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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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Magistrate Endorses Health and Safety Rights

A South Coast employer has been found guilty on charges of obstructing and intimidating in an Industrial Court ruling that underlines union rights to carry out health and safety inspections.

Chief Industrial Magistrate, George Miller, found Walter Ingenhoff guilty of two charges of obstructing, and two of intimidating AMWU officials who had sought to carry out a safety inspection at HighLube Fluid Engineering, Unanderra.

The maximum fine for each of the four convictions is $2200. Ingenhoff will be sentenced in the Wollongong Industrial Court on August 16.

NSW Labor Council secretary, John Robertson, says unions are "celebrating a major victory in the battle for workplace safety".

Robertson says the vindication of the two AMWU organisers is "highly significant" for two reasons.

First, that the prosecution, the first of its kind, was mounted by state health and safety authority, Workcover, and, that it should bring to an end a spate of employer challenges to the entry rights of accredited union officials.

The rights of authorised officers to carry out health and safety inspections became a key issue in Sydney hearings of the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry. Employers, the Office of the Employment Advocate and commission counsel all questioned the legitimacy of health and safety inspections.

Robertson said NSW law sought to recognise unions as partners in the state's economic development and provided a role for them in a a key issue for their members.

"This decision is unequivocal. We have the right to carry out health and safety inspections. We will continue to do them and we will continue to do them responsibily," Robertson said.

Building Workers Demand Protection

Meanwhile, a spate of construction site accidents has sparked calls for a Government Task Force to investigate health and safety in the industry.

Last week a demolition worker crashed four floors from the roof of a building in Bondi, and only yesterday a Glebe demolition site was shut down on the insistence of Workcover and Leichhardt Council officers.

There have been at least three reported incidents, in the past month, of cranes toppling over on Sydney building sites.

Labor Council is backing CFMEU calls for a state government task force into safety standards in the industry.

The two organisations have been backed by NSW Demolition Association president, Bob Brady, in calls for the reinstatement of specialist Demolition and Asbestos divsions within Workcover.

Meanwhile, Labor Council is backing a CFMEU protest to welcome Commissioner Cole's Building Industry Royal Commission back to Sydney.

Safety will be the focus of the rally scheduled for noon on Wednesday, August 28.

"This is an opportunity for workers to let the Commission know what they think of its contemptuous refusal to investigate the major issue facing our industry," Ferguson said.


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