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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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Ambos Bans -Free Rides

A NSW Ambulance driver involved in an accident while travelling to an emergency has been charged by police.

In a move that has been slammed as "hypocritical" by Ambulance officers, the CEO of the Ambulance Service of NSW has withdrawn any support to the Ambulance Officer involved.

Ambulance officers commenced industrial action as a result, placing a ban on all ambulance paperwork, leaving people using New South Wales' ambulances not being charged a fee.

"Ambulance Officers, Paramedics, and Rescue Officers are expected by their employer, and indeed by the community, to get to the scene of a potentially life threatening situation as quickly and as safely as possible," says Michael Williamson, General Secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU). "Unfortunately, