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October 2002   

Interview: The Wet One
NSW Opposition industrial relations spokesman Michael Gallacher stakes out his relationship with the union movement.

Bad Boss: Like A Bastard
Virgin Mobile is sexy and funky, right? Well, only if those terms have become synonyms for dictatorial or downright mean.

Unions: Demolition Derby
Tony Abbott likens industrial relations to warfare and, like a good general should, he is about to shift his point of attack � from building sites to car plants, reports Jim Marr.

Corporate: The Bush Doctrine
For the powerful, consumerism equals freedom, and is all the freedom we need, writes James Goodman

Politics: American Jihad
Let�s get real. The origins of modern Islamic terrorist groups are in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Langley, Virginia not Baghdad, argues Noel Hester.

Health: Secret Country
Oral history recordings are an inadequate tool in trying to find out what happened to Aboriginal stockmen and their communities on cattle stations in Northern Australia, writes Neale Towart

Review: Walking On Water
On the 20th anniversary of the first AIDS-related death, Tara de Boehmler witnesses the aftermath of losing a loved one to the illness in Walking On Water.

Culture: TCF
Novelist Anthony Macris captures life on the shop floor in this extract from his upcoming novel, Capital Volume II

Poetry: The UQ Stonewall
The University of Queensland has sought to join the ranks of union-busting companies like Rio Tinto in trying to sack the president of the local union - and made the mistake of thinking they were dealing with an array of acquiescent academics.


The Soapbox
I Walk The Line
American civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has weighed into the Hilton Hotel dispute with this special message to the workforce.

Mekong Daze
Union Aid Abroad's Phil Hazelton fires off a missive from Laos where he is spending a year working with the community.

Month In Review
Bush Whackers
It was a month where the world teetered on the brink of peace, no thanks to the leader of the free world, writes Jim Marr

The Locker Room
The Laws Of Gravity
Phil Doyle goes looking for the fine line that separates sport from an exercise in time-wasting

Snouts in the Trough
It�s AGM season in the corporate world, and deal after shady deal is being exposed as highfliers treat company accounts like the proverbial honey-pot.

Songs of Solidarity
There has been a proud history of pro-worker tunes dating back to the early days of the 20th century, which will be continued in a new CD, writes Dan Buhagiar.


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.


 �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

 The CFMEU Race Debate #1
 The CFMEU Race Debate #2
 Keeping it Clean
 Sue the Leaders?

Wrong Way, Go Back
The weekend machinations over the structure of the ALP are in danger of missing the fundamental point: Labor�s current malaise is caused not be an excess of core values but through a deficit.


 Corrigan Fires Shot in Rail Showdown

 Fight Begins For Long Weekends

 Experts to Arrest Drug Test Outbreak

 Jobs Auction Hitting Bank Workers

 Libs Pledge Moderate IR line

 Workers Kick Grand Final Goal

 NSW Screws Down Lid on Funeral Scams

 Hilton Strike Break Plans in Tatters

 Detention Centre Workers Demand Safety Search

 Religious Teachers Win Legal Coverage

 Pressure Builds on Parking Sting

 US Docks Lockout Hits Sea Trade

 Activists Notebook

 Jacks and Jills
 Shame on Murray
 Use or Abuse of Long Term Casuals
 Speaking in Tongues
 Casual Days
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The Soapbox

I Walk The Line

American civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has weighed into the Hilton Hotel dispute with this special message to the workforce.


This is Jesse Jackson speaking to you from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition headquarters in Chicago.

I wish I could be with you in person, to support your cause, but this message will help bridge the many miles between us.

I have consistently supported working families.

I have supported the right of workers to organize and act together to improve wages, benefits and working conditions.

I too have walked the picket line, marched with hotel workers

I have walked the picket lines, stood at the plant gate, and helped negotiate the settlement of difficult labor conflicts.

Recently I marched with Hotel Workers in Toronto, Canada, where H.E.R.E. Local 75 was campaigning for a new contract.

I know that low-wage workers, especially recent immigrants, feel intimidated by the wealthy executives and high-priced lawyers of the corporations.

I also know that there are many people around you who support you and your needs.

Many of them are in the same kind of situation - overworked,

underpaid, vulnerable and stressed.

They share your condition and your goals.

In unity there is power

They need to come together with you - in unity there is power for


You need to reach out to them, and ask them to stand with you.

The churches have a moral purpose. They will support you. Enlist them in your struggle.

The civil rights movement here in the United States is the record of the churches taking action, moving from conversation to demonstration to reconciliation.

Dr. Martin Luther King provided leadership to the churches - black, brown and white - to join the fight.

When he was assassinated in April 1968, he was leading a campaign on behalf of striking garbage workers.

Other organizations in the broader community also support you.

Enlist the broader community in your struggle

Enlist them in your struggle.

There are groups who advocate for civil rights, for women's rights, for quality health care, for better education, for quality childcare. They all have goals that fit with yours.

Your dispute with the Hilton Hotel in Sydney is not just a local issue.

Like many large corporations, Hilton is a world-wide chain with a world-wide perspective. You are already an international workforce.

You must adopt a world-wide perspective, and work toward a more comprehensive labor movement.

I am outraged

I want you to know that I am outraged that Hilton would close the Sydney hotel and throw aside its loyal workers while it invests millions of dollars in refurbishing the building.

Workers cannot be ignored. Workers deserve respect and their needs recognized.

If the hotel must close

If the hotel must close its doors for renovation, then workers need support:

1. There should be more generous redundancy compensation for workers put out of a job. These workers should be covered until they can come back to work.

2. There should be priority listing for these workers to be rehired when the hotel reopens.

3. There should be a plan to include casual workers in an out-of-work compensation plan. Casual workers benefit the company by working flexible hours, and get fewer benefits themselves. That should be reversed.

4. There should be retraining and placements services made available to all the workers, not just the top echelon, for those that need to find alternative work.

5. Most importantly, there should be an enterprise agreement, a labor contract, with the Hilton Hotel. When there are problems and grievances, there should be a requirement that the company pay attention to the needs of the workers. When the hotel reopens, it should reopen with a contract in place, guaranteeing fair treatment, wages and benefits for all.

Hilton Hotel is not going to give you what you want

Now comes the important message: the Hilton Hotel is not just going to give you what you need without effort.

That would be, as Frederick Douglas said, like the farmer who wants crops without plowing the fields and sowing the seeds, and to have rain without the thunder and lightning.

Now you need to organize. You need to build your union and your community coalition. You need to reach out to your neighbors and friends.

This struggle can be won.

You can make it happen.


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