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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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Developer "Monsters" Safety Cop

A shonky developer with a history of violence monstered a NSW WorkCover inspector on a St Peter’s building site after local parents tipped off authorities about risks to the public.

The site, which contained broken asbestos and glass amongst other hazards, was open to the public - with local children "playing" in the semi-demolished building.

Building materials blocked the footpath, forcing young mothers and children from an adjacent school to use a busy narrow roadway.

The complaints from parents led to a picket of the site by the CFMEU, whose OHS officer, Dick Whitehead, overheard the "monstering" of the WorkCover inspector by developer, Eugene Benson, via his mobile phone.

An inspector had attended the site on a Saturday morning and had been on the phone to Whitehead when Benson, who has a number of AVOs out on him - including one from Manly MP David Barr, began screaming and shouting at the inspector.

"If I knew it was [Benson] I would have immediately called the police," says Whitehead. "It was the next best thing to verbal assault and intimidation. It left him in a bad way."

The inspector returned on the following Monday accompanied by other WorkCover inspectors and members of the Police who shut down the site. The CFMEU responded by immediately placing a picket on the site in order to protect the public.

"The site was an absolute mess,' says Whitehead. "There were no amenities, including first aid. No licensed demolition contractor."

"None of the demolition had been done in the correct order."

Whitehead pointed out that the4 CFMEU was not only concerned about the health of building workers, but also the public. This follows the deaths of members of the public in recent times through poor safety practices on building sites.

"There's not enough care taken when it comes to members of the public,' says Whitehead. "It could be your wife, or your neighbour."


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