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Issue No. 147 09 August 2002  

A Call to Action
While there has been a lot of angst, anger and no shortage of tub-thumping over Simon Crean's push to cut union influence in the ALP, the end result of the Hawke-Wran review is that it is a call to action for unions to reclaim their party.


Interview: Save Our Souls
Labor's superannuation spokesman Nick Sherry expands on his recent discussion paper into the industry.

Unions: Rats With Wings
As the Cole Commission continues to sidestep safety, another Sydney building accident puts workers at risk this week, Jim Marr reports

Bad Boss: If The Boot Fits
Royal Commission favourite and S & B Industries top dog, Barbara Strong, carts off this week�s Bad Boss nomination.

History: Political Bower Birds
Rowan Cahill looks at a new resource detailing the fading history of the Communist Party of Australia

International: No More Business as Usual
Global unions are stepping up their campaign against corporate rip-offs

Corporate: The Seven Deadly Sins of Capitalism
Shann Turnbull outlines a new set of rules that should govern capital in the post-Enron environment

Industrial: Stiffed!
A backyard horror story has left funeral workers worrying about mooted changes to industry regulations, Jim Marr reports

Review: Prepare To Bend
If it�s a feel good flick that you want, Bend It Like Beckham is sure to satisfy on every level, writes Tara de Boehmler

Satire: Bush Boosts Sharemarket Confidence: Shares his Cocaine Stash
President Bush has rushed to re-establish confidence in the US market by distributing cocaine from his own Presidential stash to Wall Street.


 Mainstream Media Vacates IR

 Ten Click Walker 'Unfit for Work'

 Unions Push for Baby Nest

 Casino Workers Overtime Jackpot

 Abbott�s Task Force �Rank Hypocrisy�

 Shipping Policy Blamed for Reef Damage

 Dropping The Ball On Training

 Combet Pushes Consultative Vehicle

 Maternity Leave for Pacific Workers

 Hit List of Forced Closures

 Magistrate Endorses Health and Safety Rights

 Contracts a Thorn in Workers' Side

 Fringe Success for Workers� Pick

 Activists Notebook


Workers on Film
Last issue we asked you for your ideas on a union film script to match Ken Loach's The Navigators. Here are the best responses.

The Soapbox
Driving Together
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet argues that the Australian car industry needs a partnership between business and labour.

The Locker Room
Dogs And Underdogs
Phil Doyle explains why losers are half the equation in each and every sporting contest

Week in Review
Filfthy Rich and Claptrap
While Labor and the Democrats are tearing themselves to shreds, Little Lachie and Rich Ray address the main game �

Muddy Waters
It was a week when the Prime Minister washed his hands despite mounting evidence that the corporate world is out of control.

 Fraser No Workers' Hero
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Muddy Waters

It was a week when the Prime Minister washed his hands despite mounting evidence that the corporate world is out of control.

Howard Dodges Reform

Prime Minister John Howard has backed away from demands for greater corporate legislation, distancing himself from the tough stance taken by President George W Bush and the US Senate last week. Speaking at a business lunch this week, Howard said that while some government intervention was appropriate, the situation on corporate regulation in Australia was very different from the crisis of confidence now raging across corporate America. He says Australia needs self regulation coupled with appropriate "but not excessive" levels of government involvement was what Australia needed. He says a tougher approach would only push companies to find loopholes in the law. (Source: SMH)

But Even the Markets Want Action

Investment analysts are calling for greater transparency in the way companies report their earnings, with employee option packages a main area of concern.

As the reporting season steps up a gear, the latest survey from the Securities Institute showed 63 per cent of analysts were in favour of adding a line to a company's balance sheeting showing the cost of offering stock options to staff and to senior management in particular. With Australia committed to adopting international accounting standards in 2005, the chief executive of PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia, Tony Harrington, said companies would have to take note that the standards might eventually include the pricing of options into accounts, with the discussion over the issue gaining momentum overseas. He also warned against tightening regulations on auditors, saying the focus should remain on instilling better ethics and business practices, not tougher laws. (Source: SMH)

Williams Faces HIH Music

The head of the collapsed insurance giant HIH, finally faced questioning this week over the spectacular crask of his company. Former chief executive Ray Williams has told the royal commission he may have been naive but was never dishonest in his dealings. He also admitted approving a $1 million after tax "golden hello" to the company's new finance director, while he took $4.7 million to compensate for loss of future salary when the company floated, the royal commission heard today. Williams said he was paid $1 million or more a year before HIH listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and that the pay-out was calculated because his salary dropped after the 1992 float. (Various Sources)

Murdoch Defends One.Tel Involvement

Meanwhile across town, News Ltd chairman Lachlan Murdoch was forced to defend his involvement in another stunning corporate fall, One.Tel. Murdoch was questioned over the massive bonuses paid to One.Tel founders Jodee Rich and Bradley Keeling were legally binding. Murdoch says that he examined whether the bonus payment agreements were legally binding around the time of the March 2000 board meeting. Murdoch says he forced the pair to review the levels at which bonus were to repaid, but then the conversation as they extracted millions under the initial arrangement. (Source: NineMSN)

Vodafone Backs Streakers, Not Staff

Vodafone could face significant penalties if it was found to have incited a streaker at the weekend Bledisloe Cup match, police said. Police are investigating reports Vodafone managing director Grahame Maher agreed to pay the fines of two streakers who pulled a publicity stunt at Saturday night's game. The scandal emerged as Vodafone announced plans to retrench up to 300 of its technical staff. Unions say the

sacked staff had not been given any information on the review or an explanation of why they were selected. Vodafone had already reduced its headcount by 30 per cent to 2100 in the 2001-02 financial year. (Various Sources)

Bond Corp Director Faces Polish Music

A Polish court is hearing an appeal by former Bond Corporation director, Tony Oates, against a ruling he be extradited to Australia. Mr Oates is wanted in Australia to face fraud charges relating to the collapse of the Bond-controlled Bell Resources. He has also appealed to the High Court to overturn a ruling in which he challenged the validity of the 17 charges against him. (Source: ABC)


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