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November 2002   

Interview: Life After Keating
Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd looks at the world and wonders what might have been ...

Industrial: That Friday Feeling
Anthony Stavropoulos has been working six days a week for the last eight years and now he wants his weekends back. �Remember that Friday feeling?� he asks. �You just don�t get that anymore.�

Bad Boss: Begging to Work
They may put themselves about as the Saints of the Fourth Estate, but bosses at the Big Issue Magazine have been nominated by their own vendors for this month�s Tony award.

Organising: Project Pilbara
Sydney University�s Bradon Ellem reports on how unions are bouncing back in Rio territory

Unions: Off the Rails
The Federal Government is attempting to turn NSW Railways into a political football with a proposal that threatens the safety of freight and passenger trains in NSW and life in our rail Towns, writes Phil Doyle.

International: Brazil Turns Left
Union stalwarts throughout the American hemisphere are cheering the election of Lula � the peanut seller and shoeshine boy, turned union leader - who has been elected as the first working-class President of Brazil.

Environment: Brown Wash
Stuart Rosewarn argues the Johannesburg Sunmmit was a gripping showcase of Australia�s lack of a strategic vision.

History Special: Learning from the Past
Ray Markey looks at union membership growth in the 1880s & 1900s to argue that today�s unions must engage to grow.

Corporate: Will the Bullying Backfire?
Job insecurity, unemployment, a growing gap between rich and poor, massive global poverty and environmental danger are the big issues for the protests at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Sydney.

Technology: Danger Lurks For The Passive
If unions fail to exploit opportunities on the web to gain members, other organisations are likely to fill the void and provide services to workers on the internet.

History: In Labour�s Image
Neale Towart looks at a long-overdue initiative to around NSW through the eyes of the workers.

Politics: Without Power Or Glory
South Coast contributor Rowan Cahill gives his take on the Cunningham by-election result.

History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Barbara Webster looks at Rockhampton between 1916 � 1957 to debunk the �dependence� theory of trade union growth.

Culture: Blood Stains the Wattle
Former Queensland Treasurer Keith De Lacey has turned up in print with a rollicking tale of life during the famous Mt Isa strike of the 60s.

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: The Executive Pay Cut
Executives accepting pay freezes, or even pay cuts? This outrageous proposal has been put on the table by some capitalists themselves, and taken up by our bard.

Review: Time Out
When a family man invents a new life after losing his steady job, Tara de Boehmler watches his charade escalate until there is no turning back.


Month In Review
War and Pieces of Work
The Bali Tragedy dominated the news this month, leaving many questioning the motive and wondering if this is fallout from Australia�s unquestioning support of George Dubya�s �War On Terror�.

The Soapbox
Beware of Greeks Bearing Historical Allusions
Roland Stephens argues that the current popular line that the USA is a modern day version of the Roman Empire is flawed.

The Locker Room
Over The Fence Is Out
Phil Doyle warms up for another season of hard hitting and fast bowling in the park, making the rules up as he goes along.

The Sea of Hands
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation are five years old. Spokeswoman Dameeli Coates addressed labor Council to mark the event.

Tokyo Youth Call
Tokyo unions are relying on young organisers to infiltrate workplaces as part of a major organising campaign, which focuses on non-unionised companies, reports Mary Yaager.

Still Crazy After All These Years
With new research suggests CEO carry similar personality traits to psycho-paths, the AGM season is proving that there�s little room for logic in our nation�s board rooms.


Why The User Should Pay
Unions have often been the victims of the user-pays ethos � the pointy end of the assault on the State by the Top End of Town that has left our public sector looking like the poor relation to the corporates.


 Bargaining Fees In the Dock

 Deadly �Slave Labour� Racket Exposed

 Zoo Workers Buck Indecent Proposal

 Cabinet Takes Stick To Abbott's Carrot

 Cyber Action Behind Hilton Win

 Aussies Back On Board

 City Workers To Help Country Cousins

 Sour Taste for Wine Workers

 Government Grounds Ansett Levy

 TAB Workers Winners as Cup Strike Averted

 Aussie Post Gets Mail On Sick Leave

 Council Backs Community Radio Venture

 First Steps to Compo Clean-Up

 Workers Out! Conference Opens In Sydney

 Aussie Union Rep Power, Yes Please: TUC

 New Burma Shame File

 Activists Notebook

 Trashing the Siren Theory
 More Bali Feed Back
 Clean Election Laws Now!
 And Now, Some Fan Mail!
 Policy Vacuum
 Tom's Postscript
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Month In Review

War and Pieces of Work

The Bali Tragedy dominated the news this month, leaving many questioning the motive and wondering if this is fallout from Australia�s unquestioning support of George Dubya�s �War On Terror�.


Even the RSL, hardly known as a bunch of peaceniks, have counselled that Australian military involvement in any future strike on Iraq may compromise Australia's interests at home. Donald Rumsfeld is increasingly looking and behaving like Doctor Strangelove and it is not too hard to see that it will all end in tragedy before too long.

Why a leader would propel this country into an unpopular war remains unfathomable, as Australian Public Opinion against an attack on Iraq remains as solid as ever, despite the tragedy.

The Australian reaction remained rather restrained, at least from the wider public. The attack once again brought out the lunatic fringe, leaving many in the Muslim community living in fear because of an increase in the number of racially motivated attacks against them.

There was a fair bit of hype about Australia being a target of the attacks, but cooler heads counsel that the attack is more likely directed against stability in Indonesia

"Having the Australians become victims is both tragic, ironic and very strategic to drive a wedge between the Indonesian and Australian people," says Academic Professor Wimar Witoelar, who was also reported as saying that American facilities would have been targeted if the attack were motivated against the West.


Speaking of hype, the Greens win in the Cunningham by-election sent a signal to some that the Labor Party was unravelling before their eyes, but the blind giant keeps on dancing.

The NSW head office will no doubt be on the back foot for a while, but the six ALP State governments are proving to be the effective Federal opposition, at least in terms of the realpolitik.

Their effectiveness will be tested over the appointment of former Liberal party treasurer, Greame Samuel, to effectively succeed Alan Fels at the ACCC.


In the middle of shootings, train smashes, live TV hostage dramas, the NRMA tearing itself apart and two headed cows being born the media still managed to find a fair amount of space for the mendacity of disgraced former Howard government minister Peter Reith to take centre stage.

After the expose of lies and damned lies we had unemployment statistics that showed that underemployment is growing as a serious issue for Australia, with nearly three quarters of a million Australians complaining of under-time. If these people have kids it isn't any wonder that they are complaining, as further studies reveal that it costs $500,000 raise two children in Australia.

And the War on Terror may not be the biggest battle facing the PM, after his government appeared to be making policy on the run regarding what they'd do with the proceeds from flogging off Telstra. Honest John was laying it on thick on talkback radio, while his sensibly dressed Finance Minister, Nick Minchin, assured Financial journalists that it was merely palaver for the shock jocks audience.

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "cash for comment".


Across town, at the big end of it, the sale of Telstra got a big boost from Rupert the M, who threw the weight of his newsprint being the FarmHand smokescreen - which looks like it will do a great job for the government in subsidising Centrelink payments in the bush.

Meanwhile, the bush came to the city, well at least in the form of several millions of tons of dust. The dust storms are further evidence that the various Federal and State policies on halting soil degradation are working smoothly. How can we degrade the soil when most of it has disappeared into the Tasman Sea?

Finally, Brian Henderson stepped down after four and a half thousand years on Australian television.

How do I know that? Brian told me so...


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