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Issue No. 203 14 November 2003  

Beyond the Workplace
The NSW union movement’s intervention this week into the debate over the future of public transport is an important step in redefining what unions are all about.


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.


 Hamberger Bad for Kids

 BHP Faces UN Sanction

 Hardie Shareholders Face Death

 Road Workers Swing Left-Right Blows

 Joy Battles Goode at ANZ

 Developers To Kick Transport Can

 ACTU Names Its Price

 Death By A Thousand Cuts

 Ban Holes Water Police Deal

 Cleaners Mop Up Contracts Mess

 Workers Entitlements Dumped

 Overtime Goes Bush

 Libs Push Lawyers Picnic

 Unions Set To Stand Up To Bullies

 Jack Thompson Headlines Launch

 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.

 Burma Up In Smoke
 Super Solidarity
 Perils Of Pauline
 Put A PM On The Barbie
 Tom Holds Water
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Cleaners Mop Up Contracts Mess

Canberra cleaners have won an important federal court ruling against militant bosses who try to force workers into becoming individual contractors.

The LHMU believes the ruling will help bosses who seek to side-step award obligations by shifting their workers to contracts.

The case before the Federal court involved a Canberra contract cleaning company, Endoxos, who had shifted workers into individual contractors arrangements.

The Federal Court has found that Endoxos 'held the position of responsibility and wielded the power in the employment relationship.'

In making its ruling the Court also concluded that the Full Bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission "shut its eyes to uncontested evidence which demonstrated the reality of what occurred" in the workplace and on the job.

"A win for Endoxos in Canberra would have had a wave effect across the country," LHMU national secretary Jeff Lawrence said today.

"This is a blow to the militant employer culture that the Howard Government has been promoting."

This ruling now clears the way for LHMU member, Riste Damevski, to fight his unfair dismissal in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

It will also allow at least 75 other cleaners, who were forced into the same situation, to recover money owing for underpayment of wages and for portable long service leave.

Lawrence says the win reinforces the successful campaigning by the ACT LHMU Cleaners Union to establish a Code of Practice for responsible cleaning which has the support of 85% of Canberra contract cleaning firms.

Endoxos - a company which has now been wound up - was owned by a Canberra identity, Lindsay Burke, who was probably best known for being the husband of prominent local Liberal Territory MP, Jacqui Burke - who was also at one time a director of the cleaning company.

At the time Mr Burke was quoted in the local media saying he had found the perfect solution to cutting costs by ordering around 75 Endoxos workers to set themselves up as individual companies to whom he would then provide work.


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