Sack Howard not Barry

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					                          The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                           October 18
                                                                                                                                                                2006
                                                                                                                                                                   $1.50

                                                                                                             The Workers’ Weekly                             # 1295
                        COMMUNIST PARTY OF AUSTRALIA                                                                                                           ISSN 1325-295X




“Sack Howard not Barry”
Community action hits Botany Cranes
Members of the community rallied outside
Botany Cranes on Monday October 16 in
support of sacked CFMEU delegate Barry
Hemsworth. Over 350 people blockaded Botany
Cranes and demanded Barry’s reinstatement
with chants of “Give Barry back his job” and
“Sack Howard not Barry”. This community
response to the injustice of the WorkChoices
legislation signals a powerful new development
in the struggle of working people against
Howard Government reaction.
     The Union Solidarity Group, based large-
ly in Victoria, has undertaken many successful
community actions in that state but the Botany
Cranes blockade was the first development
along these lines in NSW. It is a positive and
exiting new phase of the struggle. It is a tac-
tic that is spreading and one that is becoming
a necessity in efforts to defeat the growing at-
tacks of employers utilising WorkChoices to
erode the conditions of workers and boost their
profits.
     Various community groupings, students,
members of trade unions and local workforces
were present at the blockade. The enthusiasm
of the participants was clearly visible as the
recognition set in that people within the com-
munity can control the actions of these rogue
employers via their unity and resolve to act in
opposition to attacks on workers.
     The growing movement of Your Rights at
Work Committees and the nature of the new
IR laws will ensure that activity of this nature
will continue and expand. There are over 40
Your Rights at Work Committees in NSW at
this stage and growing numbers all around the
country. The union movement has recognised
that it is an integral part of the community and

                                                                                                                                                                                Photo: Bob Briton
does not stand outside the sphere of commu-
nity action
     Many community members have realised
that without trade unions the chances of main-
taining wages and working conditions will be
virtually nil. This dual process will see sig-
nificant and constructive developments in the
campaign to get rid of the Howard Government
                                                   interrogations with jail terms of six months if
                                                   a worker refused to reveal the discussions that            Many community        STOP PRESS:
and its reactionary agenda.
     The criminalisation of working people
                                                   had taken place within the union meeting.
                                                       This outrageous assault on basic rights          members have realised       As The Guardian is about to go to the
in struggle has brought a broader communi-         such as the right to silence and the right to pro-
ty understanding that workplace struggles are      tections against unjust and unfair sackings are           that without trade     printers on Tuesday 17 it has been
now part of a much wider fight for democratic      reasons the broader community are becoming                                       informed that the picket at Botany
rights that have an affect upon the lives of all   outraged and activated into support for workers       unions the chances of      Cranes, which had an even greater
Australians.                                       in struggle. Industrial battles are now battles
     At Botany Cranes for example, if the work-
force dared to hold meetings about Barry’s
                                                   for democratic and basic human rights.
                                                       The community campaign to keep Barry
                                                                                                        maintaining wages and       attendance than the previous day,
                                                                                                                                    has been violently attacked by the
unjust sacking they would be liable to fines
of $22,000 each. The workforce would also
                                                   in his job does not look like ending in the near
                                                   future and this optimistic and encouraging ap-
                                                                                                        working conditions will     NSW Police. There will be an update
be subjected to intimidation and harassment
by the building industry taskforce (ABCC)
                                                   proach to fighting under the new Howard laws
                                                   will no doubt spread and this should be encour-
                                                                                                                be virtually nil.   on this incident and further actions at
which could force each and every worker into       aged and supported. J                                                            the picket in next week’s paper.




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                                                                                                                              ACTU
            Free                                                                                                           Congress
                                                                                          Bush protects
        the Five!                                                                          CIA terrorist                      2006
2                                                                                                                                                                                            The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                              October 18    2006




    Issue 1295
                 The Guardian
                                                October 18, 2006
                                                                      Free The Five,
           Use all forms of activity
        and struggle to defeat Howard
                                                                      Extradite Posada!
                                                                      John Heywood                                   sation of thousands of activists who            very well known terrorists like Luis
    The possibility of defeating the Howard Government in next                                                       are currently campaigning for the               Posada Carriles, and sent to jail
year’s Federal election is beginning to emerge more clearly.          By now most Guardian readers                   release of the Cuban 5 and the ex-              these five heroes…
There is an air of confidence developing in the labour movement       would be aware of the unjust                   tradition of Luis Posada Carriles.                  “That is why we call on all
although the possibility of Howard staging some “terrorist” act       incarceration of five Cuban men                This campaign is not limited to the             workers, men and women, and or-
or once against attempting to play the race card or some other        in the United States. Being held               Americas. In Australia the Australia            ganisations that fight for justice and
populist trick cannot be underestimated.                              in separate prisons around the                 Cuban Friendship Society has been               truth to raise their voices and de-
                                                                      US on bogus “national security”                working hard to make people aware               mand the immediate liberation of
    Significant divisions have appeared in the Howard regime          charges, Gerardo Hernández,                    of the situation through various soli-          these Five Cuban Heroes ...”
and he has been forced to retreat on a number of issues al-           Ramón Labañino, Antonio                        darity actions and events.                          The Australia Cuban Friendship
though neither the dissidents in the ranks of the Liberal Party       Guerrero, Fernando González                         As recently as last Thursday               Society along with the Communist
nor opponents in the National Party are prepared to push their        and René González were falsely                 in Adelaide the South Australian                Party of Australia call for the im-
opposition to its logical conclusion.                                 convicted of espionage against the             Branch of the ACFS, supported                   mediate release and pardon of the
    But these are not the main factors which could defeat             US government. These men were                  by members of the Communist                     Cuban Five and the extradition of
Howard and his team of ultra-conservatives and right-wingers.         in fact acting to prevent attacks              Party of Australia, held a protest              known terrorist Luis Posada Carriles
    Clearly one of the main factors is that opposition to the         on their homeland of Cuba by                   against the Five’s unjust incarcer-             to Venezuela to face charges relating
government’s IR legislation is continuing to build and with it        monitoring Miami-based terrorist               ation on the steps of parliament                to the bombing of Cuban Airlines
actions. The ACTU has already planned mass actions across             groups which have been operating               house. Displaying a large banner                flight 455. (See page 6)
Australia on November 30 and again in April of next year.             in the area for around 40 years.               and placards showing the faces of               Keep reading The Guardian
    The opposition is also reflected in the upsurge in the forma-     Their actions were not directed in             the Five, the participants handed               to find out about upcoming
                                                                      any way at the US Government and               out leaflets to passing commuters               solidarity actions in your area.
tion of Your Rights at Work committees which are attracting
                                                                      have harmed no-one.                            heading to the nearby train station             Anyone wishing to see US
widespread community support and participation. In NSW                    In a prison further south in the           after work.                                     Government documents relating
alone, over 40 of these committees have been formed. In Victoria      state of Texas sits Venezuelan cit-                 Once the leaflets were distrib-            to the bombing of Cuban
there is widespread involvement of Union Solidarity commit-           izen and former CIA agent Luis                 uted one member of the group read               Airlines Flight 455 and details of
tees. This trade union-community alliance was the basis for the       Posada Carriles. Posada, along                 a message from Cuban Trade Union                Luis Posada’s record of terrorism
victory of the MUA in its struggle with Patrick Stevedores and        with Orlando Bosch carried out                 leader Gilda Chacon-Bravo through               can access them via the National
the Howard Government in 1998.                                        the bombing of a Cuban airliner in             a loudspeaker. The message pointed              Security Archive located at:
    Australia’s own history shows the importance of the involve-      1976, killing all 73 people on board,          out the humiliating, harsh conditions           www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/
ment of hundreds of thousands of workers and community                many of the victims were just teen-            endured by the five who are impris-             NSAEBB/NSAEBB202/index.htm
members. It was the sustained demonstrations and meetings             agers.                                         oned in different penitentiaries in             Other websites worth checking
and many other forms of activity that forced the withdrawal of            This crime has gone unpun-                 the US. They have been denied vis-              out are:
Australian troops from Vietnam in the 1960s and ’70s. It was          ished to this day and Posada will              its from their families for over seven          National Committee to Free the
the mass movements in 1951 that resulted in the defeat of the         walk away from prison, where he is             years:                                          Cuban Five - www.freethefive.org
                                                                      serving time on immigration charg-                  “All of this shows us the dual             Communist Party of
referendum by which the Menzies Government attempted to               es, with the tacit support of the US           moral standard that characterises               Australia (SA) blog -
make illegal the Communist Party during the Cold War. During          Government who have refused to                 the so-called war on terror war of              www.cpasa.blogspot.com
WW I, it was the active anti-conscription movement that led to        order his extradition to Venezuela to          the USA. Instead of taking action               This blog features links to video
the defeat of the attempt by Billy Hughes to introduce conscrip-      face terrorism charges.                        against these [Miami-based] groups,             on the Cuban Airline bombing
tion for military service at that time.                                   It is this unjust and hypocritical         the US Administration lodged and                and Cuban Five Solidarity
    The present movement against the IR legislation should            situation that has led to the mobili-          protected on their own territory                actions. J
be supported and encouraged by all trade union leaders and
by the Labor Party if the best chance to defeat the Howard

