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Issue No. 166 14 February 2003  

A Call To Arms
Workers Online returns from our summer break to face a world on the brink, the structures of global cooperation being crushed by the iron will of the earth�s last remaining superpower.


Interview: Agenda 2003
ACTU secretary Greg Combet looks at the year ahead and how a union movement can keep the focus on the workplace at a time of global crisis.

Peace: The Colour Purple
Local communities across Australia are taking stands against war by displaying purple banners. Jim Marr visits one.

Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
As Workers Online took its annual break, the world kept turning � at an increasingly alarming velocity.

Solidarity: Workers Against War
Joann Wypijewski reports on how union locals in the USA are fighting the hounds of war at home.

Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
With all the talk of terror, the Howard Government�s Achilles heel is its tolerance of Flags of Convenience shipping , writes Rowan Cahill

International: Industrial Warfare
Scottish freight train drivers have already acted to disrupt the war effort in the UK with crews of four freight trains carrying war supplies to ports walking off the job, writes Andrew Casey

History: Unions and the Vietnam War
The Vietnam experience steered some unions towards social activism for the first time. Unions are today key players in the anti-war movement, writes Tony Duras.

Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Mark Hebblewhites looks at two summer movies that tap into different sounds of American culture - white boy rap and motown blues.

Poetry: Return To Sender
Resident bard Divd Peetz discovers that Elvis has become the latest shock recruit to the peace cause.

Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
CIA Director George Tenet announced today that the agency has begun recruiting future enemies for the year 2014.


 The Cuffe Link � Taxpayers Cough Up

 Carr: Secret Lib Plan to Slash Public Sector

 Abbott Comes Out Swinging

 Thanks a Million: Cole�s Lawyers Clean-up

 Corrigan Dogs On Jobs Promise

 Gnomes Fess Up � Unionism Best For All

 Owens Survives 30-Year Ban

 Ribs and Rumps Something for Government to Chew On

 Badges of Honour

 Guards Rail Against Assaults

 Workers Online Scoops Global Prize

 Currawong Must Pay It�s Way

 Let�s Get Real! 2nd Australasian Organising Conference

 Guard Knocked Out in Villawood Escape

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Getting On with The Job
Premier Bob Carr chose Trades Hall as the venue to launch Labor's IR policy for the upcoming state election.

Justice in Bogota
Sydney lawyer Ian Latham knows how to pick them. He�s gone straight from the Cole Royal Commission to justice Colombian-style.

The Locker Room
Heart Of Darkness
There is a school of thought that there is, in fact, only one World Cup - and it doesn�t involve cricket, writes Phil Doyle.

Danger Mouse
John Howard's politics have trapped him into supporting an unpopular war. He is in political trouble, Leonie Bronstein argues.

 Bouquets and Brickbats
 War Talk
 A Tale of Two Malls
 Talk Back Tom
 On The Beach
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Ribs and Rumps Something for Government to Chew On

A six-figure payout to three African chefs could be a hollow victory if Federal Government doesn�t move to make immigration visas fairer in the wake of Manly�s Ribs and Rumps fiasco.

Two of the workers who alleged in the Chief Industrial Magistrate's Court that they had been ripped off hundreds of thousands of dollars, William Ndlovu and Reevis Khumalo, now face being sent back to South Africa because they no longer have a sponsoring employer.

The third, Elliot Dube, is relatively safe because he has a spouse's visa after marrying an Australian woman.

Labor Council assistant secretary, Chris Christodoulou, called the circumstances facing the chefs "profoundly unfair".

On the one hand, he said, the employer appears to be able to continue sourcing immigrant labour but the workers could be thrown out of the country.

Christodoulou said it was imperative that Government introduced sanctions on employers who used immigrant labour to defeat Australian legal requirements.

"Workers in this situation are extremely vulnerable," Christodoulou said. "They are in this country legally while sponsored by employers but, as things stand, there are no penalties on employers who abuse this trust.

"Trade unions have made the Government aware of dozens of instances where immigrant workers have been underpaid of otherwise exploited but, so far, nothing has been done to close the loophole."

He called on "legitimate" hospitality industry employers to consider employing Ndlovu and Khumalo so they weren't doubly victimised.

Lawyers for the trio and counsel for the Manly eatery reached a "confidential" settlement this week after months of legal arguments. While nobody close to the case would confirm the specifics, Workers Online understands Ribs and Rumps agreed to pay out more than $100,000.

In statements filed with the court, each of the chefs claimed to have been underpaid by more than $100,000. They said repeated requests to be paid in Australian dollars had been rejected by the employer who told them the Australian Government would not allow it.

Until they sought legal representation, last year, they were paid rands into South African bank accounts.

At least two of the men claimed to have been worked six or seven days a week, including stints on the construction of a new Ribs and Rumps outlet at Gordon.

In his statement to the court, the employer sought to offset thousands of dollars in alleged benefits such as accommodation, airfares, soap, clothing and footwear against award entitlements.

Khumalo and Ndlovu both confirmed that they were seeking work in Australia. They said they had constructed new lives since arriving in the country more than four years ago.


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