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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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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

*********

When I heard about the Hilton sackings, I couldn't help but think of a five star hotel in Malaysia whose management I spoke to a few years ago. When the Asian financial crisis hit hard, its revenue fell by 50%. What did the hotel do? There were no retrenchments - instead, the workers had a pay rise deferred and management took a cut in pay - with the biggest percentage cuts applying to the most senior managers. (No, it's not a misprint.) Hard to believe they're living in the same world, eh?

A MAN FROM THE EAST AND A MAN FROM THE WEST

by David Peetz

I met a man out on the road,
walking from the east.
He told me how his hotel's sales
had by a half decreased.
I asked him what he planned to do
now things had gone so slow.
What about his workers, would
he have to let them go?

'Oh no!' he said 'That would not do,
That would be most unwise.
The hotel would lose face in
all its employees' eyes -
And with general public too, no
that would show we'd failed.
There's many other paths to choose,
of these we'll be availed.

It will be tough and management
must take a cut in pay.
But somehow we will find the path,
there is another way.' And with those words he walked away,
but as he left I saw,
He had the inner strength required
to carry what he bore.

I met a man out on the road,
walking from the west.
He told me how with rising sales
his hotel had been blessed.
I asked him what he planned to do
with all these money flows.
Would he take more workers on,
to help the hotel grow?

'Oh no!' he said, 'That would not do.
A facelift is our target!
We'll close down, lay-off all our staff -
They like that in the market -
We'll minimise the pay-out...
The staff, I'm sure, will wail...
But if we don't act mean and lean,
well, that would show we'd failed. We must be tough so management
can earn its bonus shares.
That's life - some folks just do it tough,
and some are millionaires.'
And with those words he walked away,
but I'd looked into his eyes.
His empty heart had not the strength
Even to apologise.


------


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