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December 2004   

Interview: Minority Report
New federal ALP industrial relations spokesman Stephen Smith on the hostilities in store for the labour movement.

Industrial: Girl Power
Tim Brunero looks at how women are making their mark in a once-male dominated trade.

Unions: Made in NZ
Jim Marr looks behind the rhetoric to uncover what the Howard Government has in store for Australian workers.

History: Spirit for a Fair Go
Paddy Gorman looks at the importance of Eureka on the Australian political psyche.

Economics: Fool's Gold
Tom Bramble identifies some contradictions in Howard's economic miracle.

Politics: Worth Fighting For
One of the Left's most influential figures of the last 40 years gives his theory of power ...

Health: The Force Behind Medibank
Public health has always been a core activity for the union movement, writes Neale Towart

Legal: Robust Justice
Former ACTU executive member and textile union leader Anna Booth argues that Alternate Dispute Resolution is one way around the looming assault on union rights.

International: After the Revolution
Has China entered a post-revolutionary phase - and where will it take the world, asks James Goodman

Poetry: The Sound of Unions
Ah, the hills are alive, with The Sound of Unions, muses resident bard, David Peetz

Review: Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thornton's newest role puts the 'nick' in Saint Nicholas and reveals the Satan in Santa, writes Tara de Boehmler.


New Matilda
How Labor Lost the Plot
In his contribution to Australia's new political zine 'New Matilda' , Father Michael kelly argues the ALP is in search of a soul.

The Soapbox
Outside the Tent
Labor exile Lindsay Tanner is warning the ALP to be careful who it gets into bed with.

The Locker Room
Sons Of Beaches
Phil Doyle gets the perfect wave, and waves back

The Westie Wing
150 years since the struggle at Eureka, the fight to achieve social justice, equality and responsible government is just as vital as ever in the neo-conservative Australia, writes Ian West.

Postcard from Harare
Ken Davis, from Union Aid Abroad, on how unions are at the forefront in the battle for democracy in Zimbabwe


Moral Majority
Unions NSW is currently hosting one of the world�s great thinkers in Robert Reich; academic, commentator and Clinton labour secretary; a man with a mind as big as the dilemmas progressive politics face right now.


 Moral Crusade to Save Family

 20 Dead � Stockmarket Applauds

 Karen Gives Howard a Paint Job

 Buckeridge Bill Blocks Entry

 Casual Beach Closures

 Railworkers Scull Costa

 Racism in the Dock

 Go Home Alone � And Other Survival Tips

 Vet Beats Bullet

 Cleaners Clean Up

 Weekend Work Wiped

 Miners Go to the Movies

 Feds Attack Low Paid

 Activists What's On!

 Leadership Skills
 Not A Casey Fan
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Worth Fighting For

One of the Left's most influential figures of the last 40 years gives his theory of power ...


It has often been asserted that politics is the art of the possible. The pursuit of social justice, economic security, freedom of speech and the rule of law requires the application of that art on a daily basis.

The trade union movement is the largest single organization in society working for the betterment of working people and their dependants. Despite the successes the movement has achieved over the years, the reality facing society today is the unequal distribution of the wealth of our nation.

The gap between the wealthy few and the majority of Australians is clearly widening. Our post-Cold War capitalist society has promoted divisiveness and encouraged greed and selfishness. We need to combat this greed and selfishness by seeking to achieve the best in our people.

The union movement must continue to challenge the status quo. We must continue to fire the imagination of young activists to further the philosophy and idealism of our movement - to bring together Australians of different political, religious and ethnic backgrounds to establish a truly egalitarian society of tolerance, respect, goodwill and democratic values.


There are, in our movement, some people who feel they can best serve their personal interests or political expediency by seeing how far they can go to the Right without actually becoming members of the Liberal Party. Fancy being in the Labor Movement without radical tendencies. You cannot afford to be in the middle of the road. You have to be quite clear about what you believe in, whether popular or unpopular, and you have to fight for it. I could no longer be called a young radical, but if I think a thing is worth fighting for, no matter what the penalty is, I will fight for the right, and the truth and justice will always prevail

- BEN CHIFLEY (1950)

Prime Minister of Australia, 1945-49


We should never forget nor be afraid to acknowledge the critical role of the union movement in maintaining and raising living standards generally in our country, and in securing benefits such as paid sick leave, paid annual leave, paid long service leave, superannuation rights, workers compensation rights and improved health and safety at work. Nor should we be surprised that we face difficulties in building on these standards. We are the ones who are seeking to change the status quo. But as Ben Chifley said, if a thing is worth fighting for, no matter what the penalty, we will fight for it, and the truth and justice will always prevail.

Worth Fighting For: The memoirs of Ray Gietzelt

Federation Press

( Copies of the book can be ordered from LHMU)


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