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Issue No. 158 25 October 2002  

The Sirens' Song
There is nothing for trade unionists to celebrate from Laborís loss in the Cunningham by-election.


Interview: The Wet One
NSW Opposition industrial relations spokesman Michael Gallacher stakes out his relationship with the union movement.

Bad Boss: Like A Bastard
Virgin Mobile is sexy and funky, right? Well, only if those terms have become synonyms for dictatorial or downright mean.

Unions: Demolition Derby
Tony Abbott likens industrial relations to warfare and, like a good general should, he is about to shift his point of attack Ė from building sites to car plants, reports Jim Marr.

Corporate: The Bush Doctrine
For the powerful, consumerism equals freedom, and is all the freedom we need, writes James Goodman

Politics: American Jihad
Letís get real. The origins of modern Islamic terrorist groups are in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Langley, Virginia not Baghdad, argues Noel Hester.

Health: Secret Country
Oral history recordings are an inadequate tool in trying to find out what happened to Aboriginal stockmen and their communities on cattle stations in Northern Australia, writes Neale Towart

Review: Walking On Water
On the 20th anniversary of the first AIDS-related death, Tara de Boehmler witnesses the aftermath of losing a loved one to the illness in Walking On Water.

Culture: TCF
Novelist Anthony Macris captures life on the shop floor in this extract from his upcoming novel, Capital Volume II

Poetry: The UQ Stonewall
The University of Queensland has sought to join the ranks of union-busting companies like Rio Tinto in trying to sack the president of the local union - and made the mistake of thinking they were dealing with an array of acquiescent academics.


 Email Use Sparks Pay Claim

 Melbourne Cup Strike Threat

 10,000 Rally in Support of Kingham

 Negligent Bosses Labelled ĎSerial Killersí

 Ambulance Officers Win $6 Million Back-Pay

 Strike Pay to Bali Appeal

 Boral Bosses Bag Bulk Bucks

 Bid to Block New ACCC Chief

 Cuts Equals Profits for ANZ

 First Takers for 36-Hour Week

 IT Outsourcing Agencies Called To Account

 Pay to Work Spreads to Hornsby

 Howard Opens Waters to Rogue Ship

 Work a Suicide Factor

 Unis Drop RDO Assault

 Boxes of Books for Good Causes

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
I Walk The Line
American civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has weighed into the Hilton Hotel dispute with this special message to the workforce.

Mekong Daze
Union Aid Abroad's Phil Hazelton fires off a missive from Laos where he is spending a year working with the community.

Month In Review
Bush Whackers
It was a month where the world teetered on the brink of peace, no thanks to the leader of the free world, writes Jim Marr

The Locker Room
The Laws Of Gravity
Phil Doyle goes looking for the fine line that separates sport from an exercise in time-wasting

Snouts in the Trough
Itís AGM season in the corporate world, and deal after shady deal is being exposed as highfliers treat company accounts like the proverbial honey-pot.

Songs of Solidarity
There has been a proud history of pro-worker tunes dating back to the early days of the 20th century, which will be continued in a new CD, writes Dan Buhagiar.

 Heaps of Bali Feedback
 Brooklyn Phil Says ...
 Here Comes the WTO
 From Little Finks ...
 The Mouth From the South!
 Ushering the Rusted Shield
 Echoes of DLP
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Boral Bosses Bag Bulk Bucks

Boral Chief Executive Rod Pearse has received a pay rise of 75% over three years, while concrete truck drivers with twenty to thirty years service with the company are being terminated without notice.

The company's actions prompted workers to attend the Boral AGM to highlight their concerns to the Board and shareholders. They were supported by a rally of unionists outside the meeting.

"Mr Pearse's company has been responsible for causing nothing but hardship and havoc for hundreds of Boral employees and truck owner drivers across NSW and the ACT," says TWU state Secretary Tony Sheldon.

"The company has recently restructured drivers costs by up to 30%. Most recently the company decided to terminate 30 owner-drivers in Canberra without meeting any redundancy entitlements or taking into account their years of service."

This comes on the back of Boral attempts to sack 70 small businesses owner-drivers across NSW without adequate compensation.

"Hundreds of TWU Members and their families want to make sure Boral Management put a stop to jeopardizing their future and the future of their company," says Sheldon.

Dudley Willard, a delegate from the Concrete section of the TWU, fears that upcoming contract negotiations with Boral will be "cruel and mean".

He supported the union's push to make itself heard at the AGM and hoped that the TWU might be able to "pull an NRMA or something" in the future.

"We're just normal owner drivers," says Willard. "You see us on the road all the time. We just hope we can negotiate in a plausible way."


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