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Issue No. 167 21 February 2003  

Scales of Injustice
The Cole Royal Commissionís final report will be handed to the Howard Government this week, although its public release will be strategically delayed for maximum political capital.


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 Ė 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 Governmentís 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.


 Cole Commission: The Rort Goes On

 Penalty Rates Under Attack

 Abbott Brushes Ripped Off Aussies

 Overworked Seamanís Painful Hangover

 Australia Snubs International Body

 Women Attracted to Unions

 Murdoch Hacks Dropping Like Flies

 Peace is Union Business

 Qantas Takes Big Stick to Cabin Crew

 Sheltered Workshop in Orange Squeeze

 Carr Govt Commits $13m To Safety

 Monk Puts IR in Test Tube

 Concreters Bury Six-Day Week

 Graincorp Boss in Cyber War

 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. Heís 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 doesnít 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.

 This Means War
 Who Let The Troops Out?
 Wagga Wagga Calling
 Ode to Johnny
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Murdoch Hacks Dropping Like Flies

A three-year staff freeze within News Ltd is taking its toll on the health of journalists and photographers, with 46 percent reporting their workload is damaging their health and well-being.

More than half of those surveyed say the pressure of work at News Ltd caused them trouble sleeping and many reported regular headaches, according to a safety survey conducted by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

This information was collected by a voluntary national survey at News Ltd metropolitan newspapers, conducted by MEAA in October and November 2002, with more than 250 responses from across the country.

Such symptoms are likely to be the precursor to more serious health problems later in life. Interestingly, no-one from the Canberra bureau said their health was damaged by their workload.

"News Ltd appears to have failed to create a positive work environment, with more than a third admitting to chronic irritability," MEAA na5tional secretary Chris Warren says.

"While you might want to chuck a sickie to have a break, there's problems there too, with half the respondents reporting pressure to battle on through an illness."

The pressure comes mostly from management (55%), but 23% reported pressure from colleagues (who have to pick up the extra work) and 22% said they felt obliged to come in themselves, presumably due to their professionalism and unwillingness to leave colleagues shorthanded.

57% said they'd had to work on a rostered day off, an average of 3.7 times since 1 January 2002. Virtually no-one got paid double time, instead receiving a day off in lieu.

While rosters appear to be posted in time, 47% said they change sometimes or all the time. This difficulty in organising a normal family life is worsened for the quarter of all respondents who said they can't take holidays when they want them. Even after holidays are scheduled, 22% said they've been cancelled or rescheduled.

Around half the workforce appears to take work home sometimes or all the time. Canberra reported the lowest 'take home' rate, possibly explained by the fact that 90% said they work an average of 8 hours more than 38 hours a week.

Nationally, 72% said the same, working an average of 7.6 hours per week over 38 hours. That's an extra day's work from three quarters of the workforce. News Ltd gets their pound of flesh and it's getting worse according to the 49% who said their workload increased in 2002.

Ed's Note This story will not be picked up by the Daily Telegraph.


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