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Year End 2005   

Interview: Back to the Future
James Gallaway collars Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, on threats, challenges and opportunities.

Unions: A Real Page Turner
Jim Marr glances through Workers Online’s 2005 news stories and finds there is more one way to skin a Rat

Industrial: The Pin-Striped Union
Rachael Osman-Chin profiles a white collar union that is having some almighty blues.

International: Around The World In 365 Days
It was a year of online activism, as LabourStart's Eric Lee reports

Legends: Terrific, Tommy
Jim Marr tackles a champion.

Your Rights At Work: Worth Fighting For
The Your Rights At Work campaign has been a big part of this year and, as Phil Doyle reports, it is making a difference.

Politics: The Year That Was
Frank Stillwell looks at year that saw the politics of fear; and finds many reasons to be very afraid.

Economics: Master and Servant Revisited
Evan Jones asks if the Neo Liberals are taking us back to the future

Culture: 2005: The Year of Living Repetitively
Nathan Brown ignores Oasis and decides to look back in anger after all

Bad Boss: The Bottom Ten
Nathan Brown digs through his voluminous dirt files and comes up with the top 10 grubs of the year.

Religion: Hymns from a Different Song Sheet
James Gallaway on the Way, the Truth and life according to Brian.


The Crystal Ball
Workers Online consults a raft of leading psychics to find out what readers can look forward to in 2006.

The Soapbox
The Things People Say
It was a year of quotable quotes, reports Phil Doyle.

The Westie Wing
Ian West checks the rear vision mirror on 2005, and plants his foot down

The Locker Room
The 2005 Workers Online Sports Awards
After years of being overlooked by selectors at club, representative and national levels, Phil Doyle and Jim Marr, agreed to hand out our 2005 sports gongs.

Postcard from East Timor
In East Timor entertainment also spreads an important message into the community


Waves of Destruction
2005 was the year book-ended by two waves of destruction - the first causing untold suffering across the Indian Ocean; the second reawakening our darker angels on beaches closer to home.


 Melbourne Burns AWAs

 Corporates Defend Costello

 Speaker Won't Talk

 Bank Pays on Dodgy Contracts

 Plan to Save Jobs

 Harper's Bizarre Excuse for Failure

 It's Not Fair: Business

 Workers Walk As Warnings Wiped

 Teenager Hit With Shrapnel

 Pay Day “Unlawful”

 Tassie Rail Win

 Professionals Fear for Their Kids

 Boss Pings Rorters Charter

 New Ways to Take a Share

 An Hour of Need

 Boeing Steals Christmas

 Trouble at the Mill

 Activists What's On

 Pension Pinching
 Free to Rat
 Tax Cuts and Cockroaches
 Proportion, Not Distortion
 Corp That!
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The Westie Wing

Ian West checks the rear vision mirror on 2005, and plants his foot down

This year promised to be challenging for the progressive side of politics - and it delivered in spades.

From the moment Howard emitted that weird maniacal chuckle after the Federal election and lied about using his newfound powers responsibly - we knew he had something pretty special in store for unions, workers, people on welfare, Medicare, Telstra, students, the environment, social spending and tax cuts for his mates.

And then he found a bit more - Sedition, Terrorism - presenting the new Australia to an International audience. Australia truly is a different country today than it was just a year ago, let alone 10 years.

But in all of this year's mayhem there are things to be thankful for, and the Labour movement can hold its head up high. Unions NSW affiliates have shown everyone they have evolved into a dynamic and relevant force in the 21st century.

The Iemma/Watkins Government, as with other Labor Governments across the land, has said from the start it will stand shoulder to shoulder with workers to see off these laws, and the Howard Government.

In 2006, the Iemma/Watkins Government will argue the Howard Government has exceeded its Constitutional reach.

At the same time, the Iemma/Watkins Government has received advice that about half the NSW public sector isn't covered by WorkChoices, unless the Coalition gains power in the State. And it has indicated it is looking to protect the remainder of the workforce from the zealotry of the conservatives.

I believe the highlight of 2005 was the industrial and political wings of the labour movement working together to produce the James Hardie Acts. To me, this is real Labor legislation.

The Federal ALP needs to step on the accelerator in 2006.

It's criminal and offensive to bribe people with tax cuts whilst watching over the decline of public services and infrastructure and an increasing number in our community wander the streets in need of food, clothing, shelter, care and support.

It's not Labor's game. The ALP exists to present a human alternative, not a bidding war with people who don't believe in the community.

In 2006, we can keep up the pressure by continuing to work together and highlight and expose the selfish agenda of the Conservatives.

To all those who are having a break over the New Year, enjoy it, you've earned it. I'm closing the office over January, but I look forward to building on the successes of 2005, and to working with each other through 2006.

If you require assistance accessing information from a NSW Government Department or a Minister, or have feedback and ideas for speeches, or if you believe you know an issue that should be looked at by one of the Parliamentary committees, contact me at Parliament House on (02) 9230 2052 or email [email protected].


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