||Issue No. 177||09 May 2003|
Joining The Dots
Interview: Staying Alive
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Industrial: Last Drinks
National Focus: Around the States
Politics: Radical Surgery
Education: The Price of Missing Out
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
History: Massive Attack
Culture: What's Right
Review: If He Should Fall
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The Locker Room
HR Honours Death List Author
The ultra-Right organisation honoured Len Buckeridge with its Charles Copeman Medal, struck to commemorate the antics of a New Right activist and Robe River strikebreaker, for “services to industrial reform”.
Buckeridge joins the architect of the Howard Government's industrial relations policy and phone card rorter, Peter Reith, as a recipient of the medal.
In his speech to the society, Buckeridge whose companies turn over hundreds of millions of dollars annually, confirmed he had drawn up the death list. He claimed it came in response to having been threatened by "a sub-normal little thug".
Buckeridge also confirmed he had been placed on a two-year good behaviour bond after being charged with assaulting a union activist. He attributed that reverse to "some left wing magistrate".
But once he warmed to his audience he moved beyond building unions to attack the Maritime Union and its former secretary John Coombs whom Buckeridge labelled an "evil little thug".
Buckeridge had stood to benefit from Reith's 1996 attempt to break the MUA but joined the collateral damage as maritime workers rallied public support for their cause.
"Unfortunately the state government went to water and left me holding an empty bag and if you think about it," he said, "this merry band of thugs has held Australia to ransom from during World War II to the present day."
Back in the real world, in a Perth court today, Buckeridge had his latest attempt to sideline the CFMEU dismissed by a judge as a "misuse of process".
The case stemmed from a crane toppling over on one of his sites and landing on a bobcat. When assistant union secretary, Joe McDonald, and organiser, Cam McCulloch, tried to speak with the bobcat driver and union member they were denied access.
The company then gained AVOs against the pair without the union being notified of the hearing. It was an attempt to extend those orders across the Buckeridge group that the judge took exception to today. He also lifted the original order.
MP and former lawyer, John Quigley, and the CFMEU have both lodged official complaints with police over Buckeridge's 30-person hit list.
"We take it very seriously," CFMEU WA branch secretary Kevin Reynolds confirmed.
Reynolds called on both the state and federal governments not to do business with Buckeridge.
"It is wrong for governments of any colour to reward a man who admits he has been involved in conspiracy to murder," Reynolds said.
Asked if he believed his name was on Buckeridge's list, Reynold said he would be "bloody disappointed" if it wasn't.
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