Why The User Should Pay
Unions have often been the victims of the user-pays ethos – the pointy end of the assault on the State by the Top End of Town that has left our public sector looking like the poor relation to the corporates.
Interview: Life After Keating
Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd looks at the world and wonders what might have been ...
Industrial: That Friday Feeling
Anthony Stavropoulos has been working six days a week for the last eight years and now he wants his weekends back. “Remember that Friday feeling?” he asks. “You just don’t get that anymore.”
Bad Boss: Begging to Work
They may put themselves about as the Saints of the Fourth Estate, but bosses at the Big Issue Magazine have been nominated by their own vendors for this month’s Tony award.
Organising: Project Pilbara
Sydney University’s Bradon Ellem reports on how unions are bouncing back in Rio territory
Unions: Off the Rails
The Federal Government is attempting to turn NSW Railways into a political football with a proposal that threatens the safety of freight and passenger trains in NSW and life in our rail Towns, writes Phil Doyle.
International: Brazil Turns Left
Union stalwarts throughout the American hemisphere are cheering the election of Lula – the peanut seller and shoeshine boy, turned union leader - who has been elected as the first working-class President of Brazil.
Environment: Brown Wash
Stuart Rosewarn argues the Johannesburg Sunmmit was a gripping showcase of Australia’s lack of a strategic vision.
History Special: Learning from the Past
Ray Markey looks at union membership growth in the 1880s & 1900s to argue that today’s unions must engage to grow.
Corporate: Will the Bullying Backfire?
Job insecurity, unemployment, a growing gap between rich and poor, massive global poverty and environmental danger are the big issues for the protests at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Sydney.
Technology: Danger Lurks For The Passive
If unions fail to exploit opportunities on the web to gain members, other organisations are likely to fill the void and provide services to workers on the internet.
History: In Labour’s Image
Neale Towart looks at a long-overdue initiative to around NSW through the eyes of the workers.
Politics: Without Power Or Glory
South Coast contributor Rowan Cahill gives his take on the Cunningham by-election result.
History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Barbara Webster looks at Rockhampton between 1916 – 1957 to debunk the ‘dependence’ theory of trade union growth.
Culture: Blood Stains the Wattle
Former Queensland Treasurer Keith De Lacey has turned up in print with a rollicking tale of life during the famous Mt Isa strike of the 60s.
Satire: Iraq Pre-empts Pre-emptive Strike
Saddam Hussein has launched a pre-emptive strike on the United States to prevent it from pre-emptively striking Iraq first.
Poetry: The Executive Pay Cut
Executives accepting pay freezes, or even pay cuts? This outrageous proposal has been put on the table by some capitalists themselves, and taken up by our bard.
Review: Time Out
When a family man invents a new life after losing his steady job, Tara de Boehmler watches his charade escalate until there is no turning back.
Bargaining Fees In the Dock
Deadly ‘Slave Labour’ Racket Exposed
Zoo Workers Buck Indecent Proposal
Cabinet Takes Stick To Abbott's Carrot
Cyber Action Behind Hilton Win
Aussies Back On Board
City Workers To Help Country Cousins
Sour Taste for Wine Workers
Government Grounds Ansett Levy
TAB Workers Winners as Cup Strike Averted
Aussie Post Gets Mail On Sick Leave
Council Backs Community Radio Venture
First Steps to Compo Clean-Up
Workers Out! Conference Opens In Sydney
Aussie Union Rep Power, Yes Please: TUC
New Burma Shame File
Month In Review
War and Pieces of Work
The Bali Tragedy dominated the news this month, leaving many questioning the motive and wondering if this is fallout from Australia’s unquestioning support of George Dubya’s ‘War On Terror’.
Beware of Greeks Bearing Historical Allusions
Roland Stephens argues that the current popular line that the USA is a modern day version of the Roman Empire is flawed.
The Locker Room
Over The Fence Is Out
Phil Doyle warms up for another season of hard hitting and fast bowling in the park, making the rules up as he goes along.
The Sea of Hands
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation are five years old. Spokeswoman Dameeli Coates addressed labor Council to mark the event.
Tokyo Youth Call
Tokyo unions are relying on young organisers to infiltrate workplaces as part of a major organising campaign, which focuses on non-unionised companies, reports Mary Yaager.
Trashing the Siren Theory
Still Crazy After All These Years
With new research suggests CEO carry similar personality traits to psycho-paths, the AGM season is proving that there’s little room for logic in our nation’s board rooms.
More Bali Feed Back
Clean Election Laws Now!
And Now, Some Fan Mail!
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Deadly ‘Slave Labour’ Racket Exposed
International unions have swung into action to investigate an African based ‘slave labour’ racket that has been exposed after the death of two workers at Lake Cargellico in the state’s west.
The bizarre tale of a black South African worker who entered the country on a business visa, but working for $100 per month on the state government-subsidised site has raised fundamental questions about Australia’s working visa system.
The worker concerned, Oagiles Malothane, won't be the one answering them, after being rushed out of hospital by a friend of his dead boss just six days after the accident and put onto a flight to Johannesburg.
The accident, in a remote location at Lake Cargellico, occurred when a concrete pour on a water tower went wrong, leaving two dead and three injured.
The project was funded by the NSW Public Works Department and was administered by a local government authority, prompting calls from the NSW Labor Council the government to take greater responsibility for the way public funds are used.
But it was the public comments by the South African High Commissioner to Australia, Zolile Magugu, that Malothane was the victim of a "mafia-style" immigration racket that sparked national headlines.
As unions attempt to put the jigsaw of events together:
- CFMEU state secretary Andrew Ferguson has called for an immediate freeze on issuing business working visas until the matter is fully investigated.
- the NSW Labor Council has called for a police investigation into the suppression of evidence linked to the workplace accident.
- and CFMEU national secretary John Sutton has called on the Cole Royal Commission to fully investigate the incident.
- NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, John Della Bosca, announced a WorkCover safety blitz on concrete formwork on building sites following the accident.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions is working with its South African affiliate the South African National Union of Mineworkers to publicly expose the international racket.
What is clear is that the South African worker was involved in a visa scam, the job he was working on was dangerous and that someone was prepared to go to significant lengths to ensure he did not give evidence to Australian authorities.
"The Howard Government talks tough on border protection and refugees but when it comes to serial exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers they are nowhere to be seen," says Andrew Ferguson, State Secretary of the Construction Division of the CFMEU.
Despite Federal Government claims to the contrary the CFMEU points out that this is not an isolated incident, coming as it does on the back of Korean tilers and the Helensburg temple workers being exploited in a similar manner by unscrupulous construction industry employers.
Meanwhile, media reports have revealed that a Korean national allegedly involved in illegally importing cheap labour for the construction industry has been detained and is facing deportation.
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Issue 159 contents