No condom no start

Issue 

No condom no start

By Karen Fletcher

SYDNEY — Building workers on 30 building sites around Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle will be thinking about sex, specifically safe sex, in their morning and lunch breaks from August 25 to September 18.

The Sidetrack Theatre Company is about to hit the building sites with an important message about AIDS and safe sex, thanks to a workplace theatre project organised by the Building Workers Industrial Union.

Assistant state secretary Andrew Ferguson said the union's association with the theatre company began with The Serpent's Contract, a workplace show which dealt with the perils of labour market deregulation.

"We were very happy with the company's work, and we are confident that this show will be similarly successful in bringing home an important message to its audience.

"It is fast paced, colourful and funny, and it tells a real story in an unusual way."

Ferguson says the AIDS show was prompted by research which shows that minimal HIV prevention work or education has been carried out among blue collar workers and that there is considerable lack of knowledge about the AIDS virus and how it is transmitted.

There will be one performance of the show for the general public on Sunday, September 6, at the Bondi Beach Pavilion as part of a concert to raise funds for a new Children's Hospital in Westmead.

The concert, organised by BWIU member Winston Hazel, runs from noon to 6 p.m. and includes music from six African and Reggae bands.

Hazel was a scaffolder for the Alpine company before its collapse amid management squabbling. Donations to the hospital appeal made by Alpine workers were lost in the process, like thousands of dollars worth of workers' entitlements.

Like many other former Alpine workers, Hazel has not found industry work since the shutdown in December. As a working musician, he has organised the Bondi concert to continue the building workers' contributions to the hospital fund.

Admission to the September 6 show is $10.

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