                                                                      Meet the CPA
Government is to be seized.
    There are some who would limit the campaign to the win-                                                                        It is with sadness that The Guardian reports
ning of votes in marginal seats but this is not enough and it is                                                                   the recent passing away of two comrades in
not the main form of struggle to defeat the IR legislation. Of
course if the Howard Government is to be defeated it will be by       in Brisbane                                                  Sydney. John McCusker was a well known
                                                                                                                                   activist and member of the Blacktown Branch
votes cast at election time. But activity should not be limited to    Brisbane Branch of the Communist Party                       of the CPA. Tom Gill was a veteran communist
the parliamentary sphere. The Communist Party supports the            is working to make the Communist Party
marginal seats campaign but believes that the public activity on                                                                   and member of the Sydney Central Branch. The
                                                                      more visible and The Guardian more                           Guardian will publish obituaries in appreciation
the streets, at meetings in all sorts of rallies and other forms of   accessible in that city. Stalls are being
creative activity are fundamental.                                    organised in the Queen St Mall. The first                    of their lives in coming issues.
    Let’s use ALL forms of activity and not limit ourselves to        was successful with many people coming
just one form.                                                        forward to discuss the Party with the
    Having achieved the defeat of the Howard Government               members on the stall.
and the “ripping up” of the IR legislation as promised by Kim                                                                      Thankyou
                                                                      The next stalls are scheduled for:
Beazley, the question arises: What is to replace the Howard                                                                        The Guardian staff would like to thank readers
Government’s laws?                                                    • Saturday October 28
                                                                                                                                   for their patience over the past three weeks
    This question is now under discussion within the trade union      • Saturday November 4                                        when the number of pages was reduced to
movement. The ACTU has published a document which sets out
six principles. They are: the right to representation; to bargain     • Saturday November 18                                       eight. The Editor is back in her chair following
in good faith; to a democratic voice in the workplace; to legisla-                                                                 the death of her father Tom Gill, and comrades
                                                                      From 11.00 am till 1pm                                       who were sick are on the path to recovery. Next
tion covering a wide scope of issues; the removal of restrictions     Queen St Mall
on the right to strike; and access to arbitration as a last resort.   between the Wintergarden and David Jones.                    week, all going well, we should be back to 12
    The Communist Party is also discussing new legislation. A                                                                      pages. Thanks also to everyone who came to
leaflet being prepared says that “a new system of industrial re-      Just look for the bright red CPA T-Shirts.                   our assistance during that difficult period.
lations is badly needed. WorkChoices must be defeated, ripped         We look forward to meeting you! J
up and replaced. But with what?”
    There is no space in this editorial to even outline some fun-
damental principles but it is very timely that this matter should      Penrith Community Meeting
be publicly discussed by the whole labour movement so that a
new government will not just “rip up” WorkChoices but will
also replace it with a new system that is acceptable to the trade      IR LAWS USED TO FINE INDIVIDUAL WORKERS
unions and the activists who will defeat Howard.
                                                                       In August, 107 building workers faced court for allegedly taking industrial action after two years of safety disputes where the builder
                                                                       repeatedly cut corners with safety and demanded excessive of hours of work. A union safety audit uncovered 80 breaches of safety
                          PRESS FUND                                   laws, but nothing was done. Now the workers faced with fines of up to $28,600 and possible jail sentences. Building workers in
Like the advent of summer (now appearing in early spring), the         Australia also have no right to take industrial action, no right to silence and are subject to secret police investigations.
Christmas junk mail is coming to your letter box very soon, if not
already. There are now only nine more editions of The Guardian         This is not life in a foreign dictatorship, but the daily life of Australian building workers in John Howard’s Australia.
before the Christmas break, and the Press Fund needs a big
boost. What about it! This week we offer our sincere thanks to the     Tuesday 31 October 6:30pm
following supporters, who contributed for this edition:
From D and T, in memory of Tom Gill $100
                                                                       Q Theatre (Joan Sutherland Centre) 597 High Street, Penrith
                                                                       Speakers:
From Mark and “Round Figure”, for Tom Gill,
friend and comrade $100                                                Mal Peters (one of the workers facing a fine); John Robertson (Unions NSW) Cameron Murphy (NSW Council for Civil Liberties);
                                                                       Ann Wansbrough (Uniting Church); Tim Vollmer (CFMEU)
Bert Appleton $40, Jim Doyle $100, Phyllis Johnson $20, J R $40
This week’s total: $400 Progressive total: $7690                       www.cfmeu-construction-nsw.com/tafightfor107.htm
The Guardian
October 18   2006                                                                                                                                                                                        3



