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August 2003   

Interview: The New Deal
US union leader Amy Dean expands on her agenda to give unions a real political voice

Unions: In the Line of Hire
Unions have lobbied and negotiated in a bid to stem casualisation and insecurity. Now, Jim Marr, writes they are seeking protection through a formal Test Case.

Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
Young people are amongst the most vulnerable in the workforce. So why aren't they joining the union, asks Carly Knowles

International: The Domino Effect
An internal struggle in the biggest and strongest industrial union in Germany IG Metall has had a devastating wave effect across not just that country, but also the rest of Europe, writes Andrew Casey.

Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
Max Ogden looks at the vexed issue of Works Councils and the differing views within the union movement to them.

National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
Achieving a fairer society and a better working life for employees from across Australia will be key themes at the ACTU's triennial Congress meeting later this month reports Noel Hester.

History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Rowan Cahill looks at the role Australia's conservatives played in supporting facism in the days before World War II.

Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Frank Sartor might have shot through but Robert Domm still calls the IR shots at Sydney City which pretty much explains why the council is this month�s Bad Boss nominee.

Poetry: Just Move On.
Visiting bard Maurie Fairfield brightens up our page with a ditty about little white lies.

Review: Reality Bites
The workers, united, may never be defeated but if recent episodes of Channel 10 drama The Secret Life Of Us are to be believed, this is not necessarily a good thing, writes Tara de Boehmler.


The Soapbox
Fighting Words
Craig Emerson gave what could be the most spirited Labor spray in a decade to the NSW Labor Council this month. Here it is in all its venom.

Out of Their Class
Phil Bradley argues that Australia's education system should not be up for negotiation in the global trade talks.

The Locker Room
The ABC of Sport
Phil Doyle argues that the only way to end the corporate madness that is sport, is to give it all back to the ABC.

Locks, Stocks and Barrels
Union Aid Abroad's Peter Jennings updates on the situation in Burma, where the repression of democracy is going from bad to worse.


The Secret Life of Us
The fact that casual workers are too scared to come forward and testify about the need for job security seems to prove their basic point � no matter how long or how well you work, you can never feel safe in your job.


 Tough Women Draw Line at Sacking

 Witness Protection Urged on IRC

 Max Swings Axe at Safety

 Sick Twist in Drug Testing

 Sacked Mum Goes to the Top

 Cuts Sour ADB Birthday Bash

 Howard Enlists Russians for Military

 Vic Workcover Invests in Worker Misery

 Public Hole in Power Shortage

 Whistleblower Sacking Sparks Zoo Walkout

 Truckie With Conscience Wins Back Job

 Indigenous Labour honours Tobler

 Asbestos Blocks Liverpool Road Works

 Activist Notebook

 Bullies in the Ranks
 It Is Still About The Members Isn't It
 Tom's Purpose
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Locks, Stocks and Barrels

Union Aid Abroad's Peter Jennings updates on the situation in Burma, where the repression of democracy is going from bad to worse.


After the recent Burmese military attack on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and National League for Democracy (NLD) members, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA calls on the Australian government to join the international community in taking direct action to condemn the military crackdown and to demand release of all political prisoners in Burma.

During a junta-supported ambush on 30 May, Burmese military generals arrested Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and approximately 50 NLD supporters. Some opposition sources estimate up to 70 NLD members were killed during the attack, whilst at least 94 individuals remain listed as "disappeared."

In response to the military crackdown, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has temporarily suspended the controversial human rights workshops the Australian government funds in Burma, but the government has otherwise continued its policy of "constructive engagement" with the Burmese military regime. Such a policy is clearly out of line with the majority of the international community.

Japan, Burma's largest donor nation, is using financial pressure to secure release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, departing from a softer position in the past.

The EU has imposed sanctions including stripping Burma of trading privileges, freezing non-humanitarian economic aid, a ban on military links and an arms embargo.

The US has banned imports on goods manufactured in Burma and by offshore companies owned by the regime, also banning new investment by US companies.

In a significant departure from ASEAN stated policy of non-interference in internal affairs of member states, Malaysia's Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad has threatened to expel Burma from ASEAN if Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is not released.

Peter Jennings, Executive Officer of Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, has commented, "We are appalled by the Burmese junta's blatant disregard for democracy and human rights, as clearly demonstrated once again on 30 May."

"We urge the Australian government to immediately cancel the human rights workshops, condemn the Burmese junta's actions against the NLD in the strongest possible terms and demand intervention by the UN."


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