Issue 44


Mines and building unions unite By Steve Painter SYDNEY — On February 10, the building workers' (BWIU) and mineworkers' (UMFA) unions amalgamated to form the Construction, Forestry and Mining Employees Union (CFMEU), with about 96,000
MELBOURNE — Nissan workers have voted to accept a redundancy package from the company, which will close its Australian car manufacturing plants by October. According to vehicle builders' union (VBEF) secretary Ian Jones, the deal averages out to
By Dick Nichols SYDNEY — Has the State Rail Authority here reached the point of outright sacking of its workers? This would seem to be the message of moves to eliminate 600 cleaning positions prior to privatising all cleaning work on Sydney's


By Peter Annear SACRAMENTO — Exhilarating, challenging and touched by tension and trepidation were some of the phrases used here to describe the first conference of the California Green Party following its official registration as a state
Cuba is facing its worst economic crisis since the 1959 revolution, as a result of the US blockade and the collapse of economic relations with eastern Europe. MIKE TREVASKIS, who visited in December and January, reports on the measures Cubans hope
Czech bus drivers strike over budget cuts By Peter Annear PRAGUE — Members of the Independent Public Road Transport Union held a successful one-day strike on February 10 against proposed budget cuts by the government of the Czech Republic.
By Dan Connell ADI CAIEH, Eritrea — Each afternoon a cold wind howls over the lip of the plateau, some 2500 metres above sea level, sending clouds of thick brown dirt swirling through the empty streets, deserted except for swarms of small,
By Kathy Ragless For the villagers around the Sikou Gulf on the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand, destruction of the environment is an urgent problem. A non-government organisation, the Yad Fon Association, has been working with the fishing
By Steve Painter The recently formed third-party Alliance threw a scare into the New Zealand political establishment with a strong performance in the February 15 Tamaki by-election. The Alliance came within 1200 votes of winning the blue ribbon
Aristocrats' ball inspires protests By Peter Annear PRAGUE — "It was open season on bow ties, fur collars and diamonds at the Opera Ball on Saturday night as a vocal, orange-pitching crowd of demonstrators showed Ivana Trump and her
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — If the buying power of wages in Australia had fallen by 80% in a year, how large would the demonstrations be in Bourke Street or the Sydney Domain? It would have to be more than the 15,000 or so people who marched
By Norm Dixon Moses Havini, Australian representative of the Interim Government of Bougainville, has denied the accusation by the Papua New Guinea government that the Bougainville Revolutionary Army has taken 1000 villagers hostage in central
Infant mortality in Latin America (per 1000 live births) Cuba 10.7 Costa Rica 18 Chile 20 Venezuela 35 Colombia 39 Mexico 41 El Salvador 61 Brazil 61 Peru 84 Haiti 94 Bolivia 105
By Brian Costner A leak of radioactive water from an aged nuclear weapons plant has delayed the reactor's restart and piqued local concerns about the plant's safety. The leak was discovered on December 24, 11 days after the Department of
Tune into Radio Free Bougainville Help break the blockade of the Bougainville. Radio Free Bougainville, the voice the interim government of Bougainville, broadcasts daily between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on shortwave radio frequency 3.880 megahertz.
By Peter Gellert MEXICO CITY — Miguel, a 50-year-old unemployed father of five, is a Mexico City street vendor. He sells corn-on-the-cob from a card table. Miguel works 70 hours a week, and on a normal day brings home $15, only half of which
By José A. de la Osa In 1991, Cuba achieved an infant mortality rate of 10.7 per 1000 live births. This rate, which has been achieved for two consecutive years, is the lowest in the country's entire history. Infant mortality is an


Terry Waite: Why was he kidnapped? By Gavin Hewitt Bloomsbury, 1991. 230 pp. $39.95 Reviewed by Sean Malloy This book explores the activities of Oliver North in trading arms covertly with Iran in exchange for the release of US hostages
By Louisa Foley The book Fact and Fantasy File and the Making Sense of Sex Hotline have created a stir among reactionaries in NSW, with the Sunday Telegraph running a campaign against them, Premier Nick Greiner condemning them and Prime
The Famine Within By Katherine Gilday Canada, 89 minutes, colour From February 21, Valhalla, Sydney, and the Carlton, Melbourne Reviewed by Tracy Sorensen One of the more engaging moments in this devastating film occurs when a girl, perhaps
Tu-be or not tu-be By Dave Riley It's official: you can now turn your television set back on. The squalid drought is over and a succession of ratings periods await your delight. This is the year of the news — the new news — format and
By Norm Dixon Abdul Tejan-Jalloh (aka Tee-Jay), from the west African nation of Sierra Leone, is midway through a two-month tour of Australia. Concentrating on outdoor music festivals, pub and club appearances, he has introduced to many here
Young Soul Rebels Starring Valentine Nonyela, Mo Sesay Directed by Isaac Julien Produced by Nadine Marsh-Edwards Reviewed by Alex Aitkin The alternative film industry in Britain is alive and kicking. Isaac Julien, is black, British and now
The Hoechst dispute as a paradigm shift in occupational health & safety By Yossi Berger Australian Workers' Union, Victoria Branch, 1991 $15 institutions, $10 individual, $2 AWU & MEWU members Reviewed by Dennis McIntyre The Hoechst Altona
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse Written and directed by Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper Documentary footage directed by Eleanor Coppola Winner of the Best Documentary 1991 at the Sydney and Tokyo Film Festivals Showing at
See Abdul Tee-Jay free Green Left Weekly has 10 double passes to Abdul Tee-Jay's Thursday, February 20, concert at the Paddington RSL to give away. The first 10 people to call between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19, who can tell us
Elizabeth the Last em = By Denis Kevans I am Australia's lorikeet, And I wrote this very fast, You are a beaut, I thee salute, Elizabeth the Last.


Scare tactics Campaigning is well and truly under way for the Earth Summit, the 30,000-delegate, $125 million-budget United Nations Conference on Environment and Development scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in June. Big business is throwing money