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Issue No. 191 15 August 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Three Year Itch
The triennial ACTU Congress meeting Melbourne this week comes at the most difficult of times for the union movement, as the horror prospect of seven years of conservative government becomes an ongoing reality.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The New Deal
US union leader Amy Dean expands on her agenda to give unions a real political voice

Unions: In the Line of Hire
Unions have lobbied and negotiated in a bid to stem casualisation and insecurity. Now, Jim Marr, writes they are seeking protection through a formal Test Case.

Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
Young people are amongst the most vulnerable in the workforce. So why aren't they joining the union, asks Carly Knowles

International: The Domino Effect
An internal struggle in the biggest and strongest industrial union in Germany IG Metall has had a devastating wave effect across not just that country, but also the rest of Europe, writes Andrew Casey.

Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
Max Ogden looks at the vexed issue of Works Councils and the differing views within the union movement to them.

National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
Achieving a fairer society and a better working life for employees from across Australia will be key themes at the ACTU's triennial Congress meeting later this month reports Noel Hester.

History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Rowan Cahill looks at the role Australia's conservatives played in supporting facism in the days before World War II.

Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Frank Sartor might have shot through but Robert Domm still calls the IR shots at Sydney City which pretty much explains why the council is this month’s Bad Boss nominee.

Poetry: Just Move On.
Visiting bard Maurie Fairfield brightens up our page with a ditty about little white lies.

Review: Reality Bites
The workers, united, may never be defeated but if recent episodes of Channel 10 drama The Secret Life Of Us are to be believed, this is not necessarily a good thing, writes Tara de Boehmler.

N E W S

 Public Backs Services Over Tax Cuts

 Seafarer Awards – Full Steam Ahead

 Sunnybrand Plucks Workers

 Call Centre Stink Over Time in Loo

 Reynolds Banks on Safety

 Workers To Back League Stars

 Witnesses Line Up for Test Case

 Unfair Legislation Dismissal

 Tax Office "Bites" Its Own

 Bosses Grab Massive Pay Hikes

 IR Staff Walk Over Job Cuts

 Government Kills Manslaughter Bill

 Rail Workers Spitting Mad

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Fighting Words
Craig Emerson gave what could be the most spirited Labor spray in a decade to the NSW Labor Council this month. Here it is in all its venom.

Education
Out of Their Class
Phil Bradley argues that Australia's education system should not be up for negotiation in the global trade talks.

The Locker Room
The ABC of Sport
Phil Doyle argues that the only way to end the corporate madness that is sport, is to give it all back to the ABC.

Postcard
Locks, Stocks and Barrels
Union Aid Abroad's Peter Jennings updates on the situation in Burma, where the repression of democracy is going from bad to worse.

L E T T E R S
 Tom’s Tool
 Neighbourhood Watch
 MUA CD Launch
 Trainspotting
 The Remittance Man
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Reynolds Banks on Safety


Rogue WA builder Gerry Hanssen is at the centre of a building unions push for banks to deny investment money to operators of unsafe sites.

WA CFMEU secretary, Kevin Reynolds, has written to major lending institutions, urging that loans to builders be made conditional upon ongoing, independent safety audits.

He is seeking meetings at which his union would mount a case to deny finance to builders and developers unable to satisfy basic safety criteria.

"We are talking about corporate responsibility," Reynolds said. "It is a shocking indictment on the construction industry that as many as 50 people die at work every year when many of these incidents are easily preventable."

Reynolds said the Hanssen operation provided proof that builders were flouting safety regulations to win competitive advantages in the market.

He produced digital photoraphs of a Perth site, operated by the company, that he said looked like an "Indonesian swamp".

"All they need is bamboo scaffolding to complete the picture," Reynolds said. "The root of the problem is money, according to fellow builders, Hansen wins projects such as these by bidding up to 20 percent below other bidders.

"Cutting corners in areas such as safety puts the lives of Australians at risk.

"In our view, lives would be saved if financial insitutions had regard to the safety records of builders and developers when considering applications for finance."

The CFMEU's photographs come from two sites - Wellington St and Terrace Rd. On the latter, Worksafe banned work until safety improvements were made.

Reynolds accuses Hanssen Pty Ltd of failing to comply with improvement and prohibition notices.

Members of Tony Abbott's interim Building Industry Taskforce have been regular visitors to Hanssen sites. The CFMEU accuses them of failing to take any actions to deal with safety violations.


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