The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
September 2005   

Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws wonít be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timorís young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.


The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.


Middle Australia
The Prime Minister rarely responds directly to criticism, so when he rushed out a media release rebutting an ACIRRT analysis of wages data this week, it was clear that they had a hit a raw nerve.


 Trucks Run Down Mums

 Boom! Biff! Itís Howard Unplugged

 Fun Guy Spreads Fertiliser

 Doors Close on Battered Mums

 Bing Lee Peddles Rubbish

 Bless This Bus

 High Court: Ads Do Kremlin Proud

 Families Water Win

 Tesltra Cuts Get Poor Reception

 Vegetable Campaign Sprouts

 Check Work/Family Balance Here

 Tim Wins For Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA

 Activists Whatís On!

 Care Confusion
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees



On The Bus

A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.


Driving down King Street we were being stared at. Sydneysiders rushing to get home paused to look at us. When you're in a bright orange bus you're bound to attract attention.

We had just returned from the Unions NSW tour of the South Coast. The mission was to get the message out about the upcoming attack on workers' rights and to hear from people in their communities about their fears for the future under the changes.

The bus left Unions NSW headquarters on Monday morning, first heading down to Wollongong University, then down the coast to Merimbula and then back up through inland cities Cooma, Queanbeyan and Goulburn. Along the way the way we visited worksites and held public meetings to discuss the changes.

The people we met were as diverse as the land we travelled through. Teachers, nurses, retirees, casual workers, council workers, dock workers and warehouse workers were some of the people that had turned up to meetings.

"I'm not comfortable sitting in the managers office discussing what I'm worth," nurse Dianne Lang told people gathered at Merimbula Bowling Club. "I've never been politically motivated, but I am now."

At Batemans Bay, retired dockworker Keith Simmons reminded people that the rights we take for granted were fought for by people like his father. He had grown up in the days before annual leave; his father was not able to holiday with his family. He knew first hand the importance of unions.

In Cooma, former business owner Ian Robertson spoke on how the proposed laws would make things more difficult for small business. He said bosses who tried to do the right thing by their workers would be undercut by less scrupulous operators, forcing them to follow suit or get out of business.

The feeling from everyone who spoke and attended meetings was that they had not voted for the changes. In electorates dominated by conservatives, people wanted to know why their representatives were pushing ahead with reforms that weren't even mentioned before they went to the ballot boxes.

Unfortunately, no Coalition members turned up to the meetings, despite being invited; prior engagements was the main reason given.

Unions NSW Secretary John Robertson told people to stand firm and continue to take their concerns to their MPs. Speaking at Merimbula, in the electorate of Eden-Monaro he said: "[Liberal member] Gary Nairn will wave goodbye to us from behind the Venetians when we leave but you're here and he can't ignore you."

And that was the message given out at all meetings. If people are to beat these changes, they have to let their politicians know. "That can only happen when people like you stand up to be counted," Robertson said.

The people are starting to stand up.


email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online