Issue 385

Australia

Building unions stake their claim

By Michael Bull

MELBOURNE — An alliance of four Victorian unions has launched a united claim for a new collective agreement for the building industry.

The Victorian branches of the construction and general...

By Grant Coleman

PERTH — After striking for 96 hours, hospital worker members of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union have won a 5% pay rise and are now entering into arbitration.

Five hundred orderlies, caterers and patient care...

Women's liberation discussed in Wollongong

By Nicole Hilder

WOLLONGONG — On November 6, Green Left Weekly held a women's liberation forum titled "It's Time to Get Angry Again".

Dr Margaret Perrott from the Democratic Socialist Party...

By Jeremy Smith

The federal Coalition government has set its sights on the National Tertiary Education Industry Union as part of its anti-union offensive. The NTEU has suspected for some time that the government will come after it. Industrial relations minister...

South Coast teachers bury government offer

By Andrew Hall

WOLLONGONG — Teachers in the northern suburbs of Wollongong buried a coffin outside Labor state MP David Campbell's electoral office on November 11. On the previous day their colleagues from southern...

Defence Department opposes nuclear dump

By Molly Wishart

Chiefs of the three defence forces and the secretary of the federal Department of Defence have written to the government expressing opposition to hosting a nuclear waste dump on land used by the...

Telstra walks out of negotiations

By Tim E. Stewart

In an effort to secure an enterprise agreement without union endorsement, Telstra management walked out of negotiations with unions on November 5. The following week, management express-posted thousands of...

East Timor benefit

CANBERRA — On November 6, Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET) and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union organised a benefit for East Timor at the University of Canberra bar. The folk-rock band the Bushwhackers, Irish...

In Dili, more than 10,000 East Timorese marched through the streets on November 12 in a solemn commemoration of friends and relatives killed in the 1991 massacre by Indonesian troops at the Santa Cruz cemetery. It was the first such commemoration since 1991.

The day...

SA union secretary resigns

By Bronwen Beechey

ADELAIDE — Paul Noack resigned as the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) South Australian branch secretary on October 29. Noack's resignation followed a meeting of the AMWU's federal council to...

Gay and lesbian pride springs out

By Kim Bullimore and Simon Tayler

CANBERRA — The ACT's first Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival — Spring Out — included a rally and march on November 13, attended by 300 people.

The rally was addressed by, among...

Government slashes funding to green groups

By Jim Green

On November 8, the federal government announced another round of funding cuts to environment groups. The government's funding program, which totals $1.65 million, will now include grants to community...

Union members support sector-wide campaign

The Family and Community Services section council of the Community and Public Sector Union passed a motion on November 4 calling for a union campaign for a public service-wide agreement on pay and conditions. The motion argued: "Agency-by...

Forest summit warns of new threats

By Jim Green

Fifty representatives from forest conservation groups around Australia concluded the 15th national forest summit in Victoria's East Gippsland on November 9.

The summit warned that forests face...

Bill on same-sex domestic violence welcomed

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Gay and lesbian organisations have welcomed the passage of Queensland government legislation giving same-sex couples the same access to domestic violence protection as that given to...

Casual workers to strike

By Chris Slee

MELBOURNE — Contract workers at the Victorian state government's Land Titles Office, members of the Australian Services Union (ASU), are planning to strike on November 14 and 15. The workers are campaigning for a...

Two arrested at bridge protest

By John Nebauer

ADELAIDE — Builders are preparing to sink pylons for the controversial Hindmarsh Island bridge, sparking a new outbreak of anti-bridge protests.

Two people were arrested at a protest near the...

Mapoon elder slams Lingard over 'straw hut' remarks

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — A leader of the Aboriginal community at Mapoon on the Cape York Peninsula has slammed National Party MP and former Aboriginal affairs minister Kev Lingard over racist remarks made...

Another win for the NTEU

By Jeremy Smith

MELBOURNE — A strike scheduled for November 10 at the Victoria University of Technology was called off after management indicated it would settle an agreement with the National Tertiary Education Industry Union (NTEU...

Thousands rally to save Leighton

By Anthony Benbow

FREMANTLE — "You all know what you see when you're sitting on the train or driving along Stirling Highway; you come over the hill to this glorious view over the beach and the ocean, and it reminds you of...

World

By Sue Njanji Matetakufa

HARARE — More than six months after Zimbabwe's Supreme Court shocked equal rights campaigners worldwide by relegating African women to the status of "junior males" within the family, many Zimbabweans are worried about the ruling's long-...

Zimbabwe doctors win, nurses strike

By Norm Dixon

Nurses in several Zimbabwean cities went on strike on November 9 to demand a pay increase, three days after doctors ended their seven-week strike in protest at low salaries, poor working conditions and the...

