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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�s heat of the Workers� 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�s 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 � 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 � 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�t 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�

 On Aspiration
 GST Agenda
 Amanda's Mediocrity
 Capital Ideas
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Abbott in Slow GEER

Dumped Marrickville workers have spent the past nine months waiting to receive a payment under the Howard Government's much-vaunted 'GEER' entitlements protection scheme.

Nine months after Fastline Proprietary went belly-up, the first of 50 displaced workers are seeing some of their entitlements; but they are still being dudded up to eight weeks on redundancy.

TCFUA secretary, Barry Tubner, said the Fastline experience showed up "glaring inequities" in the Government's determination to have taxpayers fill the shoes of failed bosses.

Fastline went bust last September, leaving production manager, Tony Chia, to start again with the same machinery, in the same premises, but having flicked watered-down worker enititlements to the taxpayer.

"These people had been grossly underpaid, they hadn't received their super for 12 months before the union was alerted," TCFUA organiser Steve Davies reported.

He said the bureaucracy hurdles to extracting money out of the federal 'GEER' had proved almost insurmountable for the mainly Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and East Timorese workforce.

They had been required to attend creditor's meetings or oganise proxies, then lodge proofs with the administrator or liquidator. If it hadn't been for the union, Davies argued, most of them would have walked away from the process.

"Most of these women marched alongside the Ansett workers, they were going down at the same time. Only now, this week, are they starting to see the first of their entitlements," he said.

Davies said, however quick GEER operated, the Marrickville workers were always going to be "robbed" because the Federal Government only pays eight weeks redundancy whereas they were entitled to up to 16, under the state award.

Labor Council will write to the Federal Government, urging 100 percent cover of entitlements when employers fold.

Secretary John Robertson said it was "ridiculous" for workers to have to wait nine months before collecting any of their entitlements..


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