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April 2006   

Interview: Head On
John Buchanan has been warning that WorkChoices would be a car crash. Now he surveys the damage.

Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
CFMEU Mining national secretary Tony Maher lets fly at the new industrial laws.

Industrial: Vital Signs
In his new book, Craig Emerson argues that destroying unionism will not be in Australia's long term interests.

Economics: Taxing Times
Frank Stilwell argues that there are progressive alternatives to the slash and burn approach to tax reform.

Environment: It Ain’t Necessarily So
Don't let anyone tell you that jobs and the environment are opposities, argues Neale Towart.

History: Melbourne’s Hours
Neale Towart reluctantly pays homage to Victoria's celebration of the eight hour day.

Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
John Howard is deciding more and more foreign workers should come into this country - without the rights of citizenship, writes John Sutton,

Review: Pollie Fiction
For someone barely 25 years Sarah Doyle has an enviable track record in theatre behind her.

Poetry: The Cabal
Poetry returns to Workers Online with this rollicking ode to employer power.


Democracy in Action
Former NSW Premier Neville Wran's speech to commemorate 150 years of responsible government.

The Westie Wing
There has been activity aplenty in the NSW Parliament this month, reports Ian West.

The Soapbox
From Chaver to Cobber
John Robertson, Unions NSW Secretary, hosting Passover at Sydney Trades Hall discovers the first comrades followed a bloke called Moses.

Postcard from New Orleans
Mark Brenner surveys the long-term impact of Hurricane Katrina on the regions workers.

The Locker Room
My Country Right Or In Lane Five
Phil Doyle observes the golden shower at the recent Commonwealth Games, and asks what it means for the last great unpredictable drama.

Vale Bill Hartley
Unlike some of his comrades, Bill Hartley never departed from his position as a radical nor did he die rich in assets, writes Bob Scates.


The Cowra Clause
The plight of the Cowra meatworkers is a fitting illustration of the way the new industrial laws will fundamentally shift the balance of relations in the Australian workplace.


 Abattoir Boss Slaughters Andrews

 More Slaughter in South Australia

 Pickets Won't Face Cannon

 Teens Win Thousands

 Praise the Laws

 Where The Bloody Hell Is Our Contract?

 Building Crusade Raids Pockets

 Workers Shows Its Hand

 It's All Yellow, Mine Barons

 Lismore Nine Breaks Ranks

 Uber Bosses Clean Up

 Howard's Skills Solution: Sack Apprentices

 Spineless Companies Block Safety

 Boxall in Sickie Backflip

 Activist's What's On!

 Crap TV
 Social Action
 French revolution
 Fan Mail
 Belly Spreads The Word
 All Out!
 Lying Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
 Help Wanted
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Vale Bill Hartley

Unlike some of his comrades, Bill Hartley never departed from his position as a radical nor did he die rich in assets, writes Bob Scates.

William Henry (Bill) Hartley - 26 October1930- 18 February 2006

When I joined the Victorian branch of the Labor Party as a teenager, Bill Hartley was the paid secretary and a legendary hard man of the left. A protégé of Joe Chamberlain the powerful WA Labor figure, Bill came to Victoria with the blessing of his former state comrades.

Unlike some of his comrades, Bill never departed from his position as a radical nor did he die rich in assets. The year 1970 was a tumultuous one in Melbourne with the so called Hartley/Crawford Victorian Central Executive (VCE) being sacked by the Federal Executive of the ALP. By the end of December a new faction existed, then known as the Combined Unions and Socialist Left. The 2006 SL faction is the second largest in Victoria and has boasted a Victorian Premier (Joan Kirner) and a Deputy Prime Minister (Brian Howe) as high profile members.

The early 1970s saw some of the largest anti-war marches in Melbourne, especially the first Vietnam Moratorium supported strongly by the soon to be sacked VCE playing a vital role within the Labor Party.

Bill was one of the reasons I drifted into the Left as well as my friendships with comrades like Bob Hogg and Kevin Healy. The support of the Vietnam Moratorium movement by the Left controlled Victorian branch of the ALP made my factional choice easy.

Hartley by 1971 had no paid employment bar a few days as a "typist" with the Meatworkers Union. During one of the anti- Springbok Rugby demonstration he was assaulted by Victoria Police and hospitalised.

Although one of Gough Whitlam's factional opponents, Bill had a working relationship with the Parliamentary Leader by 1977 and opposed challenges by Lionel Bowen and later Bill Hayden. In later years, a canine friend to Bill was named "Whitlam" and became a constant companion. Whitlam was with Bill Hartley in WA on the night of his master's death and will live out his remaining days in Geraldton. The Hartley/Hawke relationship could be best described as one of mutual loathing. In 1986 Bob Hawke engineered Bill's expulsion from the Victorian ALP.

Unlike Jack Lang in his twilight years, Bill was never forgiven by the Hawke forces. His position on Palestine was sufficient to make him a pariah in the eyes of much of the Labor Unity faction.

Bill was never a hater but a contributor of energy and innovation to groups as diverse as community radio and the Epilepsy Foundation.

A memorial service was held on March 9th at the Victorian Trades Hall. One of Bills' long term comrades, George Crawford, spoke of the fight within the Victorian Labor Party and the campaign against Australia's involvement in Vietnam


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