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Issue No. 137 24 May 2002  
E D I T O R I A L

An Aussie Icon
The public deification of the Last Anzac, Alec Campbell, proves the adage that when you scratch the surface of an icon you'll invariably find a far more interesting reality.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Just Done It?
Nikewatch's Tim Connor gives his verdict on the global giant's latest innovation: ethics.

Tribute: Lest We Forget
Rowan Cahill goes looking for the real Alec Campbell and finds a story the Telegraph will not be publishing.

History: Solidarity Forever
Neale Towart looks at the enduring relationship between the union movement and the defence forces and finds it all comers down to solidarity.

Technology: Unblocking the Superhighway
Michael Gadiel argues the case for Open Standards as a way of breaking the grip of big business on the IT industry.

International: Gloves Off
Workers and their unions are facing a battering throughout South America as a wave of economic turmoil sweeps across the continent.

Unions: Out Of Work
Jim Marr travels to the frontline to witness the impact of the Howard Government's decision to close Employment National.

Review: Strange Business
Tara de Boehmler looks at a new flick that exposes the dark side of the Material World.

Poetry: The Lawyer's Lament
One of the big issues of recent weeks has been the explosion of insurance costs for public and community events, many of which have had to be cancelled as a result.

Satire: Government Mourns Loss Of Last Anzac
Treasurer Peter Costello has lamented the death of Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC, bemoaning the lost revenue the government could have gained at his expense following the Budget.

N E W S

 Workers Honour Radical Digger

 Retailers in Outworker Spotlight

 Nurses, Teachers Snare Agenda

 Syd in Vicious Backpacker Stand-off

 Microsoft Monopoly Under Challenge

 Kiddies Not Exactly Having a Ball

 NSW ALP Faces Asylum Seeker Test

 Canberra Acts on Industrial Manslaughter

 Carr Delivers on Dismissals

 Santa Claus Strikers on Christmas Island

 Abbott Believes Management Should Dictate

 Low Paid Not To Blame For Beer Price Rise

 Casino Award Covers Eastern States

 Security Workers Want Bosses Sacked

 Sydneysiders Rally For Western Sahara

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
The Cold Hard Truth
The Rail,Tram and Bus Union's Nick Lewocki argues our hard-hearted treatment of refugees is a betrayal of our proud immigrant history.

The Locker Room
The South Melbourne Football Club Pty Ltd
A spectre is haunting football; it is the spectre of revolution; a free market revolution, writes Phil Doyle.

Bosswatch
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Jobs are under threat in the textile and trye markets; but there's better news in the Newcastle mills and the Nike factories.

Postcard
Gas Treaty - The Raw Deal
East Timor is getting less then 40%ónot 90% royalties from the oil and gas revenue in the Timor Sea, reports HT Lee.

Week in Review
Origin of the Species
Phil Gould, Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus may have buried the laughable notion that Rugby Union is the sport they play in heaven, but outside Stadium Australia life goes on, as Jim Marr discovers.

L E T T E R S
 Dancing With Trotsky? Not Bloody Likely.
 Your Tools Page is Down
 Big Dave Foster
 Give Us a Click!
 Will the Real Mark Latham Please Stand Up?
 Unified Labour
 The Last Survivor
 Not Hate Mail
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Syd in Vicious Backpacker Stand-off


Aussie yachting legend, Syd Fischer, has emerged as the man behind the three-week Kings Cross backpacker stand-off.

The multi-millionaire not only owns the Gazebo Hotel site at the centre of the dispute but it was his company, Australian Development Corporation, that hired, then fired, 13 backpackers after they refused to continue demolition work without basic safety provisions.

The backpackers, paid $15 an hour all-up, about half the industry rate, are also seeking back pay.

CFMEU spokesman Brian Parker today called on the multi-Americas Cup challenger, who is transforming the Gazebo into upmarket apartments, to face up to his responsibilities.

"This is a classic example of a rich man using his power to exploit labour," Parker said. "It's time he came down from his ivory tower, faced up to the situation, and tried to put it right.

"It's very disappointing that a man in his position would use backpackers from overseas to deny work to Australians, cut wage rates and undermine health and safety requirements."

Parker and CFMEU state secretary, Andrew Ferguson, have both been unsuccessful in efforts to discuss the issue with Fischer at his Elizabeth St corporate headquarters.

Negotiations have begun with a delegated Australian Development Corporation director. Backpackers are still picketing the site near the El Alamein fountain.

The backpackers had been demolishing the hotel for five weeks without safety induction courses or the most basic equipment. Demolition is one of Australia's most dangerous industries.

Since the CFMEU informed them of their rights, WorkCover has issued Improvement Notices, Prohibition Notices and four separate health and safety fines on the Elizabeth Bay Rd site.

Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terrence Cole has not yet taken up the standing invitation to visit the Gazebo and see first hand how safety and tax requirements are routinely flouted by companies seeking to operate with a non-union workforce.


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