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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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Carr Govt Commits $13m To Safety

The Carr Labor Government has committed $13 million over three years to help put last yearís Bathurst Safety Summit recommendations into action.

Some 132 recommendations were made at the summit, with unions, employers and safety experts setting industry safety targets for each major employment sector.

At the launch last week of its industrial relations policy, the NSW Government also touted a number of workplace safety achievements already made, including setting up a Workplace Fatalities Investigation Unit with specialist criminal law experts to examine workplace deaths and contribute to police investigations.

It says there has also been a reduction in disputes about payments of benefits. Some 75% of injured of injured workers are now paid benefits within seven days of notifying an injury - up from 53% previously.

Other initiatives included in Labor's Industrial Relations policy include:

∑ Expanding the YouthSafe project into TAFE colleges and primary schools;

∑ Establishing a new Safer Towns and Cities Program. The program will bring together local employers, community leaders, unions and government agencies to showcase practical workplace and community safety initiatives in regional centres;

∑ Developing occupational health and safety guidelines to apply to all call centres across NSW, aimed at protecting workers in the emerging industry; and

∑ Pressing the Commonwealth to ratify outstanding International Labor Organisation Conventions on occupational health and safety, asbestos, chemicals, air pollution, noise, and child labour.

Labor's industrial relations policy also has a range of initiatives to boost the WorkCover scheme, including:

∑ Requiring insurers to more actively support injured workers back to good health, aiming for a 10% improvement in return to work rates by 2004/05;

∑ Providing tailored assistance to unemployed injured workers by using employment agencies that specialize in placing people with disabilities and long term unemployed people back in the workforce; and

∑ Making better use of health professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, and general practitioners when developing return to work duties.


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