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Issue No. 204 21 November 2003  

Holes in the Net
The Medicare debate may be clouded by the minutae of the health delivery system, but it really boils down to an old-fashioned ideological battle between user-pays and state responsibility.


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.


 US Giant Attacks Aussies

 Exposed – OEA in Kids Scandal

 Left-Right Flattens Abigroup

 ANZ Cops Fine Over Robbers

 Classroom Stoush Gets Personal

 Seven Workers Pass "Intelligence" Test

 Stop Press: Coal Strike

 Nurses: MedicarePlus Points to America

 ‘Joel’s Law’ Gathers Momentum

 Skilled Picketers Confront Patrick’s

 Yahoo Censors Union Ad

 Labor’s Cotter Court ‘Faking’ It

 TAFE Puts Best Foot Forward

 Wharfies, Actors, Seafarers Unite

 Debus Gives Up On Lawyers Picnic

 Nelson Backdown Not Enough

 Online Pay Check



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.

 Jack Lives Here
 Saving Jobs
 Public Transport A Bit Rich
 The Smirker
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ANZ Cops Fine Over Robbers

The ANZ Bank has been fined a whopping $156,000 by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission for failing in its duty of care to employees involved in armed hold-ups.

The decision has added fuel to a campaign for a change on the ANZ Board, with the Finance Sector Union accusing the bank of a failure to manage its employees.

Justice Boland imposed the fine under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act for the banks failure to provide a safe working environment at one of its Sydney branches where an armed robbery occurred last year.

Justice Boland stated in his decision that "I detected no sense of urgency on the defendant's part to take appropriate steps to endeavour to fulfill the absolute duty it has under the legislation to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees."

FSU State Secretary, Geoff Derrick, who initiated the action on behalf of members said the guilty verdict was indicative of the need for a change at this bank from the top down."

"The simple fact is that our members deserve better than being placed at risk, and despite repeated warnings from us the bank failed in its duty of care," Derrick says.

"We need to get people who genuinely understand the issues confronting frontline staff at the top level of this bank to make sure decisions are taken and carried out by management that put staff and customer interests first." said Mr Derrick

Joy Cops Dirty tricks

Meanwhile, rank and file candidate Joy Buckland is facing a dirty tricks campaign to block her run for the ANZ Board.

The $30 billion bank is playing dirty by declaring there are only two vacancies available for the three candidates.

The tactic drew censure this week from shareholder crusader Stephen Mayne, who is backing Joy's bid through his Crikey! website.

"What right does the ANZ board have to declare there is no vacancy when they are well below the maximum number of directors prescribed in the Constitution? ," Mayne, who has faced similar tactics in his numerous Board stints, asks.

The notice of meeting reveals that the board will be voting open proxies against Joy Buckland but, Mayne says, there is a grey area here.

"The voting documents exhort shareholders not to invalidate their vote by supporting all three candidates. But you can vote for two and against one," Mayne wfrites.

" We'd like to know what the board intends doing when they get a proxy that supports the two incumbents but then leaves Joy Buckland's box vacant. It would be invalid to vote them in favour but will they vote them against?"


John Dahlsen, 68, has been an ANZ director since May 1985 and chairman Charlie Goode, 65, since 1991.

"Both these lads live in Melbourne but for some reason ANZ have decided to incur additional costs and ensure only a couple of hundred shareholders will attend the AGM by moving it to Brisbane this year," Mayne writes.

"Certainly doesn't make it any easier for their Sydney-based branch manager.

"Poor Joy will have to take a day off and incur flight costs just to get shafted by the open proxies if she miraculously gets the 99 per cent of the vote needed to knock off an incumbent director when the board employs the dodgy "no vacancy" tactic. "

Top support Joy's Board bid go to


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