The Paris Hilton of the business world, James Murdoch, has been chosen to head the UK sister operation of the rather appropriately named News Limited because he possesses all the skills that they were looking for.
Rupert Murdoch needed someone who possessed the intellectual stamina of a cheerleader, as well as the critical acumen of a fence post. That's why he chose James Murdoch to run BSkyB, the British pay TV operation that gives depth and meaning to the word crap.
It's nice to know that young James was selected entirely on merit and not because he is the boss's son.
Of course nepotism is a wonderful thing, and James is to be congratulated for making the most of this happy accident of birth. He continues in the fine tradition that gave us the Divine Right Of Kings and the sort of inbreeding that made the Hapsburgs such a unique institution.
Nepotism is an outstanding success when it comes to leadership succession, as is evidenced by the current US President and our very own Foreign Minister, Lord Downer of Baghdad.
Recently we have discovered that if our business institutions are to get the finest they must pay top dollar. It now appears that if they are to get some nepotistic travesty of an appointment they are to pay top dollar as well.
With a six-figure salary to keep him warm it looks as if our Tool Of The Week has been left with the lucrative electronic arm of the News Empire. BSkyB is, of course, open to a spot of fabrication if it looks good on the box. This was evident during their Gulf War 'coverage', when BSkyB's reporters were so far embedded it can't have been healthy.
James, of course, is ideally suited to promote the dumbing down of the media so embraced by his dear old dad. If anyone is in a position to dumb something down it's James. He manages to achieve the dumbing down of any situation merely by walking into the room.
This shining example of the meritocracy is no doubt qualified to take up his new post with BSkyB given that he failed university. James has assured the selection panel at BSkyB that he will get a degree. One can only assume it will be off the back of a Corn Flakes packet given the examples from his previous forays into academia.
With brother Lachlan showing that business acumen was obviously a dominant genetic trait after his forays into Super League and One.Tel, James must now come into favouritism to run the News empire when Rupert does something he should have done years ago and drops off the twig.
While James' inside run might be all right by his old man, it should be a different story when our Tool Of The Week faces the BskyB AGM in a few weeks time. The investors that control nearly two-thirds of the operation may not take too kindly to the younger Murdoch being given a free lunch by his dad.
In the meantime James Murdoch has made the prescription for success in the corporate world clear. If you want to get on just make sure daddy runs the company.
Members of the multi-million dollar taskforce, set up to police building and construction, were nowhere to be seen when two cranes collapsed and at least three workers suffered falls in the space of five days.
"The Taskforce is very keen to prosecute unionists and try to bankrupt the union but, when it comes to safety, they're invisible," CFMEU organiser Phil Davey said.
"Safety prosecutions, over some of these incidents, would be a lay-down mizere but they don't seem interested."
The horror week on Sydney building sites began less than seven days after 10,000 building workers rallied to demand industrial manslaughter legislation after 16-year-old Joel Exner fell to his death on an Eastern Creek site.
CFMEU officials said workers on the death site had not been protected by safety harnesses or scaffolding.
Last week's incidents included:
- a crane collapsing and toppling into Darling Harbour. The operator leapt clear and was admitted to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with bruising and fractures.
- a crane falling across four lanes of traffic in Parramatta. The boom crashed into two parked trucks. The operator jumped and was admitted to a Sydney hospital
- a building worker falling from a multi-level development in downtown George St. He was admitted to hospital with his injuries.
- a building worker being admitted to hospital after being knocked unconscious by an excavator at beachside Maroubra.
- a painter being hospitalised after a fall from a Carlingford site.
- a building worker being admitted to Westmead Hospital after a 4m fall from a west Sydney construction job
The CFMEU says is has no expectation of safety action from the Interim Building Industry Taskforce, set up after the Cole Royal Commission. But it is demanding greater preventative action from state health and safety authority, Workcover.
A central, and repetitive, claim of evidence placed before the Cole Royal Commission was that building industry union's use workplace safety as a "ruse" to further industrial agendas.
Meanwhile, a traffic controller lost his life in a road works accident in North East Victoria last week. Neville Charles Creighton, 56, died after being struck in the head by a rock during blasting.
Both the AWU and WorkSafe have launched investigations into the death.
The shocking disclosures came in a report from government inspectors this week, prompting an immediate call for a Senate Inquiry into aged care.
Inspectors found there was "an immediate risk to the health and safety of residents" at the Annandale Rest Home, nestled away in one of Sydney's upmarket inner suburbs.
