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Issue No. 184 27 June 2003  

To the Victors The Spoils
Revelations that private American lawyers, rather than the ILO, will rewrite the labour laws of countries levelled by the American military vindicate the warnings of those concerned by US unilateralism.


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.


 Rail Chaos Looms

 Electrolux Blows Fuse at Fundraiser

 ACM Loosens Handcuff on Democracy

 Sick Call on Mum’s Job

 Now For Industrial Shock and Awe

 Brian Miller – Working Class Hero

 Dynamite: Howard Handout for Rorters

 Family Case to Nurture Mothers

 Militants Lock Out Another 600

 Tipping the Turtle – Fijian Style

 Carr Goes Private

 Wages Blemish Sound Budget

 Westie Takes On Westfield ‘Hypocrisy’

 Eleventh Hour Reprieve for Women's Centre

 Activist 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

 In Defence of Cuba
 The Story in General
 Thinking of America
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Westie Takes On Westfield ‘Hypocrisy’

NSW MP Ian West has berated the Westfield Shopping Mall boss - Frank Lowy - for adopting a strategy of increasing profits by engaging the cheapest tenderer, who in turn makes his profits off the backs of underpaid cleaners.

The popular former LHMU official - now Upper House MP - used State Parliament to have a spray at the abject treatment cleaners receive in Lowy's empire.

In a wide-ranging speech West talked of the "hypocrisy" of the multi-national Westfield Shopping Mall chain, headed up by one of Australia's richest men Frank Lowy.

He told parliament on Thursday that he was writing to Mr Lowy, calling on the Westfield CEO to sit down with the cleaners' unions to negotiate a protocol to defend and improve the rights of the cleaners in his shopping malls.

Nearly half of the Westfield shopping mall chain in Australia is concentrated in NSW.

And the most significant part of Westfield's Australian profits are made from the NSW properties.

" Recently Frank has made much of his humble beginnings in Australia, arriving in the 1950s in search of a better life," Ian West told parliament.

" However, when it comes to pay and conditions for the so-called invisible work force of cleaners, many of whom are also migrants in search of a better life in Australia, Frank goes silent."

" Westfield shifts the blame for poor treatment of cleaners onto the contract companies. But it is Westfield that engages the contractors who act in the name of Westfield in the shopping malls.

" Westfield should develop an international protocol on service sector tendering that ensures that contract companies abide by the law in relation to pay and conditions.

West says a protocol, policed and guaranteed by Westfield, would be an effective way to ensure a clean image for the company worldwide while ensuring that the workers get what they deserve.

" I will be writing to Frank Lowy recommending that he adopt such a protocol," he told Parliament.

" If Mr Lowy wants to memorialise the immigrant success story that his life is he should make his shopping malls better places to work, where cleaners from all walks of life can take steps to achieve their own dreams.

" I congratulate all the cleaners and the LHMU on organising and celebrating International Justice for Cleaners Day in Australia at the Parramatta town hall on 16 June.

" I look forward to having an opportunity to talk to Frank Lowy about introducing this protocol."

Support the cleaners. Send an e-mail to Westfield

Read the full speech at:


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