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Issue No. 202 10 November 2003  

Governing the Corporates
Suburban branch manager Joy Buckland’s bid for a position on the ANZ Board raises important questions about the way our major companies are governed.


Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
The Welfare Rights Centre's Michael Raper on 20 years of activism, the politics of punishment and how to make Australia egalitarian again.

Unions: Joel's Law
Building Workers have overcome powerful forces to push workplace safety back up the national agenda. But, Jim Marr writes, their "success" has come at an unacceptable cost.

National Focus: Spring Carnival
It must be spring: punting in Victoria, singing in South Australia, fighting in America. It’s all there in the national wrap from Noel Hester plus an Australian union movement rugby world cup class consciousness poll.

Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
They sacked the job delegate, reinstated him after an IRC hearing, and sacked him again two weeks later. But that was just the beginning.

Industrial: The Price of War
Mass industrial action is brewing in Israel as the policies of the right-wing Sharon Government come home to roost, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Who's Got What
Frank Stilwell pours over the latest BRW Rich List to build a picture of the increasing gap between the haves and have-nots.

History: Containing Discontent
Racism against minorities has always been a stock in trade of politicans, writes Phil Griffiths

Review: An Honourable Wally
Most Australians probably look at our politicians and feel they could do a better job but when redundant meatworker Wally Norman gets the chance to find out he realises getting elected is a major hurdle, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
A thousand blossoms bloomed during the US President's spring-time colonial visit last month.


 Taskforce Sleeps As Cranes Crash

 Scabies, Filth in Upmarket Annandale

 ANZ Jumps For Joy

 Race That Couldn’t Stop Nangwarry

 Mandarins in $120m Disappearing Act

 BAT Stubs Out Junta

 Millions on Entitlements Line

 Workcover in Hold-Ups Gun

 Phoenix Rises … Again

 TAFE Takes To Thong Slapping

 Casual Work Is Health Hazard

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Bush's Faith-Filled Life
The President's conversion, 'sense of divine calling' and struggle with sobriety are subjects of a forthcoming book, writes Bill Berkowitz

The Not So Smart Money
Phil Doyle is sick of big money ruining grass roots sport, and he’s taking his bat and going home.

The Westie Wing
The ongoing challenge for Labor members of parliament is to make what the Premier calls the ‘creative partnership’ between the Government and the union movement a reality, writes our favourite MP Ian West.

Behind the Junta
Saw Min Lwin, Secretary for Trade Union Rights/ Human Rights for the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB), outlines the struggle for workers in his country.

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Phoenix Rises … Again

A company associated with a "phoenix" operator, alleged to have left a new immigrant with an unpaid tax bill of more than $292,000, is seeking massive damages from the CFMEU.

TCB Concreters, now in liquidation, alleges the CFMEU construction division ruined its business and is seeking unspecified damages under both common law and the Trade Practices Act.

The claims mirror those made before the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry by company representative, Eddie Lombardo.

In that forum, Lombardo alleged the union had tried to use safety issues to push TCB into signing an EBA, and that, eventually, its demands had pushed the company into liquidation.

However, the union accused Lombardo of generating a string of phoenix companies that had left workers, contractors and others out of pocket.

On oath, Lombardo conceded involvement in Ritex Contractors Pty Ltd, Cotec Contractors Pty Ltd, Cotec Administration Pty Ltd, Ritex Holdings Pty Ltd, Cotec Concrete Pty Ltd, Erinmore Holdings Pty Ltd and Hitex Concrete Pty Ltd - all either liquidated or in administration. He had, he agreed, also been a director of other failed companies, including Ricon Construction, Ricon International Holdings and Ricon Design and Construction but had given up those directorships before they went into administration or liquidation.

Lombardo agreed he had been barred from being a company director in 1996.

His sensational allegations led a former employee, Mohammad Ali, to furnish a statutory declaration in which he said that, around 1996, he was asked to become a director of companies associated with Lombardo.

"From what I had been told," the recent arrival from India wrote, "I believed that becoming a director was an honour, a sign of respect ...

"I continued to perform my duties as an estimator for the company ... my salary remained unchanged ...I took no part in the management of the company at any time."

Ali said that on August 6, 1999, he had been personally served with a bankruptcy notice, relating to an unpaid company tax bill of $292,514.64, arising from his time as a "director" of Lombardo's companies.


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