||Issue No. 144||12 July 2002|
The Lotto Economy
Interview: Capital in Crisis
Industrial: No Sweat
Bad Boss: Super Spam
History: Living Treasures
International: Axis of Evil
Solidarity: Pride of Place
Technology: The Art of Cyber-Unionism
Poetry: The Masochism Tango
Satire: Foxtel-Optus Merger 'Anti-Repetitive'
Review: Bob Carr's Thoughtlines
Sweat Shops – Coming To A Street Near You
Glassworkers Walk for the Umpire
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
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Labor Council of NSW
Royal Commission Bugs Workers
Commission secretary Colin Thatcher's admission to Senate Estimates this week has prompted Labor Council to seek a public assurance from the Attorney General that telephone interception warrants are not being used to monitor conversations related to civil or industrial matters.
The Commission, set up to investigate "illegal or improper" activities in the building industry, has turned into a "show trial" of the country's largest construction union.
During five weeks in Sydney its public hearings concentrated almost wholly on alleged worker wrong doing.
Workplace Relations Minister Abbott bankrolled the commission to the tune of $60 million and put the services of the Federal Police, National Crime Authority, Office of the Employment Advocate and a phalanx of high-paid lawyers at its disposal.
He is paying Commissioner Terence Cole $660,000 a year, plus perks.
The Commission, itself, cannot obtain warrants under the Telecommunications (Interception) Act, but officers of the federal police and national crime authority can.
Besides admitting it has received information obtained under telecommunications interception warrants, the commission has refused to answer all questions concerning "operational matters".
Given the resources at its disposal, the commission came up with little evidence against union officials in Sydney that would stack up against objective analysis.
CFMEU organiser, Phil Davey, urged Labor Council delegates to get along to commission hearings when they return to town next month.
"It's certainly an experience," he said, "especially for those of us who have never seen a show trial before.
"Within a kilometre of the hearing there are almost certainly companies employing illegal immigrants, rorting tax and running phoenix operations but none of them are of any interest to these genius policemen.
"It turns out, they're too busy bugging us."
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