||Issue No. 138||31 May 2002|
Interview: The Star Chamber
Politics: The Odd Couple
Media: Audiences Before Politics
International: The Off-Side Rule
Economics: The Fake Persuaders
History: Terror Tactics
Poetry: Food, Modified Food
Review: Spiderman Spins Out the US
Satire: England's World Cup Disaster: Star Hooligan Breaks Foot
Cole Suffers Credibility Crisis
Councils Armed To Drown Sweatshops
Bracks Crew Not Family Friendly
Waterfront Truth One Step Closer
Speedy Flow-On for NSW Workers
Star Sin-Binning Prompts Inquiry Call
New Chief Puts ABC Back In The Picture
Gravy Train Gets Richer For Max and Mates
Reward For Delegate Who Stood Up
Casino Workers Hit Mat Leave Jackpot
Drug Haul Sparks Security Warning
East Timor’s MPs Take Australia On
ACTU Officials Denied Visas Into Fiji
Commemorate 100 Years of Votes for Women
The Locker Room
Week in Review
In Defence of Latham
Swans A Pathetic Con-Job
Labor Council of NSW
Miners Win Record Payouts
CFMEU Miners Union president Tony Maher made the call just hours after mining giant Rio Tinto agreed to split $25 million amongst 190 mineworkers it sacked in 1998 and 1999. The union claimed Rio Tinto had introduced a “so-called merit-based system” to victimise union activists at Mt Thorley and Hunter Valley No 1 mines.
The CFMEU won three previous actions against the multi-national but been forced back into the courts by repeated appeals.
Maher called it "plainly ridiculous" for victimised workers to have to wait so long for an outcome.
"Three of our members have died since winning the first case and, that's an indictment on the Federal Government's unfair dismissal laws," he said.
"Rio Tinto used its enormous wealth to keep this matter before the courts while miners, their families and their communities struggled to survive.
"If unfair dismissal laws are to mean anything they must offer justice within a reasonable timeframe.
"It was fortunate we had the resources and determination to wait Rio Tinto out. A lot of worker organisations are not in that position.'
Today's settlement came after years of industrial, political, legal and corporate campaigning.
Miners took their cases to shareholders in London, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane - at one point inciting a near revolt against the top table.
The settlement applies to 108 miners sacked at the Hunter Valley No 1 mine on October 20, 1998, and 82 miners dismissed from Mt Thorley on November 17, 1999.
Rio Tinto will also offer sacked miners preference on 20 available positions in NSW.
A hearing into the sacking of workers from the Blair Athol mine in Queensland continues.
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