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Issue No. 212 12 March 2004  

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.


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.


 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!


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 Gough
 Seven Good Reasons To Save Medicare
 Naked Leading The Blind
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Serial Killer Cops Fine

A roofing company has been fined $60,000 following the death of a construction worker, sparking calls for industrial manslaughter legislation to be introduced in Victoria.

"He should have been bloody hung," says the CFMEU’s Pat Preston. "We need to send the message home to employers who are serial killers, who don’t take into account their employees health and safety, that they will face hefty fines and gaol sentences."

Matthew King, 28, died while working as a dogman at a commercial site in Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, on October 29, 1999. A County Court jury convicted the company, ACR Roofing, last month.

The same employer had been found guilty after an inquiry into a workers death several years ago. In that inquiry it was revealed that a supervisor had tried to fit a harness to the dying man's body to make it appear as though he had been wearing protective equipment.

The CFMEU has been campaigning in several states for the introduction of industrial manslaughter legislation, with legislation becoming effective in ACT at the start of March.

"We believe a worker's life is worth a lot more than $60,000," says Preston, who equated it to price of a new car.

Preston also slammed the Building Industry Taskforce for wasting millions of dollars worth of taxpayers money, while ignoring genuine safety concerns.

Centrelink Workers safety On The Table

Meanwhile a Comcare report has identified aggression towards Centrelink employees as a major issue as negotiations continue over a new health and safety agreement for the government agency.

Comcare is the Federal Government's own workers compensation provider.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) negotiators have been working to achieve solutions to the health and safety issues.

The Comcare report also identified:

- Adequate training on OHS issues

- Hazard identification and Risk assessments

- Facilities for Health and Safety Representatives and Deputies

- Senior management responsibility

- Manager/Team Leader responsibilities

- Role of the CPSU

The CPSU believes that significant progress has been made towards a draft agreement.

Negotiations are continuing.


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