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Issue No. 142 28 June 2002  

Safety First
This week's Safety Summit, called by the Carr Government, is a timely opportunity for the union movement to put occupational health and safety into a contemporary perspective.


Interview: Safe as Houses
Labor Council secretary John Robertson outlines the union movement's priorities in the lead-up to this week's Safety Summit.

Safety: Ten Steps to Safety
On the eve of the NSW Safety Summit, Workers Online went looking for the ten biggest workplace health issues and what needs to be done to address them.

History: Staying Alive
Neale Towart winds the clock back to discover that contemporary arguments that regulators should stay out of workplace safety and let the market do its business are nothing new.

Unions: Choose Life
While Commissioner Cole struggles with the concept of unions trying to improve workers� wages, out in the real world, bosses daily thumb their noses at safety authorities, as Jim Marr discovers.

International: Seoul Destroyers
The rise and rise of the Korean national football team in the World Cup competition was more than matched by the rise and rise of the number of imprisoned Korean trade unionists.

Corporate: Crash Landing
Did Ansett workers� productivity really crash Ansett? Jim McDonald weighs up the evidence.

Activists: The Refusenik
At 20, Rotem Mor has spent more time analysing how he will live his life than most people twice his age. A month in prison and another 18 serving in the Israeli army saw to that.

Review: Dumb Nation
Michael Moore's new book, 'Stupid White Men' exposes the rorts behind the Bush presidency with bitter humour, writes Mark Hebblewhite.

Poetry: Helping Out The Rich
From proposals to 'deregulate' (ie raise) university fees, to attempts to restrict workers' right to strike in the name of 'genuine' bargaining the Government's rhetoric about helping out the battlers is wearing just a bit thin.


 Redundancy Bonus for Members Only

 Tax Office Backs CFMEU Case

 Lib MP Named in Cole Commission

 Sentencing Guidelines for Safety Breaches

 Revealed: Costello�s Hit List

 Virtual Cold War Over

 Safety Lock-Out Enters Second Week

 Unions Seek Talks With New Airport Owners

 Journos Attacked by NRMA

 Strip Bosses Face Dressing Down

 Beattie Called Into Bargaining Impasse

 Nurses Deliver Largest Ever Petition

 US Braces for its Own Waterfront War

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Back to the Future
McKenzie Wark argues that the future of the book relies on the future of a sphere of public debate.

Chain Reaction
The Big Australian discovers a uranium mine it never knew it had, a corporate fraud sparks a worldwide market plunge and the price of investing ethically.

The Locker Room
Three Colours Blue
After a World Cup that saw post-colonial cultural theorists chanting 'we beat the scum one-nil' on the Terraces of Inchon, it was the natural order of things that prevailed, writes Phil Doyle

Poll Positioning
Unions Tasmania secretary Lynne Fitzgerald gives an overview of the State Election called earlier this week.

Week in Review
The Weight of Office
Apart from the Teflon John, power walking at his own pace, would-be leaders everywhere turned in shockers as Jim Marr discovered.

 Link Wages to CEO Pay
 Voodoo Unionism
 Good News from the Pilbara
 Go Mark, Go
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Poll Positioning

Unions Tasmania secretary Lynne Fitzgerald gives an overview of the State Election called earlier this week.


The Tasmanian State election will be held on July 20. The Tasmanian electoral (Hare Clark) system provides for five 'multi-member' electorates with five House of Assembly members elected from each electorate. The current State Labor Government has 14 members, the Liberal Party 10 and the Greens 1

Unions Tasmania (the Trades and Labor Council) has identified an election campaign agenda comprising the key issues for Tasmanian working people. These issues are grouped under the general goal and theme of "Fairness at Work."

All political parties and individual candidates have been asked to respond to proposals on fair wages, secure jobs, reasonable hours of work and flexibility in working time. Wages are generally lower in Tasmania than elsewhere.

State Governments can play an active role in advocating higher wage outcomes. Unions Tasmania wants the parties to commit to a number of wage and income targets identified by the statewide Tasmania Together process and to making a separate and active submission in support of higher wages during national safety net review cases.

There is a growing division between workers who are in secure, career-oriented jobs and the increasing number of casual and part-time workers whose jobs are often precarious

29.3 per cent of Tasmanian workers are now employed as casuals. Unions Tasmania wants to know how the political aspirants will go about bringing more security of employment to the Tasmanian workforce and ensure that employee entitlements are protected.

Like the rest of Australia those Tasmanians with permanent full time work are working longer and longer hours. All parties have been asked to demonstrate how their policies will combat the pressure to work excessive hours and how flexibility in working hours can be introduced to support those workers with other responsibilities.

A further plank in the Unions Tasmania election platform is legislative support for the rights of worker's representatives in the workplace. Tasmanian political parties have been asked to show how their policies will provide practical support for fairer collective bargaining at the workplace level.

At the 1998 State election Unions Tasmania had a formal agreement with the ALP on what the Government would do after the election. However at this election there is no formal agreement.

On receiving party and candidate responses (or lack thereof) Unions Tasmania will publicise the results to Tasmanian workers.

While the Bacon Labor Government is widely expected to be returned the Tasmanian electoral system has a tendency to surprise. Thus the parties' attitudes to the Unions Tasmania agenda could be critical to the outcome.

Like any Labor Government - union movement relationship we have had our ups and downs with the Bacon Government.

It is now up to each party to demonstrate how their policies will advance the cause of working people.


*   Visit the Unions Tasmania Website

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