In a separate report they placed a question mark over the future of the Albury and District Nursing Home, the scene of major standards failures identified by previous inspections. That inspection revealed a litany of problems, including:
- repeated breaches of medication management policy due to staff not being adequately skilled
- hundreds of incidents a month in which drugs were not signed for or given
- inadequate approaches to identified problems including dirty sheets,
- commodes not emptied or cleaned properly, and faeces being found on seats
- management failing act despite being warned that water in showers and handbasins was either too hot or cold
- a failure to properly assess staff to ensure jobs were performed safely and effectively
Both facilities face closure unless standards improve dramatically.
The HSU (Health Services Union) said understaffing and "inadequate safety levels for residents and staff" lay at the root of most problems.
NSW secretary, Michael Williamson, said too many facilities had "grossly inadequate" staffing levels.
"How can residents and their families have confidence in a system that does not have minimum staffing levels in place to provide basic guarantees about the quality of care?" he asked.
The Union's national secretary, Craig Thomson, said the Annandale and Albury reports demonstrated the extent of the crisis in the industry.
He confirmed the HSU would call for an inquiry into Australia's aged care system.
Joy Bucklands’s campaign to win a seat on the ANZ board has received support across the NSW trade union movement, which has vowed to lobby industry super funds to back the bid.
Buckland, the honorary president of the Finance Sector Union, came to prominence when the ANZ threatened to dismiss her for speaking out against Peter Reith's second wave attack on workers in 1999. That threat was withdrawn after Joy won a landmark freedom of speech case in the Federal Court.
"She's demonstrated that she's prepared to go the distance on the tough issues," said NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson. "We'll do all we can to get as many votes up as we can."
The bid comes as ANZ continues to refuse to negotiate a collective agreement for the bank's staff. It was also recently fined for breaches of the NSW occupational health and safety laws.
Ms Buckland called upon union members, as well as their friends and families, who have shares in ANZ to support the campaign.
"I've received wonderful support from colleagues, staff and customers,' says Buckland of her campaign. "It will be really interesting to see what happens."
"I've seen how things have changed for workers. Senior executives are paid huge amounts of money. Here's [ANZ's] opportunity to see what is going on in the real world."
The Sydney Morning Herald recently revealed that ANZ executive John McFarlane received an annual remuneration of $2.9 million, while his colleague Gordon Branston received $1.6 million.
This follows staff cuts and branch closures that have seen ANZ workers placed under increasing pressure over job security and workloads.
Sixty women on the company’s Laminated Veneer Lumber line were prevented from watching or even listening to the race that stops a nation by employers locked in an EBA dispute with timber workers
CFMEU spokesman Brad Coates labelled Carter Holt Harvey's action "un-Australian and mean-spirited".
"If the nation stops then workers should be allowed to stop and enoy themselves, it only last three minutes," Coates said. "Unfortunately it seems the only way we can guarantee being allowed to participate in this national celebration is by having a national holiday gazetted."
Carter Halt Harvey is resisting timber workers' demands for a national agreement that would cover around 3000 employees.
A fortnight ago it locked out employees at its Tumut (NSW) and Morwell (Victoria) sites after they took industrial action in support of the claim.
Coates said a national agreement was the best defence his members had against being picked off individually be a company with an international reputation for industrial hard-ball.
Earlier this year, the parent company locked out employees in New Zealand for 85 days.
The CFMEU, itself, was tripped up by the Melbourne Cup when it bowed to members wishes and postponed a stop work meeting originally scheduled for nearby Mt Gambier on Tuesday afternoon.
Coates said the meeting had been set down for 2pm but a "clear majority" of members wanted the postponement so they could enjoy festivities surrounding the 3200m handicap which was won by South Australian-owned stayer, Makybe Diva.
USU secretary, Brian Harris, says senior public servants are in "cahoots" with labour hire companies, including Manpower, to deny unions access to workers employed on state government contracts worth $120 million.
Harris says the evasions are a "clear breach" of a Memorandum of Understanding thrashed out between NSW Labor Council and the state government.
Labor Council, last week, resolved to go over the heads of Commerce Department officials to urge the Commerce Minister to enforce the MOU.
The USU is one of a number of unions supporting Labor Council's historic Secure Employment Test Case but its efforts to gather information on labour hire penetration, wages and employment standards have been stone-walled by companies like, Manpower, and senior departmental officials.
Manpower refuses to divulge what departments it contracts with.
"The (Commerce) Department's own records show that up to $120 million worth of labour hire services are procured by various departments under contract 1078," Harris says.
