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Issue No. 144 12 July 2002  

The Lotto Economy
The failure of George W Bush's much-hyped pitch for corporate responsibility underlines the current crisis facing unregulated global capitalism: the system is corrupting all before it.


Interview: Capital in Crisis
ACTU president Sharan Burrow outlines the global union response to the corporate carnage gripping an increasingly shaky system.

Industrial: No Sweat
Neale Towart surveys the international debate around sweatshops and what can be done to regulate them

Bad Boss: Super Spam
Several late scratchings have seen Workplace Relations Department secretary Peter Boxall win this week´┐Żs heat of the Workers´┐Ż Online Bad Boss handicap.

History: Living Treasures
Labour History is 40 this year. Greg Patmore looks back at what it took to get a regular journal of the labour movement in Australia up and away.

International: Axis of Evil
George W Bush´┐Żs scarecrow trio of Iran, Iraq and North Korea is not an original invention, argues Stephen Holt

Solidarity: Pride of Place
NSW Labor Council and CFMEU flags sit alongside the mounted jersey of former Kiwi Rugby League hooker Syd Eru in a modest home at Manurewa, south Auckland.

Technology: The Art of Cyber-Unionism
More Unionism? Transformed Unionism? Peter Waterman looks at a new handbook for unions and the internet

Poetry: The Masochism Tango
Tony Abbott's comment we should accept a bad boss like a bad husband or bad father has made us all realise that instead of fighting bad bosses, we should love them. Anyone for a tango?

Satire: Foxtel-Optus Merger 'Anti-Repetitive'
The ACCC has ruled today that the proposed content sharing arrangement between Foxtel and Optus Vision would constitute anti-repetitive conduct

Review: Bob Carr's Thoughtlines
Stephen Holt reviews one man's journey from collectivism to the centre


 Sweat Shops ´┐Ż Coming To A Street Near You

 Glassworkers Walk for the Umpire

 Family Friendly For A Buck

 Abbott in Slow GEER

 Royal Commission Bugs Workers

 Drivers Frozen Out by Corporate Spin

 Coca-Cola Brews Storm In A Tea Cup

 Bush Prepares for War on the Wharves

 Safety Summit A Hit With Unions

 Beattie Faces Bargaining Face-Off

 Casual Work Exploits ´┐Ż Catholic Church Agency

 More Effort Required On Disabled Workers

 Protecting Security Officers From Disease

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Why Modernisation Matters
Labor frontbencher Mark Latham argues that the ALP's reform agenda must go way beyond the 60-40 debate.

The Locker Room
Playing To The Whistle
Phil Doyle takes a look at the man in the middle, and he doesn´┐Żt like what he sees.

Inquiry Into Executive Pay
The ACTU Executive this week called for a public debate on spiralling executive pay packets, seeking feedback from workers, community representatives and unions.

Up In Smoke
Wobbly Radio's Nick Luccinelli reports from England where drug law reform is on the political agenda.

Week in Review
Bulldust and Boofheads
Jim Marr casts his eye over a week in which bullshit and bad bosses fought for headlines´┐Ż

 On Aspiration
 GST Agenda
 Amanda's Mediocrity
 Capital Ideas
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Bad Boss

Super Spam

Several late scratchings have seen Workplace Relations Department secretary Peter Boxall win this week´┐Żs heat of the Workers´┐Ż Online Bad Boss handicap.

Peter Boxall

Boxall entered the contest with dual nominations from the CPSU and LHMU and backers attributed his success to "a thoroughgoing commitment to bastardary".

It is in his professional role that Boxall has raised the hackles of CPSU members, most recently in an aggressive push for a non-union enterprise agreement which it is claimed will cut conditions whilst delivering an "inadequate" wage rise.

Boxall has been accused of "spamming" employees after sending unsolicited emails, urging acceptance of his agreement. Boxall's emails used individuals pay records in an effort to argue they would be better off.

Dozens of concerned staff have objected to the CPSU while others have taken their concerns to MPs and the Australian Electoral Commission, which is running ballots on the proposal.

"The fact that this blatant push-polling is happening at the same time as delegates are being obstructed from distributing the alternative viewpoint highlights just how desperate DEWR management is," according to the CPSU's Jenness Gardner.

She said members were referring to Boxall's actions as an "invasion of privacy" and an "appalling misuse of personal information".

"It's no wonder Tony Abbott is such an expert on bad bosses. He's got one running his own department."

According to the Public Sector Informant, Boxall's beer money offer is the subject of a champagne bet between himself and fellow big-dollar mandarin, Peter Shergold.

Shergold, who failed to get an LK agreement up when he sat in Boxall's chair, has bet the current encumbent a bottle of French champagne that he will be no more successful this time around.

In his previous role, as Finance Department secretary, Boxall won a national outsourcing award. That award, jointly sponsored by F Corbett & Associates and Business Process Outsourcing, recognised his efforts in farming out corporate support activities to multi-national PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Interestingly, the sponsors, Business Process Outsourcing, were, in fact, an arm of the PricewaterhouseCoopers operation.

But that's not all.

In his spare time Boxall tries to shaft domestic workers on behalf of one of the nation's upper-crust private schools.

Boxall was a board member of Canberra's elite, Church of England Girls Grammar School, when it tried to contract out the jobs of long-serving catering, domestic and maintainence staff last year.

The school, which charges fees of $6000 - $10,000 a year, tried to flick their work to commercial giant, Spotless, sparking a major row with the LHMU.

The move came after the 35 workers went public about a long-standing overtime row with the board.

We can promise our readers that if Boxall gets up for the Worker Online Bad Boss gong there will be no conflict of interest in the judging. Then again, he won't be receiving a bottle of French champagne either.


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