Work skills vouchers and
Howard’s privatisation agenda
Bob Briton                                decade. The average across other         in a non-election year in response
                                          developed countries has been a real      to the pressure being applied by the
The Howard Government is far less         increase of more than 30 per cent”,      Federal Opposition. The PM previ-
concerned about Australia’s skills        Roe said.                                ously appeared to be happy to rely
shortage and education standards              Under-funding has meant that         on the 457 visa and skilled migra-
than it is about advancing its            TAFE has had to turn away over           tion programs to make up the skills
privatisation agenda. Last week’s         40,000 students a year at the same       shortfall. “The Howard Government
announcement of a work skills             time that employers have been            has increased skilled migration by
voucher scheme to come into effect        screaming about the lack of skilled      270,000 since 1996 but has turned
from January 1 next year is another       workers. Australian Education            away 300,000 Australians from
attack on the TAFE system and the         Union TAFE President Linda               TAFE”, Labor leader Kim Beazley
first step towards the longer term        Simon has welcomed the Howard            observed.
goal of providing vouchers for all        Government’s acknowledgement                 The government package al-
levels of education.                      of the skills crisis but added that,     lows Howard & Co to appear to
     The ultimate winners will be
private course providers, private
schools and universities, including        Under-funding has meant that TAFE has had to
the overseas-based institutions that
will be attracted by the lucrative          turn away over 40,000 students a year at the
market created by the government’s
corporate welfare. The losers will        same time that employers have been screaming
be the majority of Australians who
will not be able to afford the gap                about the lack of skilled workers.
between their voucher for funding-
starved public education and the          if the latest package is intended to     have gazumped Labor who had
exorbitant fees charged by educa-         address the chronic shortage, it is      announced a plan earlier in the
tion incorporated.                        misdirected.                             year to credit $800 per annum in-
     The work skills vouchers will be          “This under-funding is a de-        to individual accounts to pay the
available to applicants over the age      liberate strategy to undermine a         TAFE fees for 60,000 apprentices.
of 25. Decades of neglect by gov-         successful TAFE system, and is           At the same time, it has managed
ernments have resulted in about 3.5       another poorly thought out gov-          to introduce the public to the con-
million Australians aged between 25       ernment measure that includes the        cept of government vouchers to be
and 64 not having year 12 or equiv-       Australian Technical Colleges – a        cashed in for education in the pub-
alent education.                          waste of taxpayers’ money”, Ms           lic and the much-favoured private         The Government’s proposed voucher system is yet
     The “Skills for the Future”          Simon said.                              sector. J                                 another attack on TAFE
scheme will cost $837 million over             Another sign of the pressure be-
five years. Of that, $407 million will    ing placed on the TAFE system was
be spent on the $3,000 vouchers           the recent call by TAFE Directors
which can be used to complete year
12, undertake literacy and numeracy
programs or attend vocational train-
                                          Australia executive director Martin
                                          Riordan to radically revise appren-
                                          tice training programs to cut courses
                                                                                   Public education under attack
ing at TAFE or a private college. It      from the current four years to just      Peter Mac                                 ernment’s extremely conservative        could save $180 million, implying
is a backdoor method of funding the       two years. Short trade diplomas                                                    ideological standards.                  that if any state wanted a separate
private sector at the expense of pub-     are already available to overseas        The Federal Minister for                       There are certainly valid ar-      curriculum it would have to pay for
lic sector TAFE. Money will also be       students.                                Education, Senator Julie Bishop,          guments for consistent national         it, or might even lose all their fund-
available to help applicants take up           Universities have already man-      recently claimed that state public        standards in education. Jane Caro       ing.
apprenticeships mid-career and to         aged to lower their standards with       education institutions had been           and Lyndsay Connors, both deep-              She also referred with obvious
provide extra places in university        Howard Government support by al-         infiltrated by communists,                ly involved in public education in      relish to statements made by Labor
engineering courses.                      lowing entry to 80 undergraduate         who were in effect setting state          NSW, have commented that benefits       leader Kim Beazley as a minister in
     The funds will not have a signif-    courses for full fee-paying students.    education curricula. She even             could include sharing the efforts and   the former Keating Government, in
icant impact on the skills shortage.      The University of Sydney allows          likened members of the NSW                costs of curriculum and materials       which he supported a national cur-
As AMWU National President                full fee-paying students into its gen-   Board of Education, which                 development, improved mobility for      riculum that could be enforced by
Julius Row pointed out, the $837          eral and primary education degrees       includes representatives from             students and educators, and broad       funding cuts.
million figure (i.e. less than $200       though they may have achieved            various private schools, to               national monitoring for accountabil-         There are, of course, no federal
million a year) is dwarfed by the         marks up to 15 points lower than         Chairman Mao!                             ity purposes.                           funding shortages for the nation’s
cuts totalling billions of dollars from   HECS students. The lower entry                Despite its ridiculous moments,           However, the Howard Govern-        private schools, especially the most
university and TAFE budgets in-           standard was first made available        her speech outlined a truly seri-         ment is not principally concerned       wealthy. For example, last year
flicted by the Howard Government          to full fee-paying students from         ous threat to state public education,     with these objectives, nor does         Sydney’s Cranbrook High School
during its time in office. “Australia     overseas.                                because it reflected the Howard           it want a system of consulta-           received $3.3 million in funding,
is the only country in the OECD                Some commentators have              Government’s objective of con-            tion between state governments          and recorded a net surplus of $4.1
which has cut real spending on            claimed that Howard has launched         trolling state education curricula,       and departments, to achieve such        million.
education and training in the last        the “Skills for the Future” package      to ensure that they meet the gov-         standards.                                   The results of funding being
                                                                                                                                  Instead, the government wants      tied to conformity with the Howard
                                                                                                                             each state to hand control of its       Government’s objectives is evident
                                                                                                                             education curriculum to a new na-       in Australian universities, some of
Jervis Bay revisited                                                                                                         tional board of studies. Despite
                                                                                                                             Senator Bishop’s declared commit-
                                                                                                                             ment to be “promoting diversity and
                                                                                                                                                                     which have rejected requirements
                                                                                                                                                                     for privatisation and industrial rela-
                                                                                                                                                                     tions “reforms” – and have paid the
Peter Mac                                 urban development alongside the          in the 1960s. “Pig Iron Bob” as he        choice”, the members of this organi-    price.
                                          Bay and in the magnificent natural       became known, was responsible for         sation would be hand-picked by the           Melbourne University, which
Last June John Howard’s                   areas around it. This includes con-      the establishment of the nuclear re-      Federal Government, would impose        already boasts the most expen-
Government proposed that an               struction of a petrochemical plant,      actor at Lucas Heights, and for the       its extremely right-wing line (most     sive course in Australia (medicine,
inquiry should be held into               oil and metal refineries, heavy and      nuclear bomb tests that took place        inaccurately described as “the sen-     at $200,000), has taken the com-
nuclear power generation in               light industries, railways, road         in South Australia in the 1950s. He       sible centre”) on state education       mercial bit between its teeth. It
Australia. This was quickly               works, extensive urban develop-          also succeeded in getting the con-        courses. This sort of process is al-    proposes to introduce a US-style
followed by a recommendation              ment, and port facilities – including    crete footings and base of a nuclear      ready evident, for example, in the      curriculum of very small number
from the Canberra Institute,              berthing facilities for general cargo,   power plant built at Jervis Bay, but      government’s stacking of the ABC        of undergraduate courses, and (if
(yes, another “think tank”), that         oil and oil products.                    was unable to carry this through          Board with its own appointees.          the Federal Government agrees), a
a nuclear power plant should be                In short, those who want to re-     to conclusion because of public                The Howard Government has          hefty increase in the number of stu-
built at Jervis Bay. The Institute        vive this scheme have in mind the        opposition.                               already commissioned studies on         dents who have to pay full fees. The
has spoken enthusiastically about         replication of Botany Bay, that              Menzies was a rabid Cold War          common curricula for eight sub-         outcome, they freely admit, will re-
selection of the Murrays Beach            once beautiful but now industri-         warrior, and almost undoubted-            jects, including history, the current   duce the number of students by ten
site at Jervis Bay, because it is on      ally-ruined site of major historic       ly planned a “nuclear future” for         teaching of which has been singled      percent. Poor students, it seems,
Commonwealth land, and is used            significance. Understandably, the        Australia, i.e. first install a nuclear   out by Howard himself for a partic-     will be out.
for Defence purposes, and therefore       National Trust has voiced vig-           reactor, build a few nuclear power        ularly vitriolic attack.                     This, then, is the emerging pic-
(according to them) would not             orous objections to the revived          plants, and finally acquire nuclear            It is entirely possible that       ture of the Howard Government’s
require “any environmental impact         development proposals, and to the        weapons. Howard would almost cer-         this new arrangement will be            intentions for the nation’s public
statements”.                              proposed construction of the nucle-      tainly do the same. He reveres            forced on the states by a cut in        education system. And if they get in
    As well as the new nuclear plant      ar power plant.                          Menzies, and has made no secret           Commonwealth funding for any            at next year’s federal elections, they
proposal, there has also been a re-            The nuclear power plant was         of his ambition to realise the nastier    state that disagrees. Senator Bishop    will certainly bring these objec-
vival of proposals, made about 30         first promoted by former Prime           unfulfilled schemes of this old ultra-    has pointedly noted that scrapping      tives to fruition. We’d better see that
years ago, for industrialisation and      Minister Sir Robert Menzies back         reactionary imperialist. J                separate curricula development          doesn’t happen. J
4                                                                                                                                                                                          The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                            October 18   2006




Canberra cleaners
join nation-wide
protests
As The Guardian went to press on              As part of the day’s events a       of large and small rallies demanding
International Anti-Poverty Day           special golden toilet brush will be      that their concerns be heard – and
– Tuesday October 17 – cleaners          awarded by the Canberra cleaners         acted upon.”
across Australia were holding            to Serco Sodexho, the Anglo French            Whilst the average income in
rallies and marches as part of the       multinational that has left many lo-     the ACT is $1,100.00 per week, full-
Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners      cal cleaners who refused to sign         time cleaners earn half that – but
campaign, which is now six months        AWAs either unemployed or under-         full-time positions are few and far
old.                                     employed.                                between. The majority of cleaners
    To mark the United Nations des-           The golden toilet brush Award       are left to cobble together several
ignated Anti-Poverty Day Canberra        recognises Serco Sodexho’s con-          part-time positions to earn enough
cleaners and supporters brought          tribution to increasing poverty for      to have a reasonable standard of
brooms with them to symbolically         service workers in the ACT (see sto-     living. This imposes tremendous
sweep poverty aside. The LHMU            ry below).                               strains on family life.
ACT Cleaners’ Union said they ex-             Contractors using cleaners con-          “Major property owners such as
pected that hundreds of cleaners         tinue to overwork, underpay and          AMP and Commonwealth Bank are
and supporters would cheer those         undervalue these invisible workers,      adopting principles that will help lift
community leaders who congregate         many of whom are female and im-          cleaners out of poverty”, said Mr
with them at Pilgrim Place and then      migrant workers who at night move        Anderson.
move down Northbourne Avenue to          through Canberra’s offices and                “The biggest cleaning com-
Sweep Away Poverty.                      workspaces to make sure everything       pany in the world, ISS, has also
    A large part of Canberra’s clean-    is clean and hygienic.                   signed up as a responsible contrac-       cleaners in their own right have          Macedonian Orthodox Church, in
ing workforce were born overseas,             “Low-paid cleaners are proud of     tor. But other cleaning companies,        seen it necessary to take to the          Crawford St, Queanbeyan, is lead-
the majority from Macedonia. That        taking to the streets on International   and the cleaning industry’s peak          streets to win a fair deal for clean-     ing prayers for an end to poverty
iswhy local Macedonian communi-          Anti-Poverty Day to raise their          body, need to get on board as well.       ers. The steady drum beat present         in the cleaning industry as part of
ty leaders will play a big role in the   voices against a cleaning industry       Sydney needs clean, hygienic build-       at their march on International           their commemoration of the United
cleaners’ rally. Steve Tashkovski,       which is still not listening”, said      ings in our city that we can be proud     Anti-Poverty Day will not go              Nation’s designated International
President of the Macedonian              ACT Cleaners’ Union secretary Gil        of. The cleaners who provide it have      away until they win a Clean               Anti-Poverty Day.
Orthodox Community of Canberra           Anderson.                                a right to decent work and a living       Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners”, Gil           Many of the congregants will
and Queanbeyan said, “This                    “Cleaners across Australia have     wage.                                     Anderson said.                            get on a bus at the end of the service
situation facing cleaners in our com-    maintained an intensive and noisy             “This is the first time in               Prior to the rally on Tuesday,        to attend the union’s Clean Start:
munity is now critical.”                 campaign with a steady drum beat         Canberra’s history that CBD               Reverend Rada Mitrev of the               Fair Deal for Cleaners rally. J


