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March 2003   

Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Through a distortion in the time-space continuum, we have found a recording showing how people a few years into the future will deal with health care.

Interview: League of Nations
ICFTU general secretary Guy Ryder on the war, core labour standards and why Australia is an international pariah.

Industrial: 20/20 Hindsight
A retrospective analysis of the Accord is needed to help develop future strategies. Is it worth trying again? And if so, what would need to be different?

Organising: On The Buses
A new rank and file leadership team is standing up for the harried bus driver in the run-up to the NSW State Election

Unions: National Focus
A gaze around the country reveals some inspiring and innovative organising initiatives, a fruitful connection with young workers in South Australia and some typically robust industrial campaigns reports Noel Hester.

History: The Banner Room
On the eve of it�s refurbishment, Jim Marr ventures into one of Trades Hall�s best kept secrets; the room that houses relics of labour�s halcyon days.

International: The Slaughter Continues
Chilling new statistics from Colombia's main trade union confederation CUT: nine trade unionists assassinated in the first two months of this year.

Legal: A Legal Case For War?
Aaron Magner looks at the legal implications of the crusade of the Coalition of the Willing

Culture: Singing For The People
When there�s a struggle for social justice, when a war is brewing or rights are being eroded, the first ones to pen, paper and protest are often the folkwriters.

Review: The Hours
On the eve of International Women�s Day Tara de Boehmler follows the tale of three women who would rather choose death than a life devoid of personal choice.

Poetry: I Wanna Bomb Saddam
Scarier than Star Wars, the latest weapon to be deployed in the battle for Iraq is the Singing Dubya.

Satire: Diuretic Makes Warne's Excuses Look Thin
Australian cricketer Shane Warne today admitted that he was still feeling the after effects of the diuretic he tested positive to.


The Soapbox
Workers Friend
Shock jock Alan Jones snubbed his Liberal mates to bucket the Cole Royal Commission and launch Jim Marr's book

The Locker Room
Boer Bore Boring
In the face of oppression Phil Doyle falls asleep in front of the TV

Guest Report
Dead Labor
The Hawke and Keating legacy is John Howard, Leonie Bronstein argues.

Hands Off, Tony
John Della Bosca argues the NSW Industrial Relations System gives his State a competitive advantage.

Groundhog Day
Another year, another round of corporate excess. Bosswatch returns from its summer slumber to find the same old dogs up to the same tricks.


Re-considering The Accord
The twentieth anniversary of the Hawke Government�s election provides an opportunity to ponder the Accord�s historical conundrum: how at the moment of the union movement�s greatest influence did it suffer its greatest loss of members?


 Sacre Bleu � It�s �La Gong� Now

 Mum Raises Labour Hire Bar

 Investigate the Buggers

 NSW Libs Madder Than The Monk

 Kits Strike Terror into Govt

 West Braces for Shelling

 Executive Pay Under Senate Spotlight

 Clean Energy�s Jobs Bonus

 Zoo Workers Buck �Mercy Killing�

 Canberra Firefighters Win Union Backing

 Global Equity Under Spotlight

 Aussie Workers Fight Indian Child Labour

 Water on the Brain

 Activists Notebook

 Re - Core/Non Core promises.
 Strangers in the House
 Nursing Home Concerns
 Catholic Tastes
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The Slaughter Continues

Chilling new statistics from Colombia's main trade union confederation CUT: nine trade unionists assassinated in the first two months of this year.

Also, a number of union organisers have been unrightfully detained. - President Uribe is to blame, says the CUT.




The Central Trade union Federation of Colombia (CUT), through its human rights department, once more denounces before the world the onslaught against the trade union movement and especially against unions affiliated to the CUT. We ask that any person in receipt of this communication distributes it and at the same time sends messages of protest to the Colombian government for its responsibility as a State for these acts.


On 20 February 2003, on the road from Alban to Bituima, JUAN ANTONIO BOHORQUEZ MEDINA of the trade union executive for the municipality of Bituima, affiliate of FECODE-CUT and who worked in the municipality of Alban, Cundinamarca, was kidnapped. Three days later his body was found. He had been horribly murdered in the jurisdiction of the municipality of Alban.

On 21 February 2003 at 7:30pm, FREDY PERILLA MONTOYA, a worker for the EMCALI Telephone Company (EICE) and SINTRAEMCALI activist, was intercepted by individuals travelling in a white van with polarised windows. They tried to force the comrade to get into the vehicle. He resisted and struggled with them and when they saw they were not going to succeed in taking him with them, they shot him six times and fled.


On Wednesday 19 February 2003, in the night, the home of comrade RAFAEL PALENCIA FERNANDEZ was raided. He is an active member of the workers union, SINTRAMINTRABAJO which had been taking legal action on behalf of the freight workers against the transnational Coca Cola.

At present the comrade is in detention in the cells of the SIJIN in Cartagena, accused of supposedly belonging to the urban militias of the insurgency and of possibly planning terrorist acts in the city to coincide with the Businessmen's Congress with President Uribe on 20 and 21 February 2003. However, according to our comrade he is the victim of a vile montage by the forces of the State.

On the same night of 19 February 2003, the home of teaching comrade, affiliated to FECODE, SAMUEL REYES, was raided. He was a victim of the same montage as comrade Palencia.

On 22 February 2003. members of the secret police, detained in suspicious and inconsiderate circumstances, in the city of Manzinales, comrade ROBINSON BELTRAN HERRERA, President of the Workers Union at the Regional Autonomous Corporation of the Atlantic Coast, Otrora Corelca - SINTRAELECO CORELCA.

According to the secret police, they were notified of an order to capture the comrade by the Catagena Public Prosecutor's Office, which they carried out immediately.


On 17 February at around 11:30am, a letter posted to the Colombian Association of Graphic Reporters arrived which contained threats against the president of the trade union, GLADYA BARAJAS and her family.

On Thursday 20 February, at 1:10pm, when the trade union leader and civic leader, ELBER ALBERTO GRANJA, former president of SINTRAMUNICIPIO YUMBO, and currently president of the Communal Action Committee for the Municipality of Vijes, Valle del Cauca, was on the footpath outside his house when he observed an individual with a firearm who started to shoot at him.

At this moment a young man was coming down the road was witness to this event and protected himself from the gunfire by approaching the home of the comrade who had thrown himself to the ground and came out uninjured.

On 22 February at approximately 6am, comrade WILSON CASTO PADILLA, affiliate of the trade union, SINALTRAINAL, was threatened by an anonymous letter made up oF letters cut from a newspaper. It was found by his wife when she went to open the door of the house and now he has to choose between his life and his family or whether to carry on in the organisation.

The above acts of barbary reflect the real situation in Colombia where there is no respect for human rights and where the main responsiblity for the barbary lies with the State and with the government headed by Dr Alvaro Uribe Velez, President of the Republic. All against a background of 100 per cent impunity for more than 3,800 assassinations of our fellow trade unionists in the 16 years the CUT has existed.

Because of this terrible situation for our trade union movement, we are asking for solidarity from the international and national community, from Human Rights NGOs, trade unions and other organisations to denounce these crimes and demand from the Colombian government real guarantees for us to continue our trade union activities.


Director of the Human Rights Department - CUT


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