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October 2004   

Interview: The Last Bastian
AMWU state secretary Paul Bastian has been at the centre of the three year battle to bring James Hardie to account.

Unions: High and Dry
Jim Marr unpacks the recent High Court Electrolux decision to test whether the ruling matches the media hype.

Security: Liquid Borders
The Howard Government loves to trumpet its national security credentials but a close look at its record in shipping sinks the myth argues MUA�s Zoe Reynolds.

Industrial: No Bully For You
Phil Doyle reports on how bringing dignity and respect to the workplace is undermining bullies.

History: Radical Brisbane
Radical Brisbane extends the 'Radical City' series into the Red North. Two experienced activists, academics and writers turn South East Queensland history on its head.

International: No Vacancies
More than 1400 hotel union workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 2, are on strike at four major hotels in San Francisco, California, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Life After Capitalism
A situation that all anarchists dream of? Michael Albert has been more than dreaming., writes Neale Towart

Technology: Cyber Winners
Labourstart's Eric Lee looks at a good news story of global online campaigning that has delivered a victory.

Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Teaser: Wondering why the polls are all over the place? Ask our resident bard and psephologist.

Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Voice of Southern Labor highlights the role music played in the 1930's US textile strikes, but more than that it provides a lucid insight into the roots of modern capitalism and some truly organic organising, writes Tara de Boehmler.


True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues It�s Time � for an IR reality check.

The Westie Wing
Much work has been done in the past to ease the plight of clothing outworkers in New South Wales. It's time to step up the pressure, as sweatshops and clothing contract work are thriving stronger than ever, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Who Started the Class War?
Evan Jones looks across the Australian political landscape and asks who are the real class warriors?

The Locker Room
First Past The Post
Phil Doyle is coming up in class and is all the better for recent racing

Westie Wing
Our favourite state MP returns for his monthly Macquarie Street wrap.

Positive Action
Australian unionists are helping give hope to Filipino workers living with HIV/AIDS.


The Premiership Quarter
After spending the past month with a decidedly sinking feeling, there�s a whiff of hope and expectation that the Howard era could actually be coming to an end.


 Kev Cooks the Books

 Black Hole In Libs Kids Plan

 Xerox Copies Waterfront Tactics

 Hardies Asbestos Woes "Snowballs"

 Air Fleet Grounded By Job Cuts

 Musos Lung For Better

 Customs Officers Declare

 Dumbing Down The Trades

 Pacific National Sidetracks Hunter Jobs

 Witch Hunt For Whistleblower

 Black Diamond Deaths Spark Mining Inquiry

 Pensioners Strip Over Pension Strip

 Activists What's On!

 Donkey Vote
 Problem Solved
 How To Run Society
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Positive Action

Australian unionists are helping give hope to Filipino workers living with HIV/AIDS.


The Positive Action Foundation Philippines Inc (PAFPI) was founded in 1998 by committed and concerned Filipinos, most of whom are HIV positive. The organisation provides education, care, support and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDs and their caregivers.

APHEDA supports PAFPI's pre-departure HIV/AIDs training for Filipino migrant contract workers. The organisation also provides counseling, self-expression workshops, skills and capacity building for HIV positive people, home and hospital visits and burial facilities. In addition, PAFPI runs education campaigns to inform the public about HIV/AIDS issues and is an advocate to the government and other bodies on improving the conditions for HIV/AIDS sufferers, including successfully lobbying for the introduction of much more affordable generic treatments.

PAFPI was formed to provide support to people such as Tina:

Tina worked as a domestic help in Hong Kong. Like the other 3,000 Filipinos who leave the country daily to work abroad, she hoped that her earnings would help improve her family's situation. She sent money home to pay for her elderly parents' medical treatment and to put food on the table.

She worked in Hong Kong for 3 years without ever going home. Whilst there she fell in love and, planning to marry her partner, she went home to seek her parents blessing. On taking a medical test to reenter Hong Kong she found out she was HIV positive. Deeply shocked and troubled that her partner had betrayed her, the diagnosis meant that she could not return to Hong Kong as a domestic worker, nor could she work in any other country.

How was she going to look after her parents? And how was she going to cope? How would her family and friends treat her if they knew she had AIDS? Tina thought about the terrible social stigma she had to face, and worried about how HIV was going to affect her health.

She became depressed and contemplated suicide. In the process of getting treatment for a secondary infection, she was told about PAFPI, which runs a drop-in centre for those with HIV/AIDS and their families. Tina had heard about AIDs before leaving the Philippines but did not know how it was transmitted. She also thought that it was something other people get, not "decent women" like herself. She believed that only homosexuals and prostitutes contracted the virus. PAFPI's training is tailored to engage with this stereotypical thinking.

When Tina visited PAFPI, she felt an overwhelming sense of relief because she had found a place where she could be understood, and where she could get help. Tina said "PAFPI volunteers provided [her] with comfort, hope and courage to face the reality". Tina is now among the 30 PAFPI volunteers who provide pre-departure training.

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA supports PAFPI's pre-departure training because we believe that educating contract workers about the dangers of HIV/AIDS is one of the most important contributions we can make to prevent the spread of the virus. For workers like Tina, this training is too late. But for those who are embarking on their journey to provide a living for their families, the training could be the difference between life and death.


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