"Accordingly, we wrote to all the labour hire companies who are providers under this contract and requested that they provide the names of departments they supplied services to, so we could organise appropriate times to meet with their employees.
"This action is consistent with the MOU on goods and services the Labor Council has with NSW Government.
"Manpower, and a number of other companies have declined to provide this information. Even more disturbing is the attitude of senior members of the Department of Commerce who claim such fundamental information, that would allow unions to organise workers, is not allowable under the MOU."
In a letter to the USU, Manpower cites three grounds for hiding the whereabout of its employees:
- the Privacy Act
- client confidentiality
- appropriate industrial coverage
Labor Council secretary, John Robertson, said the "excuses" didn't hold water.
He called the Privacty Act claim "ridiculous" given that the union had sought no names or addresses of individuals, and said union coverage had never been a matter for employers.
"Obviously, departmental officials aren't telling these companies about their obligations under the MOU," Robertson said.
"They can run and hide but we will be going to the Minister and insisting that he tell these clowns to face up their responsibilities."
BAT’s withdrawal, announced in London last week, came on the first anniversary of an international campaign to force the tobacco giant to stop profiting from its relationship with Burma’s military dictatorship.
The ACTU's aid and development agency, APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad, says the "huge victory" is a pointer to what can be achieved by ordinary people and trade unions campaigning for human rights.
"They had to be dragged out kicking and screaming but at least they're out," Union Aid Abroad campaigns officer, Sally Castle said. "If a company like BAT can be forced out of Burma, any company can.
BAT has faced mounting pressure since campaigners began drawing attention to its 60/40 shareholding with the military dictatorship, last November.
Last week, the world's second-largest tobacco company announced it was pulling out of Burma with "regret", saying the decision had been based on a request from the British Government.
The request followed a crackdown by the Burmese military junta, earlier this year, in which prod-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi was re-arrested. Human rights campaigners allege dozens of her supporters were killed in an ambush by government backers.
Suu Kyi won the last election staged in Burma but the result was over-ruled by the defeated military.
BAT has completed an agreement to sell its 60 percent stake in Rothmans of Pall Mall Myanmar to a Singapore-based investment company.
The company had been deluged with thousands of postcards and emails from campaign supporters in more than 50 countries.
Burmese Federation of Trade Unions Human Rights Department secretary, Saw Min Lwin, hailed BAT's withdrawal as "a blow to the military regime".
BAT is the latest company to pull out of Burma. Earlier this year, Intrepid Travel announced it was ending tourist trips. The Burma campaign has also succeeded in getting Premier Oil, Triumph International, and almost every major steel retailer out of the country.
The TWU, burned by the Ansett collapse, today launched test case that would ensure no NSW worker is robbed of his or entitlements in the future. While the TWU case is specific to the transport industry, any decision would be expected to flow across the entire workforce.
"Almost 19,000 Australian employees lose over $500 million a year, or $1.4 million a day, in unpaid legal entitlements," TWU secretary Tony Sheldon said.
"It's time employers in our industry accepted full responsibility for the legal entitlements of workers and made enforceable provisions to guarantee 100 percent protection of that money."
The union is also campaigning for the NSW Government to back a national scheme to protect workers around the country if the Federal Government refuses act.
Included amongst the witnesses expected to give evidence to the Commission is former Ansett employee, Allan May, who is still owed over $42,000 two years after the company collapsed.
The TWU claim would oblige employers to protect all unpaid wages, accrued leave, long service leave, wages in lieu of notice and redundancy pay by taking one of three protective measures:
- a guarantee from a bank or other financial institution
- an insurance policy to the value of owed entitlements, or
- a company-funded trust account
The FSU has raised the alarm about the apparent evasion of legal requirements by both the St George Bank and the state's occupational health and safety authority.
It has been informed that when the ANZ Bank rang a number listed in a Workcover brochure to report an armed hold-up it was told - "unless there is a fatality, we don't want to know about it".
"We are told that the insurer acting on behalf of the ANZ also called the hotline and was given the same information by a Workcover Advisor," FSU secretary, Geoff Derrick, said.
Derrick says the St George Bank line is that it has no responsibility to inform health and safety authorities of hold-ups at its branches.
Derrick says both positions are in clear breach of Workcover Regulation 341 which states employers "must" report an incident when there has been:
(1) the use or threatened use of a weapon that involves a risk of serious injury to, or illness of, a person,
(11) a robbery that involves a risk of serious injury to, or illness of, a person.
