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September 2002   
F E A T U R E S

Interview: Still Flying
Flight Attendant’s Association international secretary Johanna Brem looks at life in the air since last September’s terrorist attacks.

International: President Gas
NSW Firefighter’s president Darryl Snow sent this missive to his members on the anniversary of a day when 343 of their colleagues died in the line of duty.

Politics: Australia: A Rogue State?
ARM director Greg Barnes argues that September 11 has summoned a new era of isolationism and international lawlessness.

Unions: Welfare Max
Maximus Inc is big, American and controversial. Right now its knocking on the door of Australian welfare delivery and there is every chance the Howard Government will usher it inside, reports Jim Marr.

Bad Boss: Welcome to Telstra!
A Telstra call centre has joined the race for Bad Boss after sacking a pregant woman who had the audacity to need to use the toilet.

Health: Fat Albert: The Grim Reaper
Workers Online's cultural dietician Mark Morey chews the fat over this week's conference on child obesity

Satire: Iraq Pre-empts Pre-emptive Strike
Saddam Hussein has launched a pre-emptive strike on the United States to prevent it from pre-emptively striking Iraq first.

Poetry: A Man From the East And A Man From The West
Resident Bard David Peetz has penned this ode to the sacked Hilton hotel workers

Review: The Sum Of All Fears
Tara de Boehmler checks in to see that America’s cultural cringe is alive, well and sponsored by Marlboro cigarettes

C O L U M N S

Legends
Gough's Plaza
Labor's living legend challenged NSW Labor to lift its game as he attended a renaming of 2KY House to Gough Whitlam Plaza.

The Locker Room
Support The System That Supports You
This system is a certainty, a moral, a good thing and a knocktaker; well, at least according to Phil Doyle

Bosswatch
RIP Chainsaw Al
One of the heroes of corporate downsizing has been cut down but his memory lives on with golden handshakes for leaders of failed businesses still thick on the ground.

Awards
The Importance of Being Ernie
It was the tenth annual “Ernie” Awards for sexist behaviour and Labor Council’s Alison Peters was amongst the noisy punters

Week in review
Lest We Forget
You can’t help a sneaking suspicion, Jim Marr writes, that George Bush is conscripting the dead of September 11, 2001, to lead his push for another war in the Gulf…

Activists
Workers Out!
Gay and Lesbian trade unionists are organising an international conference to develop a global response to homophobia in the workplace, writes Ryan Heath

E D I T O R I A L

The Legacy of 11/9
From the orgy of righteous indignation that has enveloped the ‘Free World’ this week a more chilling truth is emerging: if the suicide bombers were attacking Liberal-Democracy they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

N E W S

 ‘Robbed Generation’ Seeks Stolen Wages

 One Year On: Ansett Crash Still Hurts

 Cole Exposed By Immigration Scam

 Car Workers on Howard Hit List

 Mystery Windfall for Hilton Workers

 Shock: Abbott Backs Workers

 Union Billboards Censored

 Track Grab Ignores Lessons of Glenbrook

 Casual Approach to Air Safety

 Bosses Say No Living Wage For NSW Childcarers

 Pastry Workers Tell Boss To Get Puffed

 Injury Toll Mushrooms

 Victorian Zookeepers Down Buckets

 Pride and Safety for Workers Out!

 Activists Notebook

L E T T E R S
 The CFMEU Race Debate #1
 The CFMEU Race Debate #2
 Keeping it Clean
 Sue the Leaders?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Activists

Workers Out!


Gay and Lesbian trade unionists are organising an international conference to develop a global response to homophobia in the workplace, writes Ryan Heath

Despite the legislative and cultural advances that gays and lesbians have won in recent decades, homophobia in the workplace remains a major issue for gay and lesbian workers.

A recent Australian study found 52% of more than 900 respondents suffered harassment in the workplace, 21% were outed against their will by colleagues and 17% felt their careers had been restricted because of their homosexuality.

Against this backdrop, Sydney unionists are organising "Workers Out!" - the second world lesbian and gay trade unionists conference. Workers Out! Will be held at the University of Sydney from 31 October - 2 November in conjunction with the sixth Gay Games.

Workers Out!, to be opened by ICFTU Regional President and ACTU President Sharan Burrow, will develop strategies to deal with homophobia in the workplace. Regional and industry caucuses and a mini queer film festival will take place on the day following the formal closure of the conference.

With well over 100 registrations already, more than 30 countries are expected to send delegates. Particular emphasis is being placed on participation and issues from Asia and the Pacific, supported by s generous scholarship system. All people interested in attending the confernece are urged to visit www.workersout.com and register as soon as possible.

In recent years there has been a growing recognition that the industrial rights of lesbians and gay men should be an integral part of the work of all trade unions. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) now includes sexuality as grounds for discrimination in their policies.

"The ICFTU Asia Pacific Region urges all affiliates to send delegates to the Workers Out! Conference, to provide financial assistance and to support the conference's scholarship program," says ICFTU Regional President Sharan Burrow.

Progressive unions should act now to ensure you are represented at Workers Out! If you are your union has interest in any of the following areas, Workers Out! Will provide a once in four years opportunity to develop your policies and activities.

Major themes for Workers Out are:

1. Industrial instruments and lesbian and gay (lg) rights.

2. Trade union policies on lg rights and lg participation in TU structures/activities.

3. Specific locations of lg workers in the workplace (i.e tendency towards particular professions, the issues faced by lg workers in rural areas, constituency specific issues such as transgender and lesbians in male-dominated workplaces)

4. LG industrial rights and global social justice

5. Impact of shift of welfare/health/safety net service provision from governments to the private sector e.g. church groups and charity.

6. HIV/AIDS & other health issues in the workplace and in unions

7. LG unemployed and workers in the informal sector incl. Sex workers

8. International networking and organising amongst lg workers

9. LG workers, international labour movement and global political economy incl. labour migration, rise of fundamentalist groups

10. LG trade unionism and lg student communities.

While Gay and lesbian trade unionists from Australia have lead unions and organised and represented members for decades, the nature of the struggles experienced by lesbian and gay workers differs greatly across the world.

As organising committee member Mark Dolahenty says, "Australian working conditions often bear little resemblence to the experiences of gay and lesbian workers in other regions, many of whom live in countries where homosexual citizens can be jailed our executed. As unionists it is our duty to be involved in supporting people in those situations."

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

* Forward this story to colleagues and friends who may want to attend Workers Out!

* Use your position or vote in a trade union structure to ensure your union is funding and supporting delegates to attend Workers Out!

* Follow the proceedings of the Workers Out! Conference at www.workersout.com to understand what you can do to support justice for lesbians and gay men in your workplace.

Contact Workers Out! Via http://www.workersout.com or mailto:[email protected]

Join the campaign for justice now!


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