||Issue No. 163||29 November 2002|
Lessons from History
Interview: Trade Secrets
Industrial: It’s About Overtime, Stupid
Unions: Full Steam Ahead
Bad Boss: The BBQ Battle Axe
Economics: Different Dimensions of Debt
History: Raking the Coals
History Special: Wherever the Necessity Exists
History Special: Learning from the Past
History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Politics: Regime Change for Saddam
International: World War
Corporate: Industrious Thinking
Review: Jack High
Culture: Duffy’s Song
Satire: A Nation of Sooks
Poetry: Mr Flexibility
The Locker Room
Month In Review
State Based Organising
Gino on the Gong
New Mining Bully On the Block
Xstrata is a Swiss-based multinational with extensive mining interests in South Africa and South America currently attempting to take over MIM - a move that would make it our third largest miner behind BHP-Billition and Rio Tinto.
Delegates from all Xstrata's operations throughout NSW and Queensland met in Cessnock this week and unanimously endorsed a comprehensive campaign, including industrial action, if the company continues to renege on existing agreements at its operations and pursues the victimisation of union activists.
Miners Union General President Tony Maher warned that Xstrata faces the full force of the union movement "here in Australia and overseas unless it changes course".
" Xstrata is no longer a private company. It is a publicly listed global mining player. We will be letting its shareholders know what is going on and the stakes involved. Indeed, unless the company reverts to its previous course of respecting workers rights and agreements it will face a concerted industrial, corporate, legal and international campaign", warned Tony Maher.
Mr Maher said he hoped it did not come to this. "Following today's delegates meeting, we are seeking an urgent meeting with Xstrata's most senior management. The ball's in their court and we hope they don't take the same failed path of confrontation that others in the coal industry pursued for the past few years", said Tony Maher.
Broken Hill Workers Beat 'Callous' Boss
Meanwhile, two Broken Hill miners have received $110,000 from mining giant Pasminco after being denied retrenchment rights because they were on sick leave when it solds its mine.
Broken Hill-based CFMEU NSW South/West District Vice-President Eddie Butcher condemned the move to sack the two miners who were recovering on compensation as "incredibly callous" and "blatant discrimination
On 21 November, the Industrial Commission ordered that John O'Dwyer and Trevor Hyde be reinstated making them eligible for the $110,000 redundancy payments they were entitled to.
For John and Trevor it was a wonderful early Christmas present and they told the Miner's Union journal Common Cause "it is another 110,000 reasons why it pays to belong to the Union".
"We could not have done this without the CFMEU. Our case is absolute proof of the value of unions to the whole of Australia", they said.
John and Trevor said that while they have been strong Union members all their working lives, they had never realised just how much work and dedication goes on behind the scenes to look after the interests of union members.
The company rolled out the big legal guns and was represented by big city law firm Blake Dawson Waldron. They had three solicitors on the case including a partner of the firm. It's been estimated that it would have cost the company between $40,000-$50,000 in legal fees in its failed attempt to deny the injured mineworkers their $110,000 in entitlements.
"There were five hearing days involved in the case and there it no way we could have afforded to fight it on our own", John and Trevor told Common Cause. "Without the Union, we were gone".
In his determination of the case, Commission Deputy-President Sams described Pasminco's sacking of the injured mineworkers as "cruel and heartless".
John O'Dwyer and Trevor Hyde are both family men who had 30 years of experience between them in the mine. Both have dependent children and are still physically incapacitated as a result of the injuries they suffered in separate accidents in the mine.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|