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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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Dust Busters – MUA Sails into Allianz Fight

State Government has been warned the Patrick Dispute will look like a picnic if it folds to corporate pressure to dud workers killed by dust-related diseases, and their families.

MUA official Barry Robson described any departmental official working to accommodate insurance giant Allianz, as "lower than a Patrick's scab" in an emotional response to company efforts to lure him into its campaign to brush the Dust Diseases Tribunal.

"If they (state government) think Patrick was a bit of a go they haven't seen anything yet of the waterside workers, I can tell you," Robson promised.

Robson said he was literally sick to death of burying friends killed by asbestosis and mesothelioma. He has attended three such funerals this year and had attempts to win compensation for dying former workmates, and the wives who nursed them, constantly frustrated by insurance companies.

Robson was furious at Allianz spin, following last week's unmasking of its lobbying by the CFMEU and AMWU. The company put out a press release saying far from wanting to abolish the dust board, it sought changes that would speed up compensation and ensure peace of mind for victims and their families.

Robson said the author of the press release had been pressing him for a month for a one-on-one meeting.

"This guy keeps ringing me, saying we can do it faster, we can do it better. I've told him - don't go there mate, don't bloody go there.

"I have done cases for 46 members being killed by these diseases and won every one in court but only 16 have got a pension off the Dust Diseases Board. I have waited 18 months to get a response to our appeal for a review and, guess what, they are not going to review any of these blokes.

"Who holds it up? They bloody do.

"They say we shouldn't worry too much because 90 percent of these people are retired, they don't really need the money because they are going to die any bloody way.

"Usually, in our industry, the wife is the carer who goes through the last months. They don't want to compensate the carer. Many a time I have had to stand up there in Goulburn St and defend why the wife should get some compensation for looking after her bloke while he dies. Why? Because they hold it up, they increase the legal costs.

"Then we find out this government is considering getting rid of the Dust Tribunal. I thought there were some low lives in this world and they were called Patrick scabs but if there is anything lower it would be some state government official doing the leg work for this lot."

The CFMEU and AMWU have both attacked Allianz for taking insurance premiums off companies like Hardys for decades, knowing the risk involved, and then trying to shift the payout to the public purse through the Accident Compensation Commission.

AMWU secretary, Paul Bastian, said the company was seeking state government support to transform a poor business decision into a windfall profit.


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