East Timorese refugees: no end of trauma

By Jon Land

More than 200,000 East Timorese refugees are still languishing in militia-controlled camps across West Timor. United Nations personnel and representatives of human rights groups continue to be denied...

By Eva Cheng

Despite extraordinarily brutal oppression, India's working people are resisting the new attacks that the ruling coalition, regrouped after the October election, is seeking to impose. The offensive, loaded with privatisation and "liberalisation"...

Win for pay equity in Canada

By Margaret Allum

In a monumental victory for women's rights, the Canadian government agreed on October 29 to implement the July 1998 findings of a human rights tribunal which ruled that there existed a discrepancy in the pay...

Budiman Sujatmiko likely to be freed soon

By Max Lane

The Indonesian People's Representative Council (DPR) is likely to recommend the release of at least 44 political prisoners, including People's Democratic Party (PRD) chairperson Budiman Sujatmiko and six...

By Raul Cienfuegos

There has been much discussion in Colombia about the "peace" dialogue between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) and the government.

After decades of unsuccessfully trying to wipe out left-wing...

US blockade aids Iraqi regime

FARIS MAHMOOD, a member of the politburo of the Workers Communist Party of Iraq (WCPI) is in Australia until early next year. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's PAUL BENEDEK.

In Iraqi-occupied Kurdistan (in the...

East Timor Solidarity Aid

Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET) is launching Timor Solidarity Aid to provide material assistance to people's power-based activism in East Timor. Strength in organising, campaigning and mobilising will be needed to make sure that...

By Sam King

BANDA ACEH — The mass action that overwhelmed Aceh's capital city on November 8 is undeniable proof of the people's desire for a referendum and their resolve to campaign for it. Some 2 million people took to the streets, in the estimate of all major...

UN again demands US end its embargo against Cuba

The United Nations General Assembly on November 9 overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution, for the eighth successive year, calling for an end to the 40-year-old US economic embargo against Cuba.

The vote on the Cuban...

By Robyn Marshall

BRISBANE — United States doctor Warren Hern was detained and questioned by immigration authorities for two hours at Sydney airport on November 10. Hern, a supporter of women's right to choose abortion, was in Australia to attend Abortion in Focus...

The view from Dili

By Max Lane

DILI — Burned-out buildings and people on foot — these were the immediate impressions of East Timor's capital when I arrived on November 4 for a 36-hour visit. Jakarta-backed militias had done enormous damage with just matches...

Editorial

A matter of life or death

The national crisis in public health care was dramatised last week when emergency wards in at least five public hospitals in Sydney were closed to all patients except those with life-threatening conditions. "You don't get in unless you're dying", was how...

Resistance!

By Kylie Moon

BANKSTOWN — A major victory has been won by the students at the University of Western Sydney-Macarthur's (UWSM) Bankstown campus, a result of a 14-day long occupation of the Student Information Centre which ended on November 10. The occupation forced...

By Natalie Zirngast

High school students will walk out on November 30 in Seattle to join a protest against the World Trade Organisation (see Green Left Weekly page 20). The protest is being organised by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and will...

By Natalie Zirngast

The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) inquiry into the "cash for comments" scandal involving 2UE's shock jocks John Laws and Alan Jones has the rest of the Australian media running scared. Alan Kohler commented in the Australian...

By Rohan Pearce and Nikki Ulasowski

HOBART — Recent articles in the Murdoch-owned Mercury are an example of how the media can reinforce racist myths and whip up nationalism. The government's crackdown on "boat people" has been an excuse for the media to...

By Anthony Brown

Despite much talk about a youth "crime wave", statistics show that youth crime is not out of control and that young people themselves are often the victims of crime.

It is true that most criminal offenders are young people. The...

Tutorial sizes to be capped at 30 until autumn 2000;

Employment to be guaranteed for five staff crucial to a number of courses continuing;

No internet-only subjects to be offered;

Enrolments to be made not only via the internet;

No car parking fees;

No library...

By Kate Carr

"Identity politics" emerged from British and US feminism towards the end of the 1970s. It developed in reaction to the failure of liberal feminism to adequately incorporate or acknowledge the differing experiences and demands of women of colour and...

Culture

Reclaiming the language of East Timor

By Jon Land

Standard Tetum-English Dictionary
By Dr Geoffrey Hull
Allen and Unwin
$24.95

As the transition to independence begins in East Timor, a debate...

The dictatorship of US$ and Wall Street

The Global Gamble: Washington's Faustian Bid for World Dominance
By Peter Gowan
Verso, 1999
320 pp., $39.95

Review by Eva Cheng

...

Bad medicine

By Karl Miller

I accidentally caught the last segment of Good Medicine, on Channel Nine at 8.30pm Wednesday night. It was one of those times you are so horrified you can't stop watching. Those 10 minutes were a segment on breast...