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Issue No. 211 05 March 2004  

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.


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.


 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!


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.

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

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

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

 Bring Back Bulk Billing
 Crucifying Refugees
 Saving The Planet
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Fallen Formworker Critical

Unions have gone in to bat for the wife and son of an illegal Korean immigrant fighting for his life in a Sydney hospital after a fall from an unprotected building site.

CFMEU officials represented the family in their quest for bridging visas after the formworker tumbled 2.5 metres from a site that had no perimeter protection, last week.

CFMEU secretary, Andrew Ferguson, confirmed his organisation was also seeking an ex gratia payment for the man from his employer, Moxom Constructions, after investigations raised other questions about the company's employment practices.

Ferguson said he had already made representations about the man's status to Immigration Department but there had also been allegations that the company paid cash in hand, and had underpaid workers compensation premiums.

The Korean was employed on luxury home units being constructed in inner-city Surry Hills.

"We are going to Immigration with the family to try and make sure they are allowed to stay while this man fights for his life," Ferguson said.

When Workers Online published last Friday the man was still in a coma, suffering "serious" head injuries.

Battling for Bosses

Meanwhile, CFMEU activists revved-up their campaign to win $700,000 for industry contractors, at a noisy protest in Homebush last Thursday night.

Fifteen sub-contracting building companies on a four storey retail office development at George St, Homebush, were left unpaid when Austin Australia went broke.

More than 50 CFMEU members targeted supermarket operator, Alidi, on a late shopping night to insist the contractors received outstanding monies. Union members have been protesting outside the development for the past fortnight.

Ferguson said his organisation had "no problems" about fighting for small employers.

"We are talking about small Australian business operators who face ruin if they are not paid the money they are owed," he said. "This union is happy to make representations on family businesses that have union agreements and employ union members.

"If they aren't paid, workers' jobs and entitlements will be threatened."


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