Taxpayers taken to the cleaners
Taxpayers are set to pick up the tab for                     The escort appeal came as the Office of Employment
                                                                                                                            Community resistance
                                                                                                                            thwarts Radio Rentals
WorkChoices zealots who drove away local cleaners            Advocate continued to sit on its hands over
with income-stripping AWAs (individual employment            allegations that Serco Sodexho AWAs were illegal.
contracts). Multi-national Serco Sodexho has had
to import people from Wollongong on the NSW                  The LHMU informed the advocate of its concerns
                                                             on September 22 but has not had any response.                  Attempts to starve 16 Adelaide technicians onto AWAs have been thwarted
South Coast, and put them up in a hotel for weeks                                                                           by community resistance. South Australian activists say they have never
in Canberra, because it couldn’t find Canberra               Dozens of Defence Department cleaners quit their
                                                                                                                            before witnessed the support that buoyed Radio Rentals technicians,
cleaners desperate enough to wear its individual             posts when Serco Sodexho insisted that they sign its
                                                                                                                            during a month-long lockout that ended with a shock announcement
contracts.                                                   AWAs.                                                          the company would sign a union collective agreement.
                                                             “Our members warned the company it would not be                    The company used AWAs, then a lengthy lockout, to try to destroy
The farce is laid bare in a Defence Department memo                                                                         collective bargaining in line with the aims of the Howard Government’s
appealing for staff to escort cleaners who don’t have        able to find enough cleaners in Canberra prepared
                                                                                                                            WorkChoices legislation. The ACTU, Unions South Australia and the
required security clearances.                                to accept these AWAs”, the Liquor, Hospitality and
                                                                                                                            Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) joined forces to bring
                                                             Miscellaneous Workers’ Union’s Lyndal Ryan said.               national attention to the Radio Rentals dispute.
Victor Platen of the Defence Department’s Re-                                                                                   The company’s aggressive, anti-worker, anti-union stand appears to
Tender Team Project asks supervisors to alert staff to       “Now, it seems, the taxpayer is paying for a service
                                                                                                                            have had an impact on their business and brought them to the bargaining ta-
overtime “opportunities”.                                    that is not being delivered and may well be asked to
                                                                                                                            ble. Protests outside the company’s Prospect store in Adelaide drew strong
                                                             pay overtime to Defence personnel in an attempt to             support and there were reports of customers cancelling contracts. There
“The security escorts will be required for possibly          cover up Serco Sodexho’s failed IR policies.”                  were actions in other states as well.
the next three weeks, Monday to Friday from 1700
                                                                                                                                The AMWU and Radio Rentals issued a joint communiqué on October
to approximately 2200 hours, with the possibility of         Mr Ryan alleged the company was refusing to pay
                                                                                                                            10, indicating the dispute was over.
some weekend security escorting from 1000 to 1800            cleaners who started working at the Russell complex                “Following extensive and detailed discussions on a range of issues, a
hours”, he writes.                                           before signing AWAs. J                                         collective agreement has been negotiated which lays the foundations for im-
                                                                                                                            proved relationships, increased wages, improved productive performance
                                                                                                                            and customer service”, it read. The language, understandably as it was al-
                                                                                                                            so signed by Radio Rentals, did not reflect the nature of the victory by the
Qld meatworkers hit by WorkChoices                                                                                          AMWU and its members.
                                                                                                                                Radio Rentals’ attempts to impose AWAs have been thwarted and the
                                                                                                                            company has been forced to accept a collective agreement and accept the
Queensland meatworkers fear for their future after                There are plans to employ up to 300 people at the         collective agreement as a route to increased wages.
a major employer and dedicated supplier of meat to           site, he said.                                                     “The agreement includes a four percent wage increase linked to pro-
Coles supermarkets introduced condition-slashing                  The AWAs strip all entitlements aside from the basic      ductivity. Redundancy provisions for the technical service staff have been
AWAs.                                                        sick and holiday leave guaranteed under WorkChoices            brought into line with other Radio Rentals employees employed under col-
    Australian Country Choice (ACC), a Queensland            for an hourly rate of $16.20 – just 29c more than the          lective agreements”, the communiqué said.
meat production and processing company, recently             lowest hourly rate in the enterprise agreement.                    This will be their first wage rise in three years.
overhauled its meat processing plant at Cannon Hill in            “Under the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement the                The victory is an example of the role that community action can play in
the state’s south-east to boost production of retail-ready   maximum number of hours is 10, as opposed to 12 [per           workers’ struggles and the importance of building strong alliances between
trays of meat for Coles supermarkets.                        day] on the AWAs. The AWAs set no normal hours, so             trade unions and the broader community. J
    “Coles appears to be moving out of butchering in         the workers can be asked to work any time around the
the supermarkets more into a retail-ready products in a
black tray”, said Russell Carr, Queensland Secretary of
                                                             clock.
                                                                  “There’s no shift allowance or overtime, no holiday        The CPA on the WEB
the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Association         loading or public holiday penalties. The workers spend          For more information on the Communist Party of Australia,
(AMIEA).                                                     a lot of time working in freezers, but the AWAs do not          documents, Guardian archives, campaigns, links to other parties,
    “Australian Country Choice built the facility            contain the cold temperature allowance included in the
                                                                                                                             papers and organisations and much more, visit our websites:
with the view to supplying most of NSW and then              award.”
Queensland ... their sole market is Coles.”                       AMIEU members – there are about 350 at Australian                Central Committee: www.cpa.org.au
    While several hundred existing employees of ACC          Country Choice – are fearful about what will happen                   Blacktown Branch: www.agitprop.org.au
are covered by an award-based enterprise agreement,          when their enterprise agreement expires next year.
40 new workers at the revamped plant – half of whom               “They are very worried about what will happen if                   Maritime Branch: www.geocities.com/cpamaritime
are African migrants – were required to sign AWAs as a       this legislation is still available to employers when the       Adelaide South Australia: www.cpasa.blogspot.com
condition of employment, said Mr Carr.                       agreement expires”, said Mr Carr. J
The Guardian
October 18   2006                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5