NSW Labor Council will seek an immediate, written statement from Workcover on the legal responsibilities of employers under Regulation 341.
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.
The NSW Teachers Federation, who have slammed the increases, are supporting the student's campaign. TAFE fees are set to rise by as much as 300% if the government's proposal goes ahead, this is in addition to a sharp increase in the costs for course materials in many subjects.
"Education is a right, not a privilege and the politicians don't know what it's like in a real persons life," says Kylie Druett of Nirimba TAFE. "People are not looking for a handout but a hand-up."
"The fact is that many people of western Sydney are stretched to the limit as it is."
Druett pointed to instances of students taking out loans to afford a TAFE education, with some students looking at having to fork out $3000 to complete courses.
"TAFE is available for people who can't go to university," said one TAFE student. "By increasing the fees you are increasing the gap between the poor and the wealthy. Instead of raising the level of education politicians are pushing people down."
The students have organised a campaign, 'Free TAFE', to reverse the fee increase. The campaign's name recognises that ALP policy is for TAFE education to be free.
Free TAFE believes that the increases will hit low-income earners hardest. Many students are on benefits and TAFE is a vehicle for them to be able to re-enter the workforce.
"For some people this means the difference between having a job and not having a job," says Druett.
Another group to be hit are apprentices who must attend TAFE to complete their trades' courses.
"Why is it that the rich get richer and the poorer just get screwed?" Asked a TAFE apprentice student. "You mightn't think that a couple of hundred dollars isn't much but it is for a poorer student like me."
The TAFE students are asking people to donate thongs in support of their campaign. People are asked to write where they live and their suburb on the thongs. The students will be rallying outside the State Parliament on Thursday November 13 at 12.30pm.
The TAFE Students' Free TAFE campaign has a website at www.freetafe.com
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed that job strain and insecurity, hallmarks of casual employment, show strong links with poor health, particularly mental health.
"These results are worrying as these adverse job conditions are on the increase; particularly insecure or casual employment," say the report's authors.
Adverse job conditions were relatively common as 23% reported high job strain (high demands and low control over the job), while 7.3% and 23% reported high and moderate job insecurity respectively.
The study showed that insecure employment and high job strain showed strong, independent associations with physical and mental health, which persisted after adjusting for factors such as gender, education, employment status and personality.
As the labour market becomes more globalised and competitive, these adverse job conditions are on the increase, particularly insecure employment, say the authors. Therefore the influence of work on health is an important focus for future population health research, policy, and intervention, they conclude.
The researchers assessed 1,188 employed professionals, aged
40-44 years in Australia, for depression, anxiety, physical, and self rated health.
The study, entitled 'Work and health in a contemporary society: demands, control, and insecurity' was conducted through the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at The Australian National University
A full copy of the study is available at the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Support Indonesian Workers
Please take 2 minutes to support young women and men who have been unfairly fired from the PT Busana factory in Indonesia by going to this web-page - http://www.cleanclothes.org/urgent/03-10-23.php - and adding your name to the petition there.
The factory has dismissed 166 people, and is in the process of dismissing a further 8, for their participation in a four-day strike in July this year.
The workers went on strike because they are subjected to verbal intimidation and sexual harassment, are frequently paid less than the
Indonesian minimum wage and because they work in a dangerous environment where serious accidents are commonplace. PT Busana makes sportswear for US and European brands, including: Bear USA, Le Coq Sportif, Head and Lotto.
Your support will make a difference.
Paying for Private Profit seminar
Evatt Breakfast Seminar - November 11
Location: Macquarie Room, Quality Hotel (formerly the Southern Cross Hotel),
Cnr Goulburn and Elizabeth Streets Sydney, opposite the Goulburn Street
Parking Station, and a short stroll from both Central and Museum railway
Time: Breakfast will be served from 7.30 am, the seminar will commence at
8.00am & finish at 9am precisely.
Cost: $14 (includes breakfast)
RSVP Evatt Foundation: [email protected]
19th Annual AFS Remembrance Day Dinner
ALP Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd joins a long and illustrious line of AFS Remembrance Day Dinner Guests of Honour that has included Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Kim Beazley and Simon Crean, with a timely address on 'The Dismissal of the Howard Government: A five-step plan to winning the next election'. 6:30 for 7pm on Friday, 7 November, at the Hotel Ibis,15-21 Therry Street Melbourne,. Cost: AFS Members $35, Non-Members $40, Concession (Students and Low Income) $30. Tables seat eight or ten. Drinks at Bar Prices. Reservations Essential - phone/fax 9553 8442 pr e-mail
NSW Labor Film Night - 'The Contender'
A presidential political thriller. After the Vice-President dies in office, the President decides it's time for a woman to take the job. Senator Laine Hanson gets the nod, but Republican leaks and disinformation threaten to derail her campaign.
