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in the latest issue of Workers Online...
E D I T O R I A L

Home Ground Advantage
American pollster Vic Fingerhut has been in Australia this week with a reassuring message to the labour movement - it's OK to stand up for what you believe in - and it might even win you elections.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Battle Stations
Opposition leader Kim Beazley says he's ready to fight for workers right. But come July 1, he'll have to be fighting by different rules.

Unions: The Workers, United
It was a group of rank and filers who took centre stage when workers rallied in Sydney's Town Hall, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: The Lost Weekend
The ALP had a hot date, they had arranged to meet on the Town Hall steps, and Phil Doyle was there.

Industrial: Truth or Dare
Seventeen ivory towered academics upset those who know what is best for us last week.

History: A Class Act
After reading a new book on class in Australia, Neale Towart is left wondering if it is possible to tie the term down.

Economics: The Numbers Game
Political economist Frank Stilwell offers a beginners guide to understanding budgets

International: Blonde Ambition
Sweden can be an inspiration to labour movements the world over, as it has had community unionism for over 100 years, creating a vibrant caring society, rather than a "productive" lean economy.

Training: The Trade Off
Next time you go looking for a skilled tradesman and can’t find one, blame an economist, writes John Sutton.

Review: Bore of the Worlds
An invincible enemy has people turning against one another as they fight for survival – its not just an eerie view of John Howard’s ideal workplace, writes Nathan Brown.

Poetry: The Beaters Medley
In solidarity with the workers of Australia, Sir Paul McCartney (with inspiration from his old friend John Lennon) has joined the Workers Online resident bard David Peetz to pen some hits about the government's proposed industrial relations revolution.

N E W S

 PM Rallies on Spin

 Crafty Boss Bytes Staff

 Andrews Faces "Thuggery" Challenge

 Delta Blues

 NRL Plays Man Not Ball

 Boeing Hits Turbulence

 Whole Truth Eludes Rev Kev

 Correct Weight Caulfield

 Business Nervous Over IR Changes

 Last Weekend Gets a Lift

 Free Pass for Death Doctors

 Activists Whats On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson lifts the lid on ‘The Nine Myths of Modern Unionism’

The Locker Room
Wrist Action
Phil Doyle trawls the murky depths of tawdry sleaze, and discovers Rugby is behind it all.

Culture
To Hew The Coal That Lies Below
Phil Doyle reviews Australia's first coal mining novel, Black Diamonds and Dust.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite State MP, Ian West, reports from Macquarie Street that the Premier is all the way with a State Commission.

L E T T E R S
 Do It Yourself?
 Goodthink
 The vision thing
 True Lies
 You C.A.N. Do It
 Water Works
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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About Workers Online

Workers Online is the official journal of LaborNet, a union portal sponsored by the Labor Council of NSW in partnership with Social Change Online.

The brief of Workers Online is to promote debate within the trade union movement, provide a platform for union stories and act as a counter-balance to the mainstream media's coverage of workplace issues.

Workers Online is recognised as a world-leader in union communications, joint winner of the ACTU website of the year award in 2000 and runner-up in the Labourstart international website of the year for 2001. It is posted online every Friday and is emailed to about 5,000 subscribers across the globe.

View our Editorial Policy.

The Workers Online team:

Workers Online by a team of trade union journalists backed by an extensive network of contributors from across the labour movement.

Editor: Peter Lewis

Peter first worked in Sussex Street as a pre-pubescent office boy for his father's trade union, the old PSPOA. He covered industrial relations with the Daily Telegraph and AAP before crossing the great divide and teaming up with NSW IR Minister Jeff Shaw in the mid-1990s.

He joined the Labor Council is 1998 and established Workers Online one year later.

Contact Peter at: [email protected]

The Happy Band of Workers!
The Workers Team (l-r): Mark McGrath (inset), Neale Towart, Peter Lewis, Jim Marr, Tara de Boehmler, Paul Howes, Andrew Casey.

News Editor: Jim Marr

Jim joins us with a background in journalism and trade unionism on both sides of the Tasman. After seven years as a trade union organiser in a previous lifetime, he worked for a number of New Zealand newspapers, including the Auckland and Sunday Stars,then movedinto TV script writing. Rugby League Week occupied six years, first as NZ Editor then as a Sydney-based senior writer, before he returned to trade unionism, through the CPSU, in 2000.

Contact Jim at:[email protected]

International Editor: Andrew Casey

Andrew has been working around newspapers, the media and working in PR for unions and the ALP for nearly 25 years. Do you think this describes him as an old dog? "The Case" started off at the SMH where he worked for years as an industrial reporter, as well as having a wonderful stint in London and Europe for the Fairfax media (one Sydney ultra-leftie Trot rag described him as a yellow capitalist running dog Fairfax journo, during his period in London!). For several years he worked at the ACTU when Simon Crean and Martin Ferguson were, in turn, ACTU President. Now he's working back in Sydney in the national office of the LHMU as a media officer, and on the side enjoying the bullsh*t title of Senior Asia-Pacific correspondent for the international union website LabourStart.

Contact Andrew at: [email protected]

History Editor: Neale Towart

It is believed that Neale is carefully preserved in the basement of the Labor Council Building, as close as possible to the venerable pile that is the Trades Hall Building. Neale rummages amongst the dusty archives and signs of life emerge once a week in the form of Neale's treatises on Labour History. So far no bodies have appeared but with Trades Hall due for renovation this might be the year. Neale is also rumoured to be the answers man behind Ask Neale.

Cultural Editor: Tara de Bohlmier

Aside from reviewing all things cultural for Workers Online, Tara de Boehmler is a communications consultant with a sound knowledge of the media industry and a successful track record as a working journalist. The former editor of popular labour industry publication Workforce NSW has applied her skills to a number of union clients, including the NSW/ACT Independent Education Union, The Australian Education Union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, and the Labor Council of NSW's OHS unit. Tara writes content for union websites, journals, and newsletters, and provides a range of media services. Tara has also worked as a journalist and editor of publications in the environmental, renewable energy and privacy industries. She is currently completing a masters in Environmental Management at the University of NSW.

Contact Tara at: [email protected]

Web Manager Mark McGrath

Mark has been the Union Projects Manager at Social Change Online for the last 5 years and has coordinated the website development of Workers Online and most of the other LaborNET sites during this time. He also guest reports for Workers on web technology for unions. But Mark is no geek and actually has a colorful past...in 1996 Mark discovered the web as an ALP candidate in that year's Federal Election, being the first Australian candidate to go online with a campaign website. Even more colorful was his career on the turf as a Handicapper for the Australian Jockey Club where he managed to get himself into all sorts of strife leading industrial campaigns for workplace reform in the racing industry.

Contact Mark at: [email protected]



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