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  Issue No 86 Official Organ of LaborNet 02 March 2001  




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Activists Notebook

The Corporate Scumbags Tour, action on the FairWear campaign, refugee rights, International Womens' Day, action for Aceh and the future of the Republic are all on the activsits' agenda for this week.

Corporate Scumbags Tour

Find Out What The Corporate World Is Really Up To ...

We live in a society, which is increasingly dominated by, and run in the interests of the corporate elite. The recent push towards "globalisation" has in effect created nothing more than a global race to the bottom in terms of living and working conditions.

Organisations such as the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund have been responsible for putting corporate interests well before workers rights by removing any barriers to free trade such as environmental and labour regulations, and by forcing IMF "restructures" on governments across the world.

In Australia the Liberal Party has been completely complicit and has shown its only interests lie with the corporate dollar. The 'Liberals' have been responsible for the GST, an unfair and inequitable tax that has served to drive down the living standards of Australian workers while giving billions to business by lowering the corporate tax rate. They have also been responsible for attacks on union rights by instituting the Workplace Relations Act, allowing thousands to be sacked and casualised in the name of profit.

With this in mind the Corporate Scumbags Tour of Sydney has been called for the 17th March. This will be a tour of the worst corporate offenders in the Sydney CBD and will depart from the Hyde Park fountain in Sydney at 12 noon.

Scumbags nominated so far include Australian Correctional Management, Caltex, McDonalds, Commonwealth Bank, Nike and "Honest John Howard".

Nominations can be faxed in on (02) 9699 1960 or emailed direct to mailto:[email protected]


FairWear to Picket Parliament

The FairWear Alliance will rally outside State Parliament to pressure the Carr government to come good on its promise to protect outworkers.

Wednesday 7th March, 12 noon to 1pm outside NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street.


Shame Ruddock

Picket the corporate HQ of Australian Correctional Management (ACM) Wackenhut, the US multinational which profits from the misery of Ruddock's detention centres (and private prisons).

Meet next Wednesday 7 March at midday at Town Hall steps in the city, then march to their HQ which is in the National Mutual tower at 44 Market St (corner of York - diagonally across from the QVB).

We'll have placards and leaflets explaining about the detention centres and ACM, plus the facts on refugees, but please bring your own signs and materials for other events as it's a busy spot in the city and we hope the media will be all over it.

Forum + video showing on Thursday 15 March, from 7pm at the Govt Transport Club, 19-25 Regent St (near Broadway, UTS and Railway Sq bus stop)

For more info call Cyrus on 0413 486231, Ian on 0417 275713, or Sydney Uni

SRC 02-96605222

mailto:[email protected]


Direct Electionists renew Republic debate

Forum: Models for a Republic:

Sunday March 4, 2001, 2 pm -3.30 pm, Coles Room, State Library of NSW, Macquarie St, Sydney

Speakers: Richard Fidler, Phil Cleary, Rev Dorothy McRae-McMahon

Entrance by donation. All welcome

To be followed by the inaugural general meeting of A Just Republic


International Women's Day Events

5th March: The UNIFEM Breakfast will be held from 7am in the Grand Ballroom of the Wentworth Hotel. The guest speaker is Naomi Steer National Director of Australia for UNHCR. The cost is $40 per person.

5th March: EMILYs List is celebrating IWD with a dinner at Martini Bar and Restaurant, 99 Norton Street, Leichhardt. The dinner starts at 7pm and features Joan Kirner, Sandra Nori, Ros Kelly and several women candidates in this year's federal election. Cost is $50 and you can RSVP to Melanie Stewart on 02 9230 2488 or by email to [email protected]

10th March: Women activists from a broad range of unions, political parties and community groups will be marching to celebrate womens' achievements and to bring attention to the fact that there is still lots to achieve. This year's theme is "Women Fighting for Global Justice" and the march will leave Town Hall Square at 10.30am.

