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July 2003   

Interview: As They Say In The Bible ...
One the movement�s great characters, Public Service Association general secretary Maurie O�Sullivan, is calling it a day. He looks back on his career with Workers Online.

Industrial: Just Doing It
Sportswear giant, Nike, is the first company to sign off on an agreement that purports to protect Australian clothing workers, wherever they labour, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Breaking Into the Boys Club
For a 23-year-old woman who has never worked in the trade, recruiting young construction apprentices into the union has its challenges, reports Carly Knowles.

Activists: Making the Hard Yards
Mal Cochrane came to the smoke as part of an Aboriginal avalanche that redefined the face of Rugby League. Today, he serves his community through the trade union movement.

Bad Boss: In the Pooh
What do you give a boss who makes his workers labour in raw sewage? A nomination for the Tonys.

Unions: National Focus
In the national wrap Noel Hester finds a Victorian Misso delo who is redistributing lucre from Eddie McGuire into workers� theatre, South Australian unions taking that Let�s Get Real stuff seriously, an American unionist fronts up at a distinguished �meeting of the brains� in Adelaide and a look at the line up for ACTU Congress.

Economics: Pop Will Eat Itself
Dick Bryan wonders if we can be insured against pop economists promising financial nirvana as well as financial market instability.

Technology: Dean for President
Paul Smith looks at how the internet is helping one Democrat candidate to the front of the primary pack

International: Rangoon Rumble
Union Aid Abroad's Marj O'Callaghan looks at Australia's weak response to developments in Burma.

Education: Blackboard Jungle
Lifelong learning shouldn�t mean cutting jobs, but that's exactly what the Carr Government is proposing, argues Tony Brown

Review: From Weakness to Strength
Labor Council crime-fighter Chris Christodoulou catches up with his boyhood hero, the Incredible Hulk

Poetry: Downsized
Resident bard David Peetz pens the song the Industrial Relations Commission needed to hear


The Soapbox
Cleaning Up
Rabbi Laurie Coskey from San Diego adds her voice to the global campaign for just for cleaners in Westfield malls.

The Locker Room
The Name In The Game
In an age of the sportsperson as celebrity it seems that names are overtaking the games, writes Phil Doyle.

The Beach
Southern Thailand�s terrorist activities: facts or fiction asks HT Lee


A Recipe for Conflict
Without making any excuses, Tony Abbott�s hand wringing at this week�s airing of a secret video of picket line violence was a bit like watching Don King condemn boxing.


 Aussie Workers Cradle-Snatched

 Morris McMahon Workers Say Thanks

 Violence: Emerson Fingers Abbott

 Cowboys Face Contracts Ban

 TUTA Rises From the Ashes

 Teased Teachers Fight Back

 Labor Fails TAFE Test

 Coke Called on to Stop the Rot

 Bridgestone Drops Doughnut on Workers

 AIRC Locked in Dark Ages

 Maternity Breakthrough in Hotels

 Labour Rights: Even Bush is Better!

 Long Winter for Seasonal Workers

 Activist Notebook

 A Tribute to Brian Miller
 Orange Peel
 After the Accident
 Cuba - the Debate Continues
 Old Ted
 Greetings from Japan
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Resident bard David Peetz pens the song the Industrial Relations Commission needed to hear


While a dumped CEO like Brian Glibertson may be able to reap a $30 million redundancy package with an annual pension of over $1 million - after just six months in the job - workers have had to make do with an award entitlement of one or two week's pay per year of service to a maximum of eight weeks. For several weeks the Australian Industrial Relations Commission has been hearing evidence regarding the ACTU's claim to increased severance benefits for workers made redundant by corporate downsizing. In an innovative twist, the ACTU called Petula Clark as an expert witness. She sang a new version of the Tony Hatch classic, "Downtown", that she made famous in the 1960s. It had become the anthem by which modern CEOs operated and was called "Downsized".


When you're in charge
and the profits aren't large
enough without delay -downsize.
You feel a bit bored,
you're looking for more
and the shareholders say: 'downsize'.
Listen to the workers as they open their surprises
Carve notches on your desktop as the count of bodies rises
You'll get a prize
Then watch them walk out the door
And off to the job network where worse is in store
They've been downsized
Show them you really care (downsized)
Say them a little prayer (downsized)
You'll get some bonus shares too

Those left behind
are sure to not speak their mind
so they don't get the sack (downsized)
A culture of fear
means no subversive ideas
as they protect their backs (downsized)
Half are back as consultants because you sacked too many
You pay them twice as much and so you haven't saved a penny
Oh what a sight!
The rest are out on the street
Because the payout's not enough to make their ends meet
They've been downsized
Such an enthusiast (downsized)
Pity you're on the list (downsized)
You're going to be missed too

David Peetz


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