                                            Nuclear Anarchy                                           the inaugural East Asia summit last
                                                                                                      December that we signed.                                 Melbourne
     Letters to the Editor                  Is it any surprise that North Korea,                          The world needs less bellicosity
     The Guardian                           Iran, Japan and Burma are all
                                            slated to become nuclear weapon
                                                                                                      and chest thumping and more con-
                                                                                                      fidence building measures. If North
                                                                                                                                                               Communist Party of Australia
     74 Buckingham Street                   states? The Non Proliferation Treaty                      Korea felt less threatened, for ex-
     Surry Hills NSW 2010                                                                                                                                      In 1917 the workers and peasants of Russia and the surrounding republics captured
                                            has been undermined by nuclear                            ample, it’s possible that its missile                    state power and, led by their communist party, proceeded to build a powerful
                                            weapon states refusing to give up                         and nuclear ambitions would be
               email: guardian@cpa.org.au   N-weapons. Australia further erodes                       curtailed and with that, Japan might
                                                                                                                                                               socialist country that became a shining example to the world. The Soviet Union
                                            it by considering uranium sales to                        have less incentive to convert its                       and Coomunist Party (CPSU) set out for the first time since pre-history to build a a
                                            India, a non-NPT signatory.                               vast stockpile of plutonium into N-                      society that was not based on exploitation of labour for private profit. The Melbourne
                                                 In addition, given the Bush                          weapons.                                                 branch of The Communist Party of Australia invites you to join us in celebration of the
Class values                                administration’s doctrine of pre-                                         Gareth W R Smith                         anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
in a class society                          emptive strike, supported by                                                Byron Bay, NSW
                                            Australia, and the recent revela-                                                                                  Sunday 29 October 1pm
There’s a lot of nonsense being             tion by President Musharraf, that ex                                                                               Australian Greek Welfare Centre
expressed about Australian                  Deputy Secretary of State Richard                         North Korea
values. Australia is a class society        Armitage had threatened US ally                           It’s all very well for Australia to                      7 Union Street, Brunswick (near Sydney Rd)
and therefore to talk about                 Pakistan, with being “bombed back                         condemn North Korea for allegedly                        Lunch provided, refreshments available            $20 $15 concession
Australian values above classes is          to the Stone Age”, the incentive to                       detonating a nuclear device. Wait
meaningless.                                be nuclear armed has never been                           until the world is environmentally                       Enquires: 0438 560 222 or 0419 523 886
     Those who own the big corpora-         greater.                                                  conscious enough to condemn
tions value maximum profit above                 The Howard Government’s un-                          Australia for exporting millions
everything else. They seek to defeat
their competitors in this mad scram-
                                            swerving devotion to US foreign
                                            policy objectives led directly to
                                                                                                      of tons of greenhouse gas emitting
                                                                                                      coal every year.                                         A Strong Weave
ble for the highest profit rate. In         our initial refusal to sign ASEAN’s                           That should wipe the smug
order to achieve their aims they seek
to keep wages down to the lowest
                                            Treaty of Amity and Co-operation –
                                            a non-aggression pact with SE Asian
                                                                                                      smile of moral superiority off
                                                                                                      Alexander Downer’s face.                                 A Story of Textile Workers’ Lives
possible level.
     On the other hand, workers who
                                            countries. It was only after Australia
                                            was threatened with exclusion from
                                                                                                                               Col Friel.
                                                                                                                              Alawa, NT                        told in a new Photo Exhibition and Book
toil for a living, value the highest
possible rate of pay to make ends
                                             Leave your human rights at the door :                                                                             Exhibition and Book Launch by Joan Kirner
meet. They value unions and work-
                                                                                                                                                               Saturday, October 21, 7.30pm
ing class solidarity to achieve their
objectives.                                  The workplace in Howard’s Australia                                                                               Deer Park Hunt Club Community Arts Centre
     Therefore, there are capital-           The new workplace laws introduced by the Howard Government are a serious attack not just on living
ist class values and working class           standards, but also civil liberties. Special legislation has been introduced to allow government investigators    775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park(Melbourne)
values.                                      to interrogate workers about union activities, in particular the right of a citizen to silence. The government
     The idea that worthy values             has created an inquisition aimed at workers in the building industry.
                                             We already have 107 workers on a building site being prosecuted and facing fines of $28,600.00 for
                                                                                                                                                               Open until November 10
come about because a person is               involvement in industrial action protesting against the unfair sacking of their union delegate.
an Australian smacks of racial su-           These laws are extreme and unprecedented in Australian workplace relations.                                       A Strong Weave is an exhibition of photos taken by retrenched workers from Feltex
periority. There are class values                                                                                                                              Carpets which closed the doors of its Yarns Mill in Braybrook in Melbourne’s west,
wherever class society exists, irre-         6.00pm, Wednesday November 1st 2006                                                                               retrenching 165 textile workers with only 18 days notice.
spective of race.                            NSW Teachers Federation Auditorium 23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills                                                 The exhibition – which commemorates the 12-month anniversary of the
     An Australian worker has com-                                                                                                                             retrenchments – is being complemented by the launch of a collection of stories,
                                              Speakers
mon values with workers around                                       John Robertson       Unions NSW Secretary (TBC)
                                                                                                                                                               Finding the Threads, written by the retrenched workers.
the world, but opposite values to the                               Bernadette Peters     Partner of one of the 107 WA workers being prosecuted
“true blue” Australian who exploits                                 Andrew Ferguson       NSW CFMEU Secretary
                                                                    Maree O’Halloran      NSW Teachers Federation President
                                                                                                                                                               For further information, and to obtain a review copy of Finding the Threads
the labour of others for profit.                                                                                                                               contact: Michele O’Neil, TCFUA State Secretary (03) 9639 2955, mob 0419 338 853
                                                                          Chris Harris    Greens Councillor City of Sydney
                         Alan Miller                                                                                                                           or Maree Keating TCFUA Project Officer (03) 9639 2955, mob 0439 597 554
                                                                      Julian Burnside     QC and Human Rights advocate (TBC)
                       Adelaide, S A




Culture
                                            ping Communism and “defending
                                            democracy”.




             &
                                                 If this sounds more like the ac-
                                            tivity of organised crime than of a
                                            government security agency, it is


      Life
                                            worth remembering that from the
by                                          moment the CIA was established in
                                            the 1940s, it was not at all averse to
Rob Gowland                                 a close working relationship with
                                            the underworld – with the Mafia on
                                            the New York docks, for example,
                                            prior to the invasion of Sicily.
Civilised? Pshaw!                                So it is not surprising that dur-
                                            ing the Vietnam War, the CIA’s
The decision of the US Congress             top-secret “Phoenix program” in-
to legalise torture and indefinite          volved not only the kidnap, torture
detention without trial is a body           and elimination of progressive peo-
blow to the USA’s much-ballyhooed           ple (ie, people not in agreement
position that it is not only a civilised    with the policies and practices of
country but is in fact the arbiter of       the pro-US puppet regimes in Indo-
just what values make a country             China) but also, in best Mafia style,
“civilised”.                                the elimination of any witnesses.
    Students of US history have                  As Alfred McCoy notes
known for many years that, re-              in A Question of Torture: CIA
gardless of which party or which            Interrogation, From the Cold War
president was in power, elements            to the War on Terror (published
in every US administration have             in 2006 by Metropolitan Books of
sought to subvert the country’s             New York): “To ensure that there                          currently control US policy-mak-                            It played a significant part              for employing torture. It is well
Constitution and the rule of law.           were no inconvenient witnesses, the                       ing have abandoned all pretence of                      in the 1999 Sci-Fi comedy with                known that the prisons of the US
The Intelligence Services in particu-       CIA kept its Phoenix Program under                        maintaining the norms of civilised                      Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver,               armed forces are and have always
lar have been encouraged to “break          wraps and avoided the formalities of                      society.                                                Galaxy Quest. Torture with electric           been much “harsher” (a euphe-
the rules” in order to “safeguard           prosecution with ‘pump and dump’                               For the first time in US histo-                    current was featured – graphically            mism for “sadistic”).
democracy”.                                 – pumping suspects for information                        ry, Congress and the White House                        – in the children’s animated fea-                 One can only guess at what a
    Allies were spied on, even as-          by torture and then dumping the                           have agreed to set aside the provi-                     ture The Incredibles.                         US military prison run under the
sassinated. Death squads were not           bodies, more than twenty thousand                         sions of the country’s Constitution                         The US soldiers who were ex-              umbrella and protection of the
only financed but actually organised        of them between 1968 and 1971.”                           (not to mention the Bill of Rights).                    posed as torturers in Iraq, at Abu            “war on terror” would be like.
by US agencies.                                  But even if people with an inter-                    Instead, Congress has agreed to for-                    Ghraib prison, initially attempted            Clearly, the stuff of nightmares.
    Drugs were grown and mar-               est in current affairs knew of these                      mally adopt methods traditionally                       to turn away criticism with the                   In the heyday of the British
keted on a grand scale to finance           matters, it is safe to say that other                     identified with police states. This will                undoubtedly true observation that             Empire, imperialists used to talk
undercover operations free of the           people did not. The bulk of the US                        at least make the work of the State                     “the government likes what we                 of Britain’s “civilising mission”.
watchful eye of the US Congress             population – and people in other                          Department and the CIA easier in so                     do”.                                          Of late, although using slightly
itself. To finance the Contras in           countries – were deliberately kept in                     far as they will no longer be embar-                        And why would the Pentagon                different terminology, the Bush
Central America, the US intelli-            ignorance of them.                                        rassed at employing methods that the                    and the White House like the US               Administration has done the same
gence community facilitated the                  What makes the Bush admin-                           US Government officially abhors.                        Army’s torture methods? Because,              for the USA.
smuggling of cocaine into the US            istration’s new policy standout                                Torture, of course, has long                       as torturers have said in their own               In the process, the concept of
from Colombia.                              is its blatant disregard for all ar-                      been a factor in US popular culture.                    defence since time immemorial,                “civilised” seems to have taken
    Then they helped the drug lords         tifice: under a “one size fits all”                       In various guises, it features fre-                     “It gets results.”                            something of a beating. Which is
to flood South Los Angeles with             slogan – the War on Terrorism –                           quently on episodes of the various                          Amnesty International con-                probably appropriate, when you
Crack. All in the name of stop-             the Christian fundamentalists who                         CSI television shows, for example.                      demned the US prison system                   think about it. J
6                                                                                                                                                                                         The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                           October 18   2006




