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Issue No. 182 13 June 2003  

The Dead Couple
The message from the ACTU’s Future of Work research is that the two theoretical frameworks for understanding work in the 20th century - ‘Harvester Man’ and ‘TINA’ are both dead.


History: Nest of Traitors
Rowan Cahill uncovers a ripping yarn that could redefine the way we look at Australian involvement in World War II.

Interview: A Nation of Hope
Former PM Bob Hawke bemoans the demise of industrial relations but takes heart from the prospect of peace in the Middle East

Unions: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on a soap star rebellion, Howard’s plans to renuclearise South Australia, more historical atrocities in the north, the redundancy test case plus more in the monthly national wrap.

Safety: The Shocking Truth
It’s every power worker’s worst nightmare – and it happened to Adrian Ware. In a flash of voltage, his life changed forever, as Jim Marr reports.

Tribute: A Comrade Departed
From Prime Ministers to wharfies, the labour movement paid tribute to Tas Bull this week. Jim Marr was among them.

History: Working Bees
Neale Towart looks at a group of workers who got sacked so their boss could keep making the Bomb.

Education: The Big Picture
The NTEU’s Dr Mike Donaldson and Tony Brown join all the dots in the current debate around higher eduction.

International: Static Labour
Ray Marcelo argues there’s another side to the recent furore over Telstra’s use of cheap Indian IT contractors.

Economics: Budget And Fudge It
Frank Stilwell argues that Peter Costello’s latest budget plumbs fiscal policy to new depths.

Technology: Google and Campaigning
Labourstart’s Eric Lee argues the latest weapon for campaigning could be the humble search engine.

Review: Secretary With A Difference
Looking for a new job can be hard enough, without having to worry about sadomasochistic bosses and the threat of being spanked for forgetting to cross your ‘t’s, says Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Minimale
The Labor Party leadership is in the news again, inspiring our resident bard David Peetz to song

Satire: Howard Calls for Senate to be Replaced by Clap-O-Meter
John Howard released a controversial policy statement today, arguing that the Senate be abolished in favour of a device measuring noise from the gallery of the House of Representatives.


 Air NZ Grounds Mums and Kids

 Unions to End Casual Affair

 Carr Faces Acid On Job Security

 Abbott Prescribes Dole for Mother of Six

 Cole Batting Zero from Thirty Two

 Labor Insider Makes Mess

 Dust Busters – MUA Sails into Allianz Fight

 Security Forces Come Out Firing

 Women’s Centre Faces Ideological Jihad

 Varsity Casuals Win Wage Increase

 Fortress NSW Protects BHP Workers

 Pharmacists Seek Jobs Medicine

 Iranian Textile Workers Sewn Up

 Unique Union –Uni Partnership

 Activists Notebook


It’s Our Party
Long time union watcher Nicholas Way looks at the changing dynamics between the industrial and political wings of the labour movement.

The Soapbox
Grass Roots
In his Maiden Speech, new MP Tony Burke argues that the ALP’s union links are nothing to be ashamed of.

Opinion Forming Down Under
Evan Jones condemns the mainstream’s media coverage of the War on Iraq and the damage it is doing to our national psyche.

The Locker Room
Location, Re-Location!
It’s all fun and games until someone loses a club, writes Phil Doyle

 Costa Must Be Crazy
 Saharwi Struggle
 Vinegar Hill
 Tom's Toons
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Cole Batting Zero from Thirty Two

None of the 32 cases used to justify the establishment of the multi-million dollar Building Industry Task Force has resulted in court action, much less a successful prosecution.

Task Force director, Nigel Hadgkiss, confirmed that after investigations by his officers not one of the cases referred by Building Industry Commissioner Terence Cole had been forwarded to prosecuting authorities.

"It's true to say the majority will not be proceeding," Hadgkiss told Workers Online. "We have been unable to get the necessary evidence to proceed and that's for a number of reasons."

When pressed on how many referrals from Cole's interim report might survive the evidentiary cull, Hadgkiss responded "very few".

The establishment of the Building Industry Task Force, employing 41 people including 21 former police officers and at least five lawyers, has been controversial from day one.

The CFMEU based a "bias" claim against Royal Commissioner Terence Cole on the fact that he called for its establishment before he had completed hearing evidence.

The significance of the 32 referred cases was underlined at a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra, earlier this month.

Department of Employment and Workplace Relations official, Barbara Bennett, appearing alongside Hadgkiss, told senators the Cole referrals were behind the Task Force's existence.

"The matters referred to Nigel just after the establishment of the task force are referred to in the royal commission's first report," she said. "They were part of the reasons why he (the Royal Commissioner) asked that the interim task force be established - to maintain some law and order in the industry pending the establishment of a permanent body and to investigate matters that, at the time, he felt he could not progress."

Bias allegations have now been levelled against the Task Force.

ETU officials in Brisbane have alleged their telephones have been bugged since Hadgkiss' organisation set up shop in the city. They also claimed his staff offered advice and support to hardline employers after enterprise bargaining talks broke down.

Hadgkiss said that, independent of Royal Commission leads, four actions have been instigated since the Task Force opened for business more than six months ago. The target of each, he confirmed, was a trade union. None of these case has yet come before a court.

CFMEU national secretary, John Sutton, said the failure to proceed with any of Cole's 30 original cases was unsurprising.

"We have stated all along that this was a witch hunt," Sutton said. "They are finding what most of us know, that witches are thin on the ground."


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