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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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Lib MP Named in Cole Commission

A Federal Liberal MP has been named in the Cole Royal Commission, accused of interfering in South Coast building industry contracts.

The Cole Royal Commission this week heard evidence that Joanna Gash was a central player in an anti-union crusade which South Coast Labor Council secretary Arthur Rorris said had built a �climate of fear� in the Shoalhaven region.

Wollongong-based CFMEU organiser Peter Primmer told the Royal Commission that Gash made it her business to ring contractors; promote preferred subcontractors and interfere in contractual arrangements.

Speaking outside the commission, Primmer and fellow Wollongong organiser Mick Kane, said Gash had orchestrated an attempt to keep unions out of the Shoalhaven building industry.

Central to her strategy, they claimed, had been the willing involvement of the controversial Office of the Employment Advocate.

"She put the OEA onto me and had them follow me around for more than a month," Primmer said.

"We have no doubt she has used her position to organise Nowra builders against the CFMEU. She has encouraged AWAs and non-union agreements that disadvantage workers in her own electorate."

Kane said Nowra-based Ganderton Earthmoving, who gave evidence before the Commission, had just transferred AWA employees onto a non-union agreement without essentially changing the terms.

Features of the Ganderton non-union deal include...

- 50 hours a week at normal rates

- no accrual of sick leave

- no rostered days off

In earlier evidence, Primmer said there had been an attempt to run him down with a motorcycle and a "boss" had struck him with a steel girder as he went about promoting trade unionism.

Rorris told Workers Online that workers had been intimidated out of making health and safety complaints against employers.

Meanwhile, two men were taken away from the Royal Commission for Federal Police questioning after allegedly threatening another CFMEU organiser, David Kelly.

Mr Kelly said the threat had been made while he was sitting in the Royal Commission public gallery.

The comments - "you'd better watch out for yourself, you'd better be careful" - were directed at him after he gave evidence. They were witnessed by a third party, understood to be a lawyer, who also spoke to Federal Police.


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