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Issue No. 205 28 November 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Australia Deserves Better
You only have to scan through recent issues of Workers Online to see why the leadership of the ALP is so important – not to the political insiders who judge the beauty contest that is federal politics, but to the millions of workers who are affected by its output.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Labour Hire Boosts Tech Wreck

 Call Centre Throws Safety Out the Door

 Miners Tackle Million Dollar Sidestep

 Bouquets for Bosses

 Mandarins Nail Carpenters

 BHP Burrow-ed By UN

 ACT Rejects Manslaughter Bullying

 No Joy for Fat Exec Packages

 WorkCover Walks Away From Racetrack

 Contractors Scramble Foxtel Signal

 Safety Derails Train Talks

 Sydney Uni Strikes At Feds

 Workers Up For Safety Awards

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

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

Sport
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.

Politics
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.

Postcard
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.

L E T T E R S
 Mad Monk’s Medicare Minus
 A Tale Of Three Cities
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

No Joy for Fat Exec Packages


The suburban branch manager running for a position on the ANZ Board wants to bring greater scrutiny to the payment of executive salaries.

Joy Buckland has proposed a new formula for executive pay that was based not just on share price, but also genuine benchmarks of customer, staff and community satisfaction levels.

"I would argue that executives should have the same sorts of performance criteria that they apply to their staff," Buckland says. "That is their ability to deliver services that customers want, rather than purely focussing on short-term returns for the market.

The campaign for the ANZ Board is gathering momentum, with the Finance Sector Union briefing major fund managers on the reasons behind the bid, including the performance of current chair Charles Goode and the banks' refusal to negotiate a collective agreement with its staff.

It is understood a number of industry super funds have already voted their proxies in favour of Buckland, while others are recommending a vote against Goode.

Buckland says revelations that the executives of Australia's four major banks will take home salaries, shares and options worth $25 million in 2003-04 are further evidence that executive pay is out of control.

Buckland says research conducted by the University of Sydney earlier this year showed that there was no link between high executive salaries and company performance. Indeed, the more an executive is paid, the worse the company tends to perform.

"Until banks realise they have a responsibility to the community, they will continue to be held in low public regard, which means they must spend more on advertising and marketing to soften their image," she says.

"It would be far more cost-effective to invest in staff and branches and win the good will of the public through providing a well-resourced branch network."


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