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Year End 2004   
F E A T U R E S

Interview: The King of Comedy
John Robertson looks back on a year when his comic genius was finally realised.

Unions: Ten Simple Rules
Accepted wisdom has unions all but retired as serious players in the Australian game. A glance through the major industrial stories of 2004, however, suggests improved footwork, and a commitment to boxing clever, might herald a comeback, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: Rampant Indivdualism
CFMEU National Secretary John Sutton gives his take on a year when the political debate took a turn to the Right.

International: Global Struggle
Labourstart's Eric Lee looks back on a year when the struggles for labour increasingly crossed international lines.

Economics: Cashing in the Year
Look back in sorrow or look back in anger? By any standards 2004 has been a hell of a year, writes Frank Stilwell.

History: Grass Roots
Worker solidarity in Australia in the first century of invasion can give us inspiration and clues for our upcoming battles, writes Neale Towart.

Review: Cultural Realities
In 2004 popular culture shifted from reality television to reality movies, and swapped last year's light-weight subject matter for the slightly more substantial, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Y-U-C-K
Workers Online resident bard David Peetz takes inspiration from The Village People for his latest prose.

C O L U M N S

Predictions
The Crystal Ball
Workers Online consults a raft of leading psychics to find out what readers can look forward to in 2005.

The Soapbox
Scrooge Was Right
Christmas has been cancelled this year, writes our US correspondent Brooklyn Phil.

The Locker Room
The Workers Online Sports Awards
Continuing a tradition that dates back to the Twentieth Century, Phil Doyle dishes out the gongs for all things great and small in the world of sport during 2004.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favoutrite MP looks for a positive spin on the year at NSW Parliament

E D I T O R I A L

Beyond The Law
Despite the all-engulfing gloom emenating from our political wing right now, 2004 comes to an end on a strangely upbeat note for the trade union movement.

N E W S

 Unions Make Hardie Pay

 Hadgkiss Gives Mourners Grief

 Mum Gets "Hopson’s" Choice

 AWAs Crash on Broken Hill

 No Fun in the Sack

 Tax Office Draws Blood

 Origin Prop a Union Hit

 Good Guy Wears Black

 Security Crisis at Sydney Airport

 Biscuit Bosses Crumble

 Ardmona Urged to Can Racism

 Bomber Predicts Big Bang

 Stolen Wages Cut

 Tomorrow the World…

 Bosses Sack WorkCover

 Activists What's On!

L E T T E R S
 Costa’s Hike Unfare
 Temporary Arrangements
 The Price Of Tea In China
 Goodthink
 Cry For Me, Argentina
 Ho Bloody Ho
 Amen
 Right Is Wrong
 Business As Usual
 All In The Family
 Swing Left Wishful Thinking
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Predictions

The Crystal Ball


Workers Online consults a raft of leading psychics to find out what readers can look forward to in 2005.
 

John Robertson, Secretary, Labor Council of NSW
- Parramatta to win NRL.
- John Howard to retire by end of 2005 to be replaced by the Mad Monk.
- Trains run on time (at least once).

Alison Peters , Deputy Assistant Secretary, Labor Council of NSW
The trade union movement will continue to prosper in 2005 and will still be around in 2006.

Chris Christodoulou, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Labor Council of NSW
The secure employment test case will never end, providing the lawyers, the Bench, and myself with perpetual job security.

Matt Thistlethwaite, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Labor Council of NSW
One day in 2005 all three lifts will all work at once!

Mary Yaager, OHS Safety Officer, Labor Council of NSW
Fashion in 2005 will see the Poncho make a comeback. It's going to be huge!

Alisha Hughes, Labour Council of NSW
I will never hear the word Electrolux again.

Glen Hugo, Labor Council of NSW
The renovated Trades Hall building will not be ready until 2006.

Joe Hildebrand, Work and Family Reporter, The Daily Telegraph
Kevin Andrews' wife will die of boredom.

Lisa Matthews, Editor, Workforce NSW
Parties to the NSW Labor Council secure employment test case will settle some issues prior to the Full Bench handing down its decision. For instance, casual conversion could be written into awards after 12 months rather than six, and longer or not at all in seasonal industries. Parties would be less likely to settle on core issues such as the obligation to consult with unions before contracting out, and using permanent employees instead of casuals where possible.

David Vincent, Editor, Workplace Express
John Howard will become a life member of the CFMEU Forestry Division and embrace No Ticket No Start.

Peter Lewis, Editor, Workers Online
- Wiggles to lead mass rallies against Howard Industrial laws, as they will be the only one's left to look after the kiddies.
- Final stage of Trades Hall refurbishment to be completed via a working bee of affiliates.
- ALP to embrace Workers Online's radical plan to choose leader via reality TV program, Australian Leader

Phil Doyle, OHS Kingpin, Sports Reporter, and News Journalist, Workers Online
- After July 1 the Federal government will introduce the 'Not Nailed Down Act'. Under the provisions of which the government will privatise air. With the contract for providing air going to the Hardie corporation the deaths from asphyxiation will be enormous. A smirking Peter Costello will say that this can only be expected if people don't make personal provision for the cost of air, Alexander Downer will say that in the US people have been deprived of oxygen for years and you wouldn't notice, while Dear Leader Howard will look concerned and say that no one told him you needed air to breathe.
- Cigs, Beer Set To Rise, this will be followed by a south-westerly change for Tuesday.
- Adelaide race 4, number 3

Jim Marr, News Editor and loveable rogue, Workers Online
- Adelaide Race 4, No 8, you fool
- George Bush to insist on WTO support for pyramid interrogation scheme.
- Federal Labor to deliver on its hysterical mission.

Tara de Boehmler (aka Office Mystic), Graphics and Culture Editor, Workers Online
Warning these predictions contain spoilers:
- Conniving reality tv show contestants Chip and Kim will win The Amazing Race and donate the $1million booty to help build a solar energy plant in the Sahara Desert.
- Workers Online will win union website of the year when loyal readers swamp LaborStart with votes after clicking here.
- A fatal attraction between two media megaweights will be resolved with a surprisingly pleasant yet platonic hug, allowing bygones to be bygones and enabling bitter lemons to be cast aside.
- The surviving EMC gold fish will continue to lead happy and fulfilling lives and the patter of tiny fins in the New Year will bring them unsurmountable joy.
- All will be well in the world.

Tim Brunero, Journalist and Vegan Vigilante, Workers Online
- Capitalism will fall and John Dawkins will become supreme leader. He will hand down more and more exciting budgets every year until his death from choking in 2030. HECS laden students everywhere will rejoice.
- Michael Costa will become Premier and be immediately embroiled in controversy for allowing himself to be depicted giving the one finger salute on his Parliamentary web page. He will resign to take up a position at Sydney University as a researcher for Richard Basham.
- Privatisation will continue. The contract for the Australian Armed Forces will be given to a shadowy group from the Solomon Islands after stiff competition from South African outfit Sandline International.

David Peetz, Resident Bard, Workers Online
- George Bush won't invade another country.
- John Howard will always speak the truth.
- Refugees will be treated with respect and humanity.
- Scientists will announce they have successfully implanted bird genes in pigs to create... (see graphic above)


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