Posada and Bush’s
“war on terror”
quandary
WT Whitney                               mastermind of terrorist plots and at-     to Venezuela, they will be violat-
                                         tacks on tourist sites”, but refused to   ing several treaties as well as their
Cuban exile and accused terrorist        charge him for such crimes.               own admonitions. Smith pointedly
Luis Posada Carriles is back in the           Recognising the problem of           recalled that Bush once remarked
news. Posada is the self-confessed       setting a known terrorist free, and       that “one who shelters a terrorist is
mastermind behind the bombing            unable to deport him to a third           a terrorist”.
of a Cubana Airlines jet, killing 73     country, the Justice Department ar-            The hypocritical stand is only
people in a midair explosion over        gued that according to law an illegal     part of the problem the Bush admin-
Barbados on October 6, 1976.             immigrant cannot be freed if the re-      istration faces. Posada worked for
     Nicknamed “the bin Laden of         lease has “serious, adverse foreign       the CIA as a demolitions expert, sab-
Latin America”, Posada, current-         policy consequences for the United        oteur and plotter of violent crimes.
ly being held at an El Paso, Texas,      States”.                                  He helped organise well over 100
detention centre for violating immi-          The Bush administration’s han-       murderous attacks throughout Latin
gration law, presents a quandary for     dling of this case has resulted in a      America and the United States.
the Bush administration and its “war     firestorm of criticism and charges of          He was involved in Contra oper-
on terrorism”.                           hypocrisy.                                ations in Nicaragua, hotel bombings
     US plans to deport Posada have           “The fight against terrorism can-    in Havana in 1997, and an assassina-
gone awry. At least seven countries      not be fought à la carte”, said José      tion attempt against Cuban President
– Canada, Mexico, Panama, Costa          Pertierra, a Washington lawyer who        Fidel Castro in 2000.
Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and El         is representing the government of              And according to newly re-
Salvador – have refused to take him.     Venezuela in its effort to extradite      leased documents from National
     At the same time, the Bush ad-      Posada. “A terrorist is a terrorist”,     Security Archives, Posada told the
ministration has refused to honour       he told The New York Times.               CIA that he and other exile cohorts
Venezuela’s request for Posada’s ex-          On the October 6 bombing an-         like Orlando Bosch (who freely
tradition to stand trial there. Posada   niversary, four Nobel Prize winners       walks the streets of Miami) were
is a Venezuelan citizen. In 1985,        and other scholars released a petition    planning to bomb the plane.             Canadian action demanding the extradition of terrorist Luis Posada to
he escaped from a Venezuelan jail        calling upon the US Government to              Cuba’s National Assembly           Venezuela
(with CIA help) while standing trial     judge Posada for the “73 murders          President Ricardo Alarcon said
for the airliner bombing.                committed on October 6, 1976, or          the Bush administration has a self-          • The bomb was placed in a               “I am not seeking vengeance;
     On September 11, an immigra-        extradite him to Venezuela”.              interest in covering up the case        Colgate toothpaste tube.                  what I want is to see Posada in
tion judge ruled Posada be released           Wayne Smith, the former head         and declassified information. “The           • The FBI had knowledge of a         court”, Camilo Rojo said.
unless the administration charg-         of the US interests section in Cuba,      Bush administration wants to avoid      telephone call to Bosch reporting             “Terrorism affects us all. I have
es him with terrorism. In a Justice      told reporters that the US has “mas-      a trial at all costs because someone    that “a bus with 73 dogs went off a       received solidarity even from the
Department brief, the Bush admin-        sive evidence” against Posada, and        will ask about the role of the CIA,     cliff and all got killed”.                most right-wing people, those who
istration admitted that Posada is “an    that if the administration doesn’t        and its director in 1976 was George          Jesus Rojo, a Cuban father of        do not agree with the revolutionary
unrepentant criminal and admitted        bring him to trial or extradite him       Bush Sr, ,said Alarcon.                 three, was one of the 73 passen-          process in Cuba, but they tell me
                                                                                        Also included in the documents:    gers, along with the entire Cuban         they are with me, because mine is
                                                                                        • Information tying the FBI to     Olympic Fencing team, oth-                everybody’s cause. That is also what
                                                                                   one of the airliner bombers.            er Cubans, Guyanese and North             I share with the relatives of the 9/11
Belgian Party                                                                           • Then-Secretary of State Henry
                                                                                   Kissinger was briefed on previous
                                                                                   failed attempts to bomb flights from
                                                                                                                           Koreans. His youngest son Camilo
                                                                                                                           is the coordinator of a commit-
                                                                                                                           tee of victims’ relatives seeking
                                                                                                                                                                     victims. We keep in contact with
                                                                                                                                                                     them, and we know very well what
                                                                                                                                                                     they feel.”
triples number of                                                                  Panama and Jamaica to Cuba.             justice.                                  People’s Weekly World J



municipal councillors                                                              Left winger reaches Ecuador run-off
The Workers’ Party of Belgium            and racist Vlaams Belang (Flemish
(WPB) has made significant               Interest) stayed well below its stat-     A left-wing economist who opposes       opposition to the onerous terms of             A similar process has also been
progress in the municipal and            ed objectives of getting 35 percent       Washington’s “free trade” policies,     international lending institutions and    quite evident in Venezuela, where
provincial elections of October          of the vote and obtaining an abso-        has come second in Ecuardor’s           exploitative foreign oil contracts.       the role of traditional parties has
8. It tripled the number of its          lute majority in three municipalities.    presidential race with 23.4 percent          Correa believes foreign in-          been eclipsed by mass support for
municipal councillors, from five         It is precisely in one of those dis-      of the electorate’s support.            vestment is beneficial as long as it      Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian
to 15, by winning seats in eight         tricts, Hoboken, that the WPB List            The first place in the field of     contributes to the country’s devel-       Revolution. The face of politics has
municipalities with an important         won two seats that kept the Vlaams        13 candidates was won by one            opment, instead of being a source         radically changed there.
concentration of workers. The            Belang from an absolute majority in       of Ecuador’s richest men, Alvaro        of looting and despoliation. He                The people of oil-rich Ecuador
WPB lists – which also contained         the city.                                 Noboa, who won 25.7% of the             is widely perceived as defend-            ask the question: with all of our oil
independent candidates – also made            The WPB’s best result was in         vote.                                   ing Ecuador’s national interests          and other natural resources, why
progress in all major cities of the      the small municipality of Zelzate,            As no-one reached the 50%           in contrast to the behaviour of the       do we see an impoverished popula-
country.                                 the WPB’s vote increased to an un-        threshold – or won 40% with a lead      country’s wealthy oligarchy, which        tion living on the hillsides? Where
    The 15 elected councillors will      precedented 21.7 percent and six          of 10% over the next candidate –        typically cedes power to foreign          did all the money go? If it is not in
give the Party a new impetus and         seats.                                    there will be a run-off election on     companies.                                the bank accounts of the oligarchy,
augurs well for elections and strug-          The WPB says their electoral         November 16.                                 In recent years many Latin           it must be in the hands of the big oil
gles to come.                            success is the result of sustained            If Correa wins, Latin America       American nations have seen their          corporations. It certainly isn’t in the
    The WPB says their result, how-      work at the grassroots level.             will have another leftward-leaning      sovereignty undermined by vari-           hands of the people, who could use
ever moderate, if seen on a national          Among the efforts was a cam-         head of state, joining Venezuela’s      ous “free trade” agreements backed        it to build housing and to provide
scale indicates that in several cit-     paign for cheaper medicines that          Hugo Chávez and Bolivia’s Evo           by the US. These pacts have devas-        health care and education.
ies and municipalities a credible        received 100,000 signatures and led       Morales.                                tated domestic agriculture and have            Today over 70 percent of the
Leftist and social alternative to the    to concrete price-lowering measures           The Ecuadorean people have          left the continent’s farmers with vir-    population in Ecuador lives below
traditional parties in power is tak-     by the Ministry of Health.                high expectations that Correa, un-      tually no means to legally challenge      the poverty line. Young people of
ing shape.                                    The WPB says it has “long            like his predecessors, will defend      the unfair trade practices of their big   working-class background are being
    In several municipalities, main-     been considered ‘the biggest party        the nation’s sovereignty and keep       competitors to the north.                 forced to emigrate to find work to
ly of the city of Antwerp, the WPB       of the small ones’. We now aim to         his pledges. These pledges include           Ecuadoreans have noticed that        feed their families. A series of gov-
has been able to block the further       become ‘the smallest party of the         his vow to close the US military        the US rejects the role of the United     ernments supported by the wealthy
advance of the extreme Right.            big ones’ and to be taken into ac-        base at Manta, to restructure the       Nations to settle international dis-      oligarchy has created only poverty
    In Antwerp, Belgium’s second         count as a serious force for societal     foreign debt, to reject any so-called   putes and that it works to undermine      and misery.
largest city, the extreme Rightist       change.” J                                free trade agreements, to renegotiate   the legitimacy of that body. They              But today there is also new hope
                                                                                   contracts with foreign oil companies    see how the US has sought to ex-          in the air. The people are placing
                                                                                   on more favourable terms and to         empt itself from prosecution in the       their confidence in Rafael Correa, a
                                                                                   convene a constituent assembly.         International Court of Justice.           self-described Bolivarian. This time
  TUNE IN TO WORKERS’ RADIO                                                            Correa, 43, candidate of the
                                                                                   Alianza País (Country Alliance)
                                                                                                                                At the same time, the tradition-
                                                                                                                           al liberal and conservative parties of
                                                                                                                                                                     they may get it right. They have cer-
                                                                                                                                                                     tainly waited long enough.
    SYDNEY 88.9 FM            WEEKDAYS 5:30AM – 9:00AM                             party, served briefly as Ecuador’s      Ecuador have largely been discred-        Acknowledgement to
                                                                                   Finance Minister, where he won          ited. The people no longer believe        Jesus Alvarado and
                                                                                   popular support for his outspoken       in them.                                  People’s Weekly World J
The Guardian
October 18   2006                                                                                                                                                                          7



