Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 9 Official Organ of LaborNet 16 April 1999  




*  Interview: Ms Plibersek Goes To Canberra
The new MP for Sydney talks about her new job, new ideas and why she wonít be writing a book about them.
*  Unions: More Jobs, Better Pay?
Peter Reith shears the Pastoral Industry Award, making a mockery of his election rhetoric.
*  History: Work and Community
This is the story of a little corrugated iron factory. In a lane. In Rozelle.
*  Review: Tailing Out
When BHP left Newcastle steelworks, it also left a rich working culture. A ground-breaking project is now honouring what has been lost.
*  International: ILO Warns Danger Evolving With Technology
The ILO estimates over 1 million work-related fatalities each year -- and the danger spots are changing.
*  Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
View the latest issue of Labour Review, Labor Council's fortnightly IR newsletter for unions.

Interview: Tanya Plibersek

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BHP Newcastle - Rich Working Culture
Bull Ruddick, WCAC Project

Public Speaks: We Are Not Monsters!
Two-thirds of Australians believe unions are good for the country, laying down a clear challenge for the movement to intensify recruiting.
[ Full Story » ]

Qantas to Dump Aussie Accents
Australiaís national airline has begun recruiting cabin crew from abroad, threatening to send hundreds of sought after jobs to low-wage countries like Thailand and New Zealand.
[ Full Story » ]

Carrís Faction Call Music to Costaís Ears
Labor Council secretary Michael Costa has won the Premierís support for a special conference to debate the future of the faction system ahead of Octoberís State ALP Conference.
[ Full Story » ]

But Thumbs Down to Small Business Labor...
A key trade union has ridiculed the Premierís call to transform Labor into a Party that has broader appeal to small business.
[ Full Story » ]

Blow for Reith's Anti-Unionism
Building workers are joining the CFMEU in droves as the Howard Government plans its assault on the union.
[ Full Story » ]

Un-Reconstructed Unionists on Study Tour
A high-level delegation of union leaders will this week embark on a three-week international study tour to see how other nations are dealing with recruitment, union services and information technology.
[ Full Story » ]

Unionists to Celebrate May Day
Trade unionists will take to the streets of Sydney on May Day for the 109th consecutive year to show their commitment to a fairer society.
[ Full Story » ]

Tanner to Bragg with Billy
Labor frontbencher Lindsay Tanner will talk politics backstage with pop-politics maestro Billy Bragg at his Melbourne concert this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Social Audit: Where's the Left?

  • Piers, Piers, Piers

  • Conspiracy of Silence?

  • Y2K plus VCR Equals SCAM

  • Editorial

    We're Not Monsters!

    The public has spoken and the message is clear. The stereotype of unionists as lazy, bludging bully boys just doesn't wash with the vast majority of Australians.

    Labor Council's Newspoll findings are compelling -- there is public support for trade unions far beyond their formal membership base.

    If they were free to choose, hundreds of thousands more workers say they would be joining up.

    The question unions need to confront is why they aren't. Is it management hostility or poor communication on the part of unions? With an untapped market of potential members, what do we need to do to get them into the fold?

    Some of the issues canvassed in this week's Workers Online cast light on the survey's findings. They show the rhetoric of equal bargaining power spouted by Reith and his apologists is just a smokescreen.

    There's the Qantas flight attendants, whose jobs are being farmed out to the lowest international bidders. The Cobar miners whose livelihoods disappeared in a swift corporate manoeuvre. And the BHP workers in Newcastle left stateless by the Big Australian.

    The story is universal if forgotten; capital is amoral; without some mitigating force like unions we are all at its mercy.

    And the message for labour is a simple one: with commitment and imagination, there is still a future for the trade unions.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Stephen Roach on the Cobar Option Noel Hester on Sport and the Evil Empire Zanga on the One Stop Shop Piers on the Social Audit



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