Issue 240

Australia

By Claudine Holt
MELBOURNE — More than 400 people attended a meeting organised by Justice for Indigenous Australians at the Assembly Hall on July 23. The meeting was called to highlight the increasingly racist climate allowed and encouraged under

The Community and Public Sector Union held stop-work meetings on July 23 to vote on a National Executive (NE) motion to strike on July 25. Motions calling for an ongoing service-wide campaign against the cuts, and for the ACTU to call a strike to

By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Tasmanian Greens Senator Bob Brown, speaking at a meeting on July 20, said that the Coalition government had "boxed itself into a corner" on the sale of Telstra, whereas those opposing privatisation had a clear

By Pip Hinman
Investigations by Greenpeace and Indian environmental group Srishti have revealed that, in the last two years, Australia has exported 9034 tonnes of toxic waste to India. This makes Australia the second highest exporter of toxic zinc

By Dennis White
Australian National workers face serious doubts about their future following moves by the federal government to investigate the performance of the government-owned enterprise. A letter from AN's chairperson, Jack Smorgen, to federal

By Ben Courtice
HOBART — The long-running wages campaign by Tasmanias non-nursing health workers has taken a bitter turn. On July 17, the state Liberal government announced a 5.5% pay rise for 20,000 public servants, but not for members of the

A key plank of the Howard government's attacks on the public sector is its proposed partial privatisation of Telstra. In preparation, the job cuts are rumoured to be around 24,000 within 18 months. In South Australia the Keep Telstra Public Alliance,

By James Vassilopoulos
According to a leaked memorandum obtained by Green Left Weekly, Qantas Airways is developing "an industrial disruption labour plan", or scabbing plan, to be implemented in an industrial dispute with unions. The memo by Bob

By Michael Bramwell
FREMANTLE — July 26 marked the fifth anniversary of the Kirkis shipping disaster. The Kirkis, an unseaworthy ship not inspected by unions, broke up off the WA coast, spilling 20,000 tonnes of oil into the Indian Ocean. To mark

By Alex Bainbridge
NEWCASTLE — Nico Wahid from the Indonesian People's Democratic Party (PRD) and dissident Indonesian researcher George Aditjondro spoke at a July 25 workshop attended by 30 people. The workshop discussed the links of oppression

By Malcolm Maclean
ROCKHAMPTON — A rally opposing federal and state budget cuts drew 300 workers here on July 19. Speakers included local MLA Robert Schwarten, Gordon Rennie, general secretary of the State Public Service Federation (Queensland),

By Peter Norford Johnston
WOLLONGONG — In the latest sequence of undemocratic moves initiated by the vice-chancellor, the last meeting of the university council decided to decrease student representation on the Board of Management by half. The

By Andrew Hall and Margaret Perrott
WOLLONGONG — Some 500 Port Kembla residents rallied on July 14 in anger over plans to reopen the Southern Copper smelter, chanting "stop the stack — we don't want it back!". Dan Meehan, spokesperson for the

By Jodie Combeer
ADELAIDE — On July 16, a meeting of young people concerned about Howard's attacks on apprentices and trainees decided to form a new campaign group, Industrial Relations Action Team (IRATe). The meeting heard reports from Young

Pickets were held last week to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks, considered the day that launched the Cuban revolution. Lara Pullin reports from Canberra that around 20 people gathered outside the United States

By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — The Queensland government has been forced to reconsider controversial changes to juvenile justice laws, after widespread protest. The changes were criticised by Criminal Justice Commissioner Frank Clair as "seriously

By Jennifer Thompson
The July 23 confrontation between striking unionists, who are picketing CRA-owned Novacoal's Vickery mine, and the mine's management was deliberately provoked according to CFMEU members. Workers have been on strike for more

World

By Abdul Hadi
At least six people were killed on July 27, when soldiers attacked the headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI). The headquarters, a house in a central Jakarta suburb, had been the focus of daily "democracy forums" over

Detroit strike a test for unions
By Barry Sheppard
July 13 was the first anniversary of the Detroit newspaper strike, which is the most important labour struggle taking place in the United States today. This war of attrition pits 2000 workers

By Sean Healy
The British government back down on a Unionist march has led to an outpouring of anger by the Catholic community in Northern Ireland and threatened to destroy the talks process in the North. The march in Portadown, County Armagh, was

By Sujatha Fernandes in India
On July 11, a 500-strong armed squad of the Ranvir Sena descended on Barki Kharaon, a village in the Bhojpur district of Bihar, in a four-hour attack that left 22 people dead and 52 injured. Ten huts were also burned

By Eva Cheng
The Prison Activist Resource Centre and the Institute of Global Communication on July 4 released information concerning the plight of 25 activists in six Chinese provinces or cities. Three workers — Chen Gang, Peng Shi and Liu