'The Contender' (rated M) stars Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen and Gary Oldman.
Come and enjoy this Oscar nominated film & then enjoy some refreshments with other Party members.
6:00pm for 6:30pm start on Tuesday 11 November
Theatrette, State Parliament, Macquarie Street, Sydney
$20 / $15 concession (bookings essential)
Light refreshments will be served after the movie.
For more information please contact Paul Sekhon on (02) 9207 2000 or email [email protected]
*You must be a Party member to make a booking
EASTERN SUBURBS REPUBLICAN FORUM LAWN BOWLS AFTERNOON
Date: Sunday 16th November, 2003
Location: Clovelly Bowling Club
Ocean St (cnr Boundary St) Clovelly
Cost: $30, including BBQ ($20 concession). Drinks at club prices
RSVP: Monday 10th November 2003
Further details: Rob Messiter on 9371 3494
Booking form at http://www.nsw.republic.org.au/downloads/flyer30102003.PDF
NSW WOMEN'S NETWORK LUNCH
A lunch and panel discussion with MC Lisa Forrest (Author, broadcaster,
Olympian) and a panel including Senator Marise Payne, the Sydney Institute's
Anne Henderson, Sarah Maddison from the Women's Electoral Lobby and the NSW
President of the National Union of Students, Anna York.
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2003
Time: 12.15 for 12:30pm
Venue: Silver Spring Restaurant
Address: Second Floor, Sydney Central Building, 191 Hay Street, Sydney
Cost: $45 / $30 concession (drinks to be purchased on the day)
RSVP: Wednesday 12th November 2003
Further details and booking form at
ARM CHRISTMAS DRINKS
With Special Guest Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Australian Democrats'
Spokesperson on the Republic
Date: Friday 12 December 2003
Venue: The Glover Cottages
Address: 124 Kent Street Sydney
Tickets: $15 / $10 concession (finger food provided; drinks to be purchased
RSVP: Friday 5 December 2003
Further details and booking form at
Trading Australia Away?
Anthony Albanese MP and Grayndler ALP presents "Trading Australia Away?" - a public forum to debate the important issues of free trade and globalisation.
7.30pm to 9pm Thursday 13th November, 2003
Marrickville Town Hall, 303 Marrickville Road, Marrickville,2204
Guest Speakers are Senator Stephen Conroy (Shadow Minister for Trade, Corporate Governance, Financial Services and Small Business), Pat Ranald
(Convenor AFTINET) and Doug Cameron (National Secretary AMWU).
Contact Shane McArdle on 02 9564 3588 or [email protected]
Australian Fabian Society (NSW Branch) and Gleebooks present
Crowded Lives - A New Agenda for Social Sustainability
Lindsay Tanner , Federal Labor Communications Spokesperson discusses his new book, Crowded Lives, which argues that relationships need to be at the center of government policy.
Dr Ariadne Vromen, Lecturer in Government,University of Sydney
discusses the family/work/public life pressures on people and the
changing political participation of young people.
Dr David McKnight, left activist and Lecturer in journalism, UTS,
discusses the conservation of the human in progressive politics.
Where: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
When : 6pm for 6.30pm, Monday 17th November
Concluding at 8pm
Entry Fee : $10/$5 Fabians and concession
To book phone Gleebooks on 96602333 or [email protected]
About Crowded Lives, published by Pluto Press
HEAR! Shadow Attorney General Robert McClelland MP on Howard's IR agenda
and Industrial law experts from Turner Freeman Solicitors on recent IR changes and what they mean
FREE! all welcome
Newcastle Trades Hall Council
406 King Street Newcastle West 2302
5 pm Thursday 20 November 2003
call 02 4929 1162 or email [email protected] to register or make enquires
Better Leaders For A Better World - International Youth Parliament 2004
Call for Applications
The International Youth Parliament is a dynamic global network of creative
young people working for social change - people turning ideas into action.
