Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 99 Official Organ of LaborNet 15 June 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: In Defence of the Umpire
Australian Industry Group chief Bob Herbert on why the Industrial Relations Commission is worth fighting for.
*  Unions: Diary of a Dude
One.Tel worker Warren Manners thought he had a dream job and no need for a union. That was until the money ran out.
*  Legal: Dot.Com Casualties
The high profile collapse of One.Tel had significant implications for its employees. But what about its contractors?
*  Industrial: The Shopfloor, United
Chris Christodoulou argues that without an active union membership, workplace democracy is just a pipe dream.
*  International: A Saharawi Woman's Plea
Sydney unionist Stephanie Brennan travelled to Africa to witness first-hand the struggle for independence in West Sahara.
*  History: Once Were Tuckpointers
Trawling through the files, Paul Howes stumbles upon some unions that represented workers long departed.
*  Politics: Out Of The Comfort Zone
In his new book, Brett Evans argues that while Labor is honing its reform agenda, it is still struggling to reform itself.
*  Satire: World Domination
The US has threatened not to pay the UN the money it doesn’t pay anyway.
*  Review: Wiped Out
Bread and Roses is a new movie about the struggle of invisible office cleaners to gain dignity and respect at work. Pity you won’t see it here.

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Who do you call when your crashes?

Dudded Dudes Lead Union Fight Back
Unions are poised for a major organising push among young workers in emerging industries following the spectacular campaign in defence of sacked One.Tel workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Redundancy Rules Promote Outsourcing
A loophole in redundancy laws is leaving employees of small business without redundancy protection and providing an incentive for employers to contract work out.
[ Full Story » ]

Workers Compo Bill Hovers
The Carr Government is poised to introduce a new workers compensation bill into State Parliament next week.
[ Full Story » ]

Della’s Pay for View Awards
NSW Industrial relations Minister John Della Bosca in under union fire again – this time for charging workers to access details of their legal rights over the web.
[ Full Story » ]

Trades Hall Get Green Light
The restoration of the historic Trades Hall is another step closer after the Labor Council officially assumed managerial control of the building this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Public Works Under the Gun
A rash of workplace accidents and anti-union incidents on government building sites in recent weeks has sparked calls for crisis talks with NSW Public Works Minister Maurice Iemma.
[ Full Story » ]

Inner City School Closures
The Education Minister's latest plans for inner city schools vindicates why the Vinson Inquiry into the Provision of Public Education in NSW is so timely, according to NSW teachers.
[ Full Story » ]

TAB Computers Push Bigger Bets
New voice recognition technology for phone betting could pressure small-time punters into becoming problem gamblers, workers inside the TAB have warned.
[ Full Story » ]

Shannon Plots Corporate Raid
Recent company collapses like One Tel and employer hostility to union organising have shown that unions need to run more corporate or strategic campaigns.
[ Full Story » ]

Stop CSR Militants Wrecking Economy
CSR must immediately end its lock-out of 1,000 workers at its north Queensland sugar mills to prevent damaging the regional economy.
[ Full Story » ]

NRMA Learns From the Big Boys
NRMA has joined the big boys by slashing branches, cutting jobs and putting customer service last, leaving anxious workers worried about how long they'll have a job.
[ Full Story » ]

Diggers’ Records to be Outsourced?
Staff at the Veterans’Affairs department (DVA) are up in arms over plans to outsource the agency’s records management service.
[ Full Story » ]

Unions Back Religious Freedoms in Vietnam
NSW workers have called on the ACTU to raise repression of religious minorities in Vietnam as an international rallying point.
[ Full Story » ]

Blair's Britain - An Insider Speaks
The Fabian Socialists are regrouping for a discussion on UK politics in the wake of the Blair Government's re-election.
[ Full Story » ]

Workers Online 100th Issue Bash
We’re marking our centenary of issues in the finest tradition of the workers press – a few beers in a pub by the wharves!
[ Full Story » ]

Activists' Notebook
A rural forum, the latest Strewth launch and oodles of international solidarity action are all on this week's activist agenda.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • The May Day Wash-Out Explained

  • What's Wrong With Compo?

  • Editorial

    From Riches to Rags

    The One.Tel 'Dude' was a pretty hip mascot, the sort of Dude that would probably attend a dance party, maybe even an M1 protest. But the Dude was not a union member.

    One.Tel was one of those hip workplace where the staff sit with the bosses, wear jeans and T-shirts, get to goof off in their down-time.

    It also the sort of workplace where staff sign on to work without being told they were signing legally binding contracts.

    When One.Tel crashed in a writhing mess three weeks ago, the Dude was left looking a little exposed - no redundancy, no entitlements, no-one to turn to. The Dude realised that there was more to life than feeling cool and whistling Dixie

    Luckily, some of the Dude's colleagues had joined a trade union and when the union turned up to tell them what was going down the Dude found a lifeline.

    To its credit, the CPSU agreed to take on the case of all the workers - the majority of whom signed up once they realised how much trouble they were really in.

    What followed was not just a smart and aggressive campaign to put the workers' interests first, but a reassertion of the value of trade unions to a whole generation of young workers.

    There are tens of thousands of Dudes out there, in jobs that make them feel good about themselves, even if the details and protections are a little fuzzy.

    These Dudes are probably beginning to wonder whether what happened to the One.Tel workers couldn't maybe happen to them. The Dot-Com boom is over and nothing seems quite as secure as it did a few months back.

    In this environment it is up to the union movement to go out and sell its message that acting alone each worker is just a Dude, together they have some power.

    The One.Tel workers must become symbols of the benefits of unionism, their victory is our launch pad.

    As they say in the adverts: "Tell Your Friends About One.Tel". The One.Tel Dude is now a Union Dude.

    Peter Lewis

    P.S. No Workers Online next week, but stand by for a bumper 100th on June 29!


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Across the Barricade Jim Marr's Mixed Grill Neale Towart's Labour Review Who Killed One.Tel?



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