Women unionists are encouraged to march together under the "Women in Unions" banner. Meet near St Andrews Cathedral just befor 10.30am. For more information contact Alison Peters at Labor Council on 02 9264 1691 or email at [email protected]


Free Aceh! Referendum Now!

Public meeting and dinner with the premiere of a new short film on Aceh

Reports that the Indonesian parliament has decided to end talks with the movements in Aceh and West Papua campaigning for self-determination means that the struggles in those two provinces is set to escalate.

A leading Acehnese activist, Kautsar, who is a part of the civil democratic movement toured Sydney in January and made it clear his people are determined to create their own destiny no matter the obstacles.

He said that like East Timor before its referendum, Aceh is occupied by over 30,000 Indonesian troops. The people of Aceh are being forced to endure state repression, kidnapping, rapes, murders and torture. Since 1991, more than 7000 Acehnese activists have been killed and many more have disappeared. Exact figures are unavailable due to the Indonesian government's refusal to allow humanitarian agencies to operate in Aceh.

The people of Aceh have made it clear what they want. In 1998 and 1999 there were strikes involving up to 90% of workers and a 2-million strong pro-referendum demonstration in November 1999. Aceh has a population of 4 million.

Aceh has its own unique culture and language and is abundantly rich in natural resources. However, all but 0.38% of its gas, cement and other natural resources go to the Indonesian government.

The Indonesian government tries to present the struggle for self-determination in Aceh as a religious or ethnic conflict, but this is not the case. The Indonesian government has repeatedly offered Aceh the right to establish Islamic but it has repeatedly been rejected.

Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET) together with the Sydney-based Aceh Australia Association (AAA) are hosting a dinner and public meeting on this topic on Saturday March 17, 7pm at Glebe Town Hall, 160 St John's Rd, Glebe.

The guest speakers are: Mohammad Dahlan (AAA); Max Lane (ASIET) and Ed Aspinall who teaches at UNSW and has just returned from Aceh. A new short film on Aceh by Jill Hickson (directer of Indonesia in Revolt: Democracy or Death) will also be premiered.

Tickets ($12/8) can be obtained by ringing Pip Hinman on (02) 9690 1230 or email [email protected] to pre-book or for more information.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 86 contents

In this issue
*  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.
*  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.
*  Unions: Lashing & Loathing at Patricks
Three years since one of the Howard Government’s most infamous episodes, the Waterfront War, Zoe Reynolds discovers how casuals are now doing the doing the dirty work on the docks.
*  Legal: Workers Without Rights
Mark Morey outlines the legal status and (lack of) rights for foreigners in Australia on working visas.
*  International: Dispatch from the Dispossessed
Mahendra Chaudhry, Leader of the People's Coalition and the Fiji Labour Party comments on this week’s court decision.
*  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.
*  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?
*  Review: The New Hard Politics
Dennis Glover argues that policy has taken over from spin as the political battleground of the new century.
*  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.

»  StoneTemple Pirate Outrage Hits Canberra
»  Five Star Exploitation at Regent
»  Workers Say: We Deserve Better
»  Carr Called on Ten Year Temps
»  National Textiles Workers Struggling 12 Months On
»  MUA Prosecutes Patrick for Crippling Workers
»  Test Case: Is Redundancy a Universal Right?
»  Who Pays for the Public Works?
»  Seven-day Strike at Five BHP Mines
»  Chubb Cuts Place Security Guards at Risk
»  Vic Employers Support New IR Laws
»  Lock-Out Tactics Poison Neighbourhood
»  Shangri-La: Lawyers Take Over from Thugs
»  Daewoo Workers See The Ugly Face Of Globalisation
»  Labour Wings to Meet in Macquarie Street
»  Costa Kisses the Rings
»  Meat Workers Dropped from the Queue for Q Fever Vaccine
»  Activists Notebook

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

Letters to the editor
»  About Scabs
»  Pauline Wrong on Nurses
»  Banks: Time for Pay Back
»  Pardons in Perspective
»  What Man's Burden?

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