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Issue No. 170 14 March 2003  

Coke or Pepsi?
And so the battle of the NSW political brands enters its final week – and at times it seems more like the Coke and Pepsi Taste Challenge; only this time the brown syrupy liquid is power.


Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Through a distortion in the time-space continuum, we have found a recording showing how people a few years into the future will deal with health care.

Interview: League of Nations
ICFTU general secretary Guy Ryder on the war, core labour standards and why Australia is an international pariah.

Industrial: 20/20 Hindsight
A retrospective analysis of the Accord is needed to help develop future strategies. Is it worth trying again? And if so, what would need to be different?

Organising: On The Buses
A new rank and file leadership team is standing up for the harried bus driver in the run-up to the NSW State Election

Unions: National Focus
A gaze around the country reveals some inspiring and innovative organising initiatives, a fruitful connection with young workers in South Australia and some typically robust industrial campaigns reports Noel Hester.

History: The Banner Room
On the eve of it’s refurbishment, Jim Marr ventures into one of Trades Hall’s best kept secrets; the room that houses relics of labour’s halcyon days.

International: The Slaughter Continues
Chilling new statistics from Colombia's main trade union confederation CUT: nine trade unionists assassinated in the first two months of this year.

Legal: A Legal Case For War?
Aaron Magner looks at the legal implications of the crusade of the Coalition of the Willing

Culture: Singing For The People
When there’s a struggle for social justice, when a war is brewing or rights are being eroded, the first ones to pen, paper and protest are often the folkwriters.

Review: The Hours
On the eve of International Women’s Day Tara de Boehmler follows the tale of three women who would rather choose death than a life devoid of personal choice.

Poetry: I Wanna Bomb Saddam
Scarier than Star Wars, the latest weapon to be deployed in the battle for Iraq is the Singing Dubya.

Satire: Diuretic Makes Warne's Excuses Look Thin
Australian cricketer Shane Warne today admitted that he was still feeling the after effects of the diuretic he tested positive to.


 Travelex Wrong-un Stumps Staff

 No Utopia In Lifetime Contracts

 Della Renews Jobs Pledge

 Chef Roasts Double Standard

 Howard’s Navy – Aussies Need Not Apply

 Bank Lockout Mars Peace Day

 Intrepid Tourists Buck ILO Bans

 Whistle Blown on Second Hand Rail Safety

 Back-Packers Used to Break Hotel Strike

 Qantas for High Jumps

 Burrow Calls for New Family Formula

 Central Queensland Sucks on Roche

 Cabbies Hail Fair Deal

 Smoke Free St Patricks Day

 Workers Flush on Poo Pay

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Workers Friend
Shock jock Alan Jones snubbed his Liberal mates to bucket the Cole Royal Commission and launch Jim Marr's book

The Locker Room
Boer Bore Boring
In the face of oppression Phil Doyle falls asleep in front of the TV

Guest Report
Dead Labor
The Hawke and Keating legacy is John Howard, Leonie Bronstein argues.

Hands Off, Tony
John Della Bosca argues the NSW Industrial Relations System gives his State a competitive advantage.

Groundhog Day
Another year, another round of corporate excess. Bosswatch returns from its summer slumber to find the same old dogs up to the same tricks.

 Addicted to ANZUS
 A Plea for Legal Action
 Accord Reconsidered
 Johnny's Green Card
 Veto The War
 Law and Order
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Chef Roasts Double Standard

Ripped off South African chefs Reevis Khumalo and William Ndlovu are being forced out of Australia by a Federal Government determined to burn workers.

The pair were paid thousands of dollars in a confidential settlement, after claiming six-figure underpayments, by Manly eatery Ribs and Rumps.

Government immigration policies, however, have taken the shine off their victory. The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMIA) has given them until tomorrow (Saturday) to quit the country because they are no longer sponsored by Ribs and Rumps owner, David Diamond, himself a South African ex-pat.

"We are very, very disappointed," Khumalo told Workers Online. "We lived in Australia for four and a half years and had started new lives here but because our employer did the wrong thing we have to leave.

"It is a bad thing, my friend, because it wasn't us who breached any Australian laws but we are being forced out while the person who did breach the law is allowed to stay and prosper."

Khumalo said he had enjoyed Australia and would try to get a visa so he could return.

His argument reflected submissions made by Labor Council and the CFMEU officials in submissions to both Minister Philip Ruddock and his department.

Council assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou, said Section 457 visas were routinely used to "exploit guests and put pressure on Australian wages and conditions at the same time".

CFMEU secretary Andrew Ferguson there was no monitoring of the wages and conditions of imported labour and "when these people are brave enough to ask questions there are no sanctions available to dissuade unscrupulous employers".

He said the "effective expulson" of Khumalo and Ndlovu was a "classic example" of the unfairness of the regime Ruddock presided over.

Workers Online understand that the chefs' legal representatives, Reg and Ros Bartley, were continually frustrated by that unfairness in trying to win a settlement for their clients.

It is an issue they will address in letters to the Government and legal papers they are preparing.

Reg Bartley thanked NSW unions for their assistance in getting "some justice" for his clients.

"We were going around in circles, being frustrated at every turn until the Labor Council and CFMEU got involved," Bartley said. "It's our opinion that if they hadn't organised demonstrations in support of our men they would have got no money at all.

"At least, after four and a half years they have got some money to take home to their families."


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