By Sujatha Fernandes
LUCKNOW — Late on the night of July 3, the Indian government introduced a 25-30% hike in the prices of petroleum products. Although kerosene was exempted, the decision resulted in an increase in the price of all goods by 50

By Jill Hickson
The Cuban Freedom and Democratic Solidarity Act, better known as the Helms-Burton Act, is causing a major rift between the US and governments all over the world. On July 16 President Bill Clinton was forced to delay implementation

By Renfrey Clarke
MOSCOW — On July 9 Russian forces launched a huge new offensive in the republic of Chechnya, putting an end to a shaky six-week cease-fire. With lulls due to bad flying weather, the Russian military has continued pouring bombs

CHARLESTON, Illinois, USA — Union members locked out for five months at Trailmobile Corporation here have ratified a new contract which turns back all company demands for concessions and makes gains in wages and other improvements. Members of

Dita Sari, Coen Hussein Ponto and student activist Sholeh were detained by the East Java military on July 8 during a workers' rally in Surabaya. They were held incommunicado for almost two weeks, but are able to be visited by legal representatives

By Renfrey Clarke
MOSCOW — Ukrainian coal miners began returning to work on July 17 after 14 days of strikes and other protest actions that paralysed the country's coal-producing regions. The miners' key demand was that the government make money

By Anne O'Callaghan
AUCKLAND — Twenty-seven parties are competing for parliamentary seats in the October 12 elections, the first to be held under the new MMP (mixed member proportionate) system. According to national director of the Alliance Matt

By Jean-Jacques Boislaroussie
The German model of "a socialised market economy" has long been considered a benchmark in Europe. Strong points of this model were high productive output and a partnership between a well-implanted union movement

By Peter Montague
Bill Gaffey's work is finished. He died suddenly of a heart attack at age 71 on October 6, 1995, in St Louis. As a result, his libel lawsuit against Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly, and its editor, Peter Montague, has been

By Max Lane
The Indonesian military has increased its propaganda attacks against jailed union leader Dita Sari and her political party, the People's Democratic Party (PRD). Dita Sari (26) was detained on July 8 following the PRD's 20,000-worker

By Reihana Mohideen
It was in 1991 that the stories of the so-called "comfort women" began to attract international attention. In 1991 a former "comfort woman" from Korea, Kim Hak Sun, broke her 40-year silence. She took the Japanese government to

Editorial

The August 20 federal budget should not be allowed to pass the Senate. The jobs, education, health and welfare of literally millions of people are at stake.
Even without the support of Tasmanian independent Brian Harradine, the ALP, Democrat and

Culture

Subject: Melbourne Sympathy Orchestra The unit attended a performance of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, and observed the following:
1. For considerable periods, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their number should be reduced and their work

Challenging myths about women
Lip ServiceBy Kate FillionHarper Collins. $16.95Reviewed by Trish Corcoran As the cover of Lip Service reads, it is about "the myth of female virtue in love, sex and friendship". Canadian feminist author Kate Fillion

The Follies of PolliesCD by John DengateReviewed by Alex Bainbridge I first saw John Dengate perform live in 1987 at the National Folk Festival in Alice Springs. He presented a workshop titled: "No matter how you stir the dunny can, the shit always

Leading WomenBy Eva CoxRandom House, Australia, 1996. 326 pp., $19.95Reviewed by Melanie Sjoberg Society has changed considerably in the 25 years since Eva Cox became involved in the women's liberation movement. The strong activity of the second wave

The independent Youth Club of Tuzla is trying to set up its own self-managed radio station, as a step toward overcoming the misery facing Bosnian young people and returning to their enjoyment of Western music. One of the things they need is music,

Sex and Anarchy: The Life and Death of the Sydney PushBy Anne CoombsViking, 1996, 340 pp., $29.95 (pb)Reviewed by Phil Shannon The Sydney Push is a conspicuous, if ill-defined, part of Australian social folklore. From the late 1940s to the early

Rough JusticeBy Terence FrisbyDirected by Maeliosa StaffordEnsemble Theatre, Milsons Point (Sydney)Reviewed by Tony Smith Why would any man — anyone — claim to have killed his infant son when he had not? Terence Frisby's courtroom drama poses

Biting PavlovBy Philip DeanDirected by David Peachey and Ken StockPandemonium Theatre ProductionsWarren Street Theatre, BrisbaneReviewed by Lynda Hansen This production, performed in a beautiful old church in Spring Hill by amateur theatre group

The Olympic spirit
With time on my hands and the decks clear for a fortnight, the 26th Olympiad was something I thought I must see. It took a bit of wrangling to get a seat but I am only 2.365 metres from all of the action (I measured it