquartered in Hong Kong - specialises in setting up facilities throughout the Asia and Pacific with 37 hotels and resorts in this region.

Many of these hotel and resort facilities are in countries where the ICFTU-APRO has active national trade union affiliates including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Fiji, Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

The ICFTU-APRO conference has today expressed its deep concern over the actions of the management of Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta against the members of the Shangri-La Hotel Workers Union.

" These actions include dismissal of union officers and union members," Ms Burrow said.

" The conference condemns recent actions by the Hotel management to initiate legal actions against local union representatives and employees for damages of US$8.9 million.

" Such actions are intended only to intimidate employees and their union representatives."

The ICFTU-APRO conference also noted that the Shangri-La Hotel Group operates the Traders Hotel in Burma and as such will become a part of the broader campaign initiated by the international union movement against companies in Burma.

ICFTU-APRO called upon the management of Shangri-La to respect the rights of employees and to agree to enter into genuine negotiations with the Workers Union.


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In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Master of Opposition
Over the past five years, John Faulkner has turned the Senates Estimates structure into his own House of Pain. He explains the art of Opposition.
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*  Politics: Beazley the Bridge Builder?
As the Howard Government flounders, Brett Evans looks at the challenges Kim Beazley faces as his hour of destiny approaches.
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*  Unions: Lashing & Loathing at Patricks
Three years since one of the Howard Governments most infamous episodes, the Waterfront War, Zoe Reynolds discovers how casuals are now doing the doing the dirty work on the docks.
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*  Legal: Workers Without Rights
Mark Morey outlines the legal status and (lack of) rights for foreigners in Australia on working visas.
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*  International: Dispatch from the Dispossessed
Mahendra Chaudhry, Leader of the People's Coalition and the Fiji Labour Party comments on this weeks court decision.
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*  Economics: Business Power and Mobility
The US election season makes it patently clear how Big Business is able to transform its financial resources into political power via campaigncontributions.
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*  History: The Spoilers and the Split
The Movement, Groupers, the DLP and The Doc. All have been blamed in various ways for the ALP split in the 1950s, ensuring the ALP was kept out of federal government until 1972. Can One Nation return the favour?
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*  Review: The New Hard Politics
Dennis Glover argues that policy has taken over from spin as the political battleground of the new century.
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*  Satire: Bradman Latest: Family In Dramatic Court Action
The family of the late Sir Donald Bradman yesterday sought a restraining order against Prime Minister John Howard after it became apparent that he wants to be involved in every single detail of the The Don's funeral.
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News
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»  Five Star Exploitation at Regent
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»  Workers Say: We Deserve Better
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»  Carr Called on Ten Year Temps
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»  National Textiles Workers Struggling 12 Months On
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»  MUA Prosecutes Patrick for Crippling Workers
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»  Test Case: Is Redundancy a Universal Right?
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»  Who Pays for the Public Works?
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»  Seven-day Strike at Five BHP Mines
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»  Chubb Cuts Place Security Guards at Risk
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»  Vic Employers Support New IR Laws
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»  Lock-Out Tactics Poison Neighbourhood
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»  Shangri-La: Lawyers Take Over from Thugs
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»  Daewoo Workers See The Ugly Face Of Globalisation
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»  Labour Wings to Meet in Macquarie Street
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»  Costa Kisses the Rings
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»  Meat Workers Dropped from the Queue for Q Fever Vaccine
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»  Activists Notebook
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  About Scabs
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»  Pauline Wrong on Nurses
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»  Banks: Time for Pay Back
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»  Pardons in Perspective
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»  What Man's Burden?
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