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Issue No. 212 12 March 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Unfriendly Fire
The decision by Rail Corp to invoke Peter Reith’s hardline industrial laws against NSW rail maintenance workers could cause more casualties than intended.

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

 Bring It On Costa

 Dodgy Tests Cost Drivers

 Peeking Dicks Roasted

 Serial Killer Cops Fine

 Printers Defy Age

 Actors Bucket "Crap" Deal

 Burrow Lashes Independents

 Perth Loses Ugly Fight

 Ambos Bans -Free Rides

 Millions Rung Up on Telstra

 AWU Publishing Coup

 Deliveries Scratched

 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 Gough
 Seven Good Reasons To Save Medicare
 Naked Leading The Blind
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Naked Leading The Blind


Your article "Stop or You'll Stay Blind" was misleading and suggested that Royal Blind Society unfairly disciplined 12 staff, some of whom were vision impaired, in relation to one offensive email. This is not the case.

After seeking industrial relations advice, Royal Blind Society has spoken to a number of staff in relation to regularly sending and receiving large quantities of emails that were in bad taste, sexist and offensive over a number of months. This material ranged from offensive jokes to images of the bodies of dead accident victims and pornography.

Four staff were suspended on full pay and asked to respond to the allegations in writing within three days. During this time at least two of them sought union advice.

All four tendered their resignations at or before the time they were due to respond. Two others received a warning and the staff member associated with the pornographic material was dismissed. None of them were blind or vision impaired.

All staff are informed of Royal Blind Society policies and procedures through the induction process with the staff manual forming part of all our employment contracts. Staff are also reminded of key policies through the monthly staff newsletter.

Staff who have been identified as breaching this policy are being treated in accordance with the Royal Blind Society counselling, warning and dismissal policy.

As you would appreciate, Royal Blind Society has a responsibility to ensure that funds generously donated by the community are wisely spent. While we know staff will inevitably send a small number of personal emails, Royal Blind Society management will not tolerate anyone using the Royal Blind Society email system to circulate inappropriate material, especially with attachments, that could be considered as sexist, obscene, vulgar, discriminatory, insulting or bad taste.

We will continue to provide the highest quality service to people who are blind and vision impaired in NSW and the ACT and any non-business activity that diverts our funds away from core service delivery will not be tolerated.

John Landau

Chief Executive Officer


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