Trail of sleaze paved with
corporate cash
Tim Wheeler                             including at least 10 meetings be-
                                        tween Abramoff and Bush’s chief
WASHINGTON: Under the                   strategist Karl Rove.
Influence, an October 9 report by           Now a convicted felon,
Public Citizen’s Congress Watch,        Abramoff hosted Rove at sever-
exposes the torrent of corporate        al sporting events and sumptuous
cash pouring into the coffers of        feasts at his Signatures restaurant in
Republican incumbents scrambling        violation of a law limiting gifts and
to stave off defeat in the November     gratuities for White House officials
7 election.                             to not more than $20.
     Congress Watch Director Laura          Henry Waxman, ranking
MacCleery told the People’ Weekly       Democrat on the committee, said,
World, “With the Abramoff scandal       “Following Abramoff’s guilty plea
and other allegations of corruption,    last January, the White House is-
we’re seeing the corrosive role of      sued repeated statements that Mr
money in our political process,         Abramoff was a virtual stranger to
threatening democracy and the in-       the White House. … These docu-
tegrity of Congress.”                   ments, if accurate, provide evidence
     Candidates are far too dependent   that White House officials took
on big money donors, lobbyists,         multiple actions that benefited Mr       and right-wing strategist Grover
out-of-state money and goodies like     Abramoff and his clients, includ-        Norquist to purge Democrats from
privately funded travel, she said.      ing the release of $16 million for       the ranks of the 40,000 lobbyists
“People are desperate for a solution.   the construction of a jail for the       with offices on K Street in down-
Government is not of, by and for the
people. They want lobby and fund-
ing reform, a fundamental change in
                                        Mississippi Band of Choctaws.”
                                            Abramoff, the report charged,
                                        “billed his clients over $24,000 for
                                                                                 town Washington. They met every
                                                                                 Tuesday to plot their plan to impose
                                                                                 permanent Republican control on
                                                                                                                                              Global briefs
the way we pay for elections.”          meals and drinks with White House        Congress.
     In Ohio, incumbent Republican      officials and offered White House             In Texas, there is no limit on
representative Michael Oxley raked      officials tickets to 19 events.”         how much an individual can con-         JAPAN: The first cabinet of new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
in an average of US$167,048 in re-          Andrew Wheat, research direc-        tribute to a candidate, Wheat said.     Abe came under criticism at a September 26 meeting of Com-
cent two-year election cycles from      tor of Texans for Public Justice,        Bob Perry, owner of a home build-       munist delegates to the Japanese Diet. Party Chair Shii Kazuo
lobbyists, plus $649,302 from out-      said ousted Representative Tom           ing company, pours $3.4 million or      held up three appointees as reflecting “the hawkish nature of the
of-state donors, “an astounding         DeLay was a ringleader in the cor-       $4 million into every election to put   new Prime Minister”: the holdover Foreign Minister, Aso Taro,
81.9 per of Oxley’s contributions       rupt scheme to impose Republican         Republicans in office. “He bank-        who advocates visits to the Yasukuni Shrine – which not only
from individuals”, the report charg-    control on all levels of govern-         rolled Swift Boat Veterans for Truth    honours Japanese soldiers who fell in WW2, but is also where
es. House Majority Leader John          ment. DeLay rammed through the           against John Kerry in the 2004          the remains of war criminals such as Prime Minister Tojo are
Boehner of Ohio was second with         redistricting of Texas to add five       presidential election”, said Wheat.     interred; the Education Minister, Ibuki Bunmei, who calls for “an
$147,833 in gifts from so-called K      Republicans to the Texas con-            “Now he is funding various efforts
Street lobbyists.                       gressional delegation, carving the       to help Republicans hold on to ma-      educational system based on competition and screening”; and
     The “sleaze factor” also in-       district lines to protect incumbent      jority control of the Congress.”        the Defence Minister, Kyuma Fumio, who apparently favours
cludes outrage that the Republican      Republicans, and diluting the Black           The tide is turning, Wheat said.   constitutional changes allowing Japan to become “a nation
leadership covered up Mark Foley’s      and Latino vote in violation of the      “People are beginning to catch          ready to fight wars abroad”. Lastly Shii denounced deteriorating
sexually explicit e-mails to teen-      Voting Rights Act.                       on to the war profiteering in the       living conditions and a “widening gap between rich and poor”.
age pages. Republicans Randy                DeLay laundered cash from gi-        Middle East, the lack of response
Cunningham and Bob Ney both             ant corporations like the Santa Fe       to Hurricane Katrina. People are be-    PARAGUAY: In July 2005, 400 US military personnel moved
pleaded guilty to bribery charg-        Railroad to pay for the power grab.      ginning to ask: ‘Why is it that the     into Paraguay. The move followed the government’s agreement
es. Outrage is also soaring that        Ultimately he was indicted for vi-       government is working for the big       to grant immunity to US troops from prosecution by Paraguayan
Halliburton, Bechtel, and other         olating a Texas law that forbids         oil corporations, not us, not even      courts or by the International Criminal Court for crimes com-
corporations with crony ties to the     corporate contributions to election      helping those hit by a disaster like    mitted on its soil. On October 2, Paraguay announced the
Bush-Cheney administration en-          campaigns.                               Katrina?”
riched themselves with corrupt,             “This was not about one elec-             Wheat added, “Enron, Ken Lay,      withdrawal of that immunity and its intention not to renew the
no-bid contracts in Iraq even as the    tion”, said Wheat in a phone             Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay             troop agreement. Paraguay’s partners in Mercosur, the regional
death toll of Iraqis and US soldiers    interview from his office in             have done us an enormous service.       trade alliance, had complained about the arrangement, saying
in Iraq has soared to a record high.    Texas. “This was about long-term         They have opened the eyes of the        that the international Convention of Vienna only protects dip-
     Susan Ralston, former secre-       Republican hegemony. The build-          people to how our government is         lomats, not soldiers, from prosecution. Analysts suggest that
tary to Republican lobbyist Jack        ing block of that was money. That’s      being bought and sold.”                 US interest in the region’s oil, gas and water resources and its
Abramoff, resigned as “special as-      why they launched the K Street                MacCleery pointed out that 300     political concerns about Bolivia and Mercosur may have moti-
sistant” to President George W          Project – to lean on the corporate       candidates in the midterm elec-         vated the Bush administration’s attempt to establish a permanent
Bush after a report by the House        lobby to finance this machine.”          tion, including 58 incumbents, have     US military base in Paraguay. Such plans are now in doubt.
Committee on Government Reform              The K Street Project initiat-        signed a “Voters First” pledge to
identified her as Abramoff’s liaison    ed after Bush’s theft of the 2000        support the “Clean Money, Clean
                                                                                                                         EGYPT: Egypt announced on September 26 the resumption
in at least 485 lobbying contacts       election, was a scheme by DeLay,         Elections Act”.
with top White House officials,         Senator Rick Santorum, Abramoff,         People’s Weekly World J                 of its civilian nuclear energy program abandoned 20 years
                                                                                                                         ago in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. The impetus comes
                                                                                                                         from worsening electricity shortages, with unmet needs ris-
                                                                                                                         ing seven percent annually. The government plans on having

Survivors of                                                                                                             a 1000-megawatt nuclear power generation facility operational
                                                                                                                         in 10 years near El-Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast. The
                                                                                                                         cost is estimated at between US$1.5 billion and $5 billion,
“Mau Mau rebellion” seek justice                                                                                         and foreign investment is anticipated. Since 1986, Egypt
                                                                                                                         has maintained a small experimental reactor that was inves-
Survivors of the Kikuyu liberation      supporters. They claim that the final    will be uncovered to expose their       tigated by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2005.
rising against British imperialism      death toll of Kenyans was 11,000, a      role as active supporters of the
in Kenya from 1952 to 1959 –            figure disputed by many Kenyans;         British in suppressing the liberation   NORWAY: The Norwegian Government has proposed to
commonly known by the British           a more realistic figure is close to      forces.                                 cancel US$80 million in debt owed to the country by five de-
establishment’s term “Mau Mau           100,000 people killed, many through          The most devious and cunning        veloping countries in acknowledgement that the debt was
rebellion” – are taking a case          torture, starvation and neglect in the   imperialist power has left a trail of   extended irresponsibly and without due regard for the de-
against the British Government          British concentration camps.             human suffering, destruction and di-    velopmental needs of the recipient countries. Norway’s
for gross violation of human                 Prisoners were held in these        visions among its former colonies,      Development Minister announced that the government will
rights, including rape, systematic      camps for many years after the con-      which continue to suffer from that      propose that Parliament approve the renunciation of claims
and prolonged beatings and other        flict had officially ended. It was the   legacy.                                 against Ecuador, Egypt, Jamaica, Peru and Sierra Leone in its
forms of torture that left many         British who first used concentra-            One can only wish the claimants
                                                                                                                         national budget for 2007. If approved, this unilateral and uncon-
permanently injured. They have          tion camps, to suppress the Boers        well and hope they get what they
also made accusations of forced         in South Africa, a method of popu-       rightly deserve. May many more          ditional debt cancellation will mark the first time that a creditor
starvation of prisoners and even        lation control further refined by the    formerly colonised nations and peo-     country has accepted responsibility for its negligence and con-
of whole communities. The control       Nazis.                                   ples make the same journey and          tribution to the debt accumulation of developing countries.
and use of food as a weapon                  Some in the present-day estab-      reclaim some of the wealth robbed       NGOs have welcomed this move by the Norwegian government
against people is a tried and tested    lishment in Kenya who emerged            from them.                              which they view as significant in light of the fact that creditors
technique of colonialism.               into positions of power after the        Socialist Voice, monthly paper          have traditionally been reluctant to accept responsibility for
    The British hanged more than        country succeeded in gaining inde-       of the Communist Party of               negligent, politically motivated or corrupt lending in the past.
a thousand liberation fighters and      pendence are worried that evidence       Ireland J
8                                                                                                                                                                                               The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                                 October 18   2006