Run by and for young people it is a global network of the next generation
of social change leaders working to build a peaceful, sustainable and
equitable world. The second sitting of the International Youth Parliament,
IYP2004 will take place in Sydney, Australia from 5 to 12 July 2004. We ask
you to assist us find the right delegates. Applications close 15 January
Application form > www.iyp.oxfam.org
Delegates selected to attend IYP 2004 will receive a unique opportunity to
exchange their experiences and the strategies they employ to confront local
and universal challenges. They will leave with skills, networks,
inspiration and an international context to assist them with their
endeavours in their own organisations and countries.
The Parliament agenda will focus on twelve major areas; education,
HIV/AIDS, labor and employment; indigenous rights, migration, trafficking
and displacement, agriculture and sustainability, peace building, human
rights, health and clean water; youth culture, technology, and global
trading systems. Across these areas special attention will be paid to the
themes of diversity, equity, governance and basic social services.
We are seeking applications from people aged 18-25 who are passionate about
and have been actively involved in projects aiming at positive social
change in the above areas.
Please forward this message to other organisations and individuals you believe might be interested.
Please contact me if you need further information. I look forward to hearing from you.
International Youth Parliament 2004
Go smoke free - Act now for clear air in pubs and clubs
Sick of smoky pubs and clubs that makes you wheezy and red-eyed?
Research shows that 67% of people in NSW want to see smoking totally banned in pubs and clubs. That's why The Cancer Council NSW, the Asthma Association, the NSW Australian Medical Association, The Heart Foundation NSW, other health organisations and commercial businesses have chosen to get behind a new campaign to make pubs and clubs in NSW smoke free.
So, if you are serious about wanting to enjoy your night out without the smoke, register at www.cancercouncil.com.au/gosmokefree or on 1300 657 175 and find out how you can help make this a reality.
The average wage has increased by $197.80 per week during the years 1999 through to and including year 2003. The TPI compensation payment has increased $48.45 per week, during the same period.
The difference is a staggering $149.35 per week.
This is a truer picture how government compensates those injured through Military service for the premature aging and loss of earning power which resulted from the intangible effects of war or war like service.
A recent government review into veteran's entitlements headed by Justice Clarke reported back to government in early 2003 stating that his Committee agreed with a previous review undertaken by the Honorable Professor Peter Baume in 1994, that fairness requires a balance between fairness to veterans in the form of adequate compensation.
By not compensating fairly is not allowing a living standard consistent with veterans' special standing in the community.
Justice Clarke noted that 51% of TPI's have no retirement income to supplement their non-means tested compensation payment. Do you consider $381.30 per week adequate compensation for loss of the ability to earn a living, fair?
With public concern about the practices of big business, the grotesque increases in executive pay and the quest for short term profit at an all time high, the idea that a worker with 27 years experience in the company has a contribution to make is compelling.
Major companies are dominated by a small club who sit on each others boards, running the agenda of the large institutional investors who require hyper-profits rather than a sustainable business plan, reinforcing a status quo that separates the interests of the company from those of the broader community.
And when shareholders challenge this direction, as they did at the recent Boral AGM, the directors simply change the rules to disenfranchise all but the mega-million share portfolios.
The result is a corporate climate where management of our large companies is deferred into a beauty contest for the markets - increased profits, dividends and growth at any cost.
The big test of for trade unions will be how their representatives on industry super funds respond to challenges such as Joy's.
Super trustees have, quite rightly, taken the position that their sole function is to represent the interests of their members' by ensuring their retirement incomes are protected.
And, the evidence is that they have done so very effectively in recent years - out-performing the private funds that splash millions in advertising to attract the 'wealth creation' market.
That said, there are elements of Joy Buckland's Board bid that deserve consideration. Customer service and satisfied staff are integral to any business. ANZ has neither right now.
And, as the Labor Council of NSW's research into executive pay shows, there is actually a correlation between mega-salaries and poor corporate performance
Beyond these policy issues there is a simple proposition that surely, amongst the dusty suits on the ANZ Board, the perspective of a staff representative would be a valuable counter perspective.
Indeed many public corporations and government authorities, from the major power companies to the ABC Board, recognise this and actually mandate staff broad representatives.
They do so because they recognise that workers bring a hands-on perspective to the management of companies that compliment the expertise in finance and the law that most directors possess.
With banks spending tens of millions of dollars to dispel negative public attitudes, surely the voice of a women who knows the staff and customers so well can only be an asset.
The prospect of winning a Board seat in one year may be ambitious, but over time let's hope the idea of worker representation - particularly workers of the calibre of Joy Buckland - take root and become a regular part of the corporate landscape.
PS Apologies to our readers for the late posting. After four and half years and 202 issues, we experienced our first fully-fledged technological melt-down.