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Issue No. 211 05 March 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Be Afraid
Elections are to be held both here and with our controlling shareholder this year and already we are getting the feel for how the incumbents will attempt to cling onto power: fear spiced with loathing.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Baby Bust
Labor's Wayne Swan argues that the plight of our aging workforce is only one side of our demographic dilemma.

Safety: Dust To Dust
Failure by authorities to police safety in the asbestos removal industry is threatening the lives of members of the public, writes Phil Doyle.

Bad Boss: Shaming in Print
Delegates from print shops around Sydney will publicly shame this month’s Bad Boss nominee with a rally outside his new Alexandria operation next Thursday.

National Focus: Work's Cripplin' Us
Noel Hester reports on a spin doctors' talkfest, workplace pain, stroppy teachers and IWD party time in the national wrap.

International: Bulk Bullies
An extraordinary five month struggle over affordable health care, by nearly 70,000 Californian supermarket workers, has just come to an end, writes Andrew Casey.

History: The Battle for Kelly's Bush
Green Bans saved a piece of bush before they saved much of the Sydney’s built environment, writes Neale Towart

Economics: Aid, Trade And Oil
Tim Anderson reveals Australia’s second betrayal Of East Timor is playing out before our eyes.

Review: The Art Of Work
Workers and westies are being celebrated as the cultural icons they are thanks to two Sydney exhibitions reminding us there is a world of art in the everyday, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Sew His Lips Together
Wondering where the next porkie is going to come from? Resident bard David Peetz knows.

N E W S

 Taskforce "Disgraced" in Court

 Students Take $10,000 Trim

 Truckers Lose Way With GPS

 Jockeys Down by Width of Strait

 Treasury Loses Sight of Trees

 Athens Built on Sweat

 Signing Away Safety

 Fallen Formworker Critical

 Stop or You’ll Stay Blind

 Bracks Spin Machine Towels Nurses

 Trade Deal Fuzzy on Content

 Good Will Still Hunting on Rail

 Developer "Monsters" Safety Cop

 Day Off for May Day

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Iraq and Your Mortgage
How high interest rates go will be a key issue in 2004 and if you are looking for a clue, there's no better place to look than the war in Iraq, writes Michael Rafferty.

Sport
Hang Onto the Day Job
Show someone else the money, says Phil Doyle.

Politics
Westie Wing
Ian West shows why Eveleigh Street’s not so far away from Macquarie Street

Postcard
Don’t Give Up the Fight
Get Up, Stand Up is the logo of choice on a popular range of subversive condoms. Ken Davis from Union Aid Abroad reports from Zimbabwe’s second city

L E T T E R S
 Bring Back Bulk Billing
 Crucifying Refugees
 Saving The Planet
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Truckers Lose Way With GPS


Four truck drivers lost their lives on NSW Roads in the same week that industry operators proposed watering safety regulations.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has slammed Australian Trucking Association proposals for greater flexibility and the right to carry heavier loads, in return for the voluntary installation of GPS tracking devices.

"If the ATA's proposals are implemented things will only get worse," says Tony Sheldon NSW Transport Worker's Union secretary. "The only winners will be industry clients, while drivers and their families will come under even more pressure."

Sheldon said truck drivers were currently forced to adopt unsafe and unsustainable work practices as a result of unrealistic deadlines and unsustainable rates.

"Drivers will be forced to even greater extremes and, without a substantial increase in rates, few would be in a position to put GPS devices in their vehicles," he said. "The only way to really reduce the number of people killed on our roads is to shift the focus of the enforcement regime away from drivers and towards the clients of the industry who really control things"

Two drivers died on the Great Western Highway in one 24-hour period, last week; one in a horrific chemical accident that closed the main road through the Blue Mountains.

The TWU is calling on both State and Federal Governments to immediately implement the proposals of the NSW Government's Quinlan Report into long haul trucking, including an enforceable chain of responsibility, compulsory safety code of conduct and sustainable minimum rates for drivers.

"Consecutive Government reports and enquiries have recognized this, and still the ATA is content to tinker around the edges," says Sheldon. "Tinkering in transport costs lives."


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