ACTU Congress
Building the class alternative
Anna Pha                                is also attempting to bankrupt their      exercised – such as willingness to          by the agreement.” This would re-            does not support an automatic right
                                        union, the Construction Division          meet, to negotiate, provide relevant        move the intolerable situation that          to employer industrial action. …
The Australian Council of Trade         of the CFMEU, by suing it for $12         information, act in a way that might        exists now where employers can in-           The report advocates the removal of
Unions is holding its Congress in       million.                                  undermine the bargaining right of           timidate workers and hire them on            this right for employers.”
Melbourne this week. Delegates               The architects of the legislation,   another party, and so on.                   different rates and conditions.                   It also raises the very impor-
have before them one of the most        the Howard Government’s big busi-              Industrial action does not con-            The report “opposes the estab-           tant question of industrial action
important decisions for many years:     ness patrons, stand to make a killing.    stitute a breach of good faith              lishment of any union membership             for other purposes than supporting
What type of industrial relations       The Business Council of Australia         bargaining.                                 ‘threshold’ which would trigger              negotiations around an agreement.
system should replace the Howard        and the Australian Chamber of                  ACTU Secretary Greg Combet             a right to initiate a collective bar-        “The law should also enable the law-
Government’s WorkChoices? What          Commerce and Industry are waiting         pointed out in his address to the           gaining process. The right of union          ful conduct of meetings to prepare
would be its key features?              with the next round of even more          National Press Club (13-09-06)              members to representation should             for bargaining, actions to promote
     Trade unions are united and        destructive legislation after the fed-    that “Australia is the only advanced        not be conditional upon the level            the social or economic views of
determined to see the defeat of         eral elections. The only way to stop      economy where an employer can               of union membership at the work-             workers, fair provisions in relation
the Howard Government in the            them is to defeat the Coalition.          make a collective agreement with a          place.”                                      [to] OHS and allow workers to pro-
2007 elections and for the repeal            A group from the ACTU                union and, in the very next moment,             The report does allow for                test breach of statutory duties.”
of the WorkChoices, construction        Executive earlier this year visit-        repudiate its contractual commit-           non-union collective agreements,                  If such rights were legislated
industry and other anti-union legis-    ed the USA, Canada, the UK and            ment and require employees to               but where a union has a member               for, this would be a huge advance.
lation. There is a growing optimism     Europe to report on the collective        agree to substantially inferior indi-       it would be entitled to represent            The report does not go into details
amongst unions that it is possible      bargaining regimes and experiences        vidual arrangements.”                       the member and be party to the               on how these additional provisions
to defeat the Coalition Government      of unions in those countries. Its re-          A Fair Go At Work, supports the        agreement.                                   might be legislated for. Would it in-
and the National Day of Union and       port, A Fair Go At Work, Collective       “prohibition of individual arrange-             There is also a proposal for             clude the abolition of the sections
Community Action on November            Bargaining for Australian Workers,        ments that can be used to undermine         Industry Consultative Councils to            of the Trades Practices Act that can
30 is shaping up to be one of the       is before delegates this week.            the safety net, collective bargain-         facilitate industry-level consultation/      be applied to trade unions (eg for
biggest trade union and community            The report puts forward a collec-    ing or union representation. There          negotiations and the develop-                solidarity actions)? Would it mean
protests ever.                          tive bargaining model for Australia,      should be no statutory individual           ment of industry-level framework             the removal of employer rights to
     More and more workers are          which selectively draws on overseas       contracts, and existing legislation         agreements.                                  sue unions under common law for
feeling the impact of WorkChoices.      practices and lessons.                    that provides for AWAs should be                Most importantly the content             damages arising from industrial
Every week workers and their fami-           The big business/Howard              repealed”, it says.                         of awards and collective agree-              action?
lies become victims to the new laws,    Government model is based on                   Under the proposed legislation,        ments would not be restricted as                  There are also a number of im-
are forced onto AWAs, face wage         replacing trade union representa-         collective bargaining (not individu-        they presently are. The long lists of        portant proposals regarding the
reductions, lose their penalty rates,   tion and collective bargaining by         al contracts) would be promoted as          “non-allowable” and “prohibited”             protection of union delegates and
work longer hours with no increase      employer dictatorship and indi-           “the principal means of determining         matters under WorkChoices would              rights of entry, inspection and time
in pay, or shorter and unpredictable    vidual contracts – or no contract         pay and employment conditions”.             be wiped. It would be up to the              off for training.
hours, are sacked, rehired on infe-     at all. It seeks to deregulate the la-         It would be legal to negotiate         unions and employers to determine                 The ACTU model offers work-
rior conditions, or cheated of their    bour market for employers giving          agreements on a single business             the scope of the content.                    ers and trade unions a far more
entitlements. Young workers seek-       them unfettered rights to hire and        or multi-employer level, to simul-                                                       favourable regime to operate un-
ing their first job are particularly    fire at will on terms to their liking.    taneously pursue common claims              Right to strike                              der, one which would give them
vulnerable to unscrupulous bosses       There is no place for trade unions        and outcomes with more than one                 “Collective bargaining, which            greater freedoms to fight for and
who know no limits to exploitation.     or workers’ rights in their model.        business or workplace (pattern bar-         includes the right to strike, is the         improve workers’ wages and work-
     Every day new instances come       Industrial action and other legiti-       gaining).                                   primary means by which the pow-              ing conditions and afford trade
to light of just how savage the new     mate trade union activity have been            It would be possible for col-          er imbalance between workers and             unions important basic rights and
laws are, that everything the ACTU      criminalised.                             lective bargaining and agreement            employers is addressed…”                     recognition.
warned would happen in its media             As for the ACTU’s new model,         making on a voluntary basis with-               “Legally protected industri-                  The ACTU’s proposals are
campaign is happening, in spades:       the report says: “We are not rec-         out recourse to the Industrial              al action should be available to             well worth uniting around and
“Choice” means choice for employ-       ommending that a new system be            Relations Commission. However,              employees during bargaining, with-           fighting for as a replacement for
ers only.                               rebuilt on the old blue-print, based      the Commission would have the               out the need for a secret ballot.            WorkChoices and other anti-union
     One hundred and seven build-       on compulsory conciliation and            power to make good faith bargain-           However, as a matter of good union           laws. Ultimately the progress made
ing workers in Western Australia        arbitration as the means to settle        ing orders and where bargaining has         practice, unions would not take              by trade unions and the security and
face jail and personal fines of up to   industrial disputes and determine         failed or good faith bargaining or-         action unless it has been democrati-         prosperity of workers and their fam-
$28,600. They stopped work in sup-      wages and employment conditions.”         ders have been breached, it would           cally endorsed.                              ilies rests on the success of trade
port of a sacked health and safety                                                be able to arbitrate as a last resort           “Protected industrial ac-                union struggle. Employers will not
representative and refused to toler-    Good faith                                to resolve the dispute. The employer        tion should not be able to be                let up in their drive to increase prof-
ate safety breaches on the Perth to                                               will ultimately have no choice but to       undermined by use of external re-            its and suppress wages and working
Mandurah Railway project. The           collective bargaining                     accept the making or arbitration of a       placement labour.” In other words,           conditions.
prosecutions were brought by the            The prime focus on the new sys-       collective agreement where a major-         the use of external scabs should not              The movement must combine all
new industry policeman and spy          tem is what is described as good          ity of employees want one.                  be permitted.                                facets of the class struggle, building
agency, the Australian Building         faith collective bargaining. There             “Collective agreements should              “Industrial action by employers          militancy and class consciousness
and Construction Commission             are a number of criteria for deter-       generally cover all employees per-          (lock-outs) should not be automati-          and dealing with the political as
(ABCC). Their employer, Leighton,       mining whether good faith has been        forming the work to be covered              cally available. ILO jurisprudence           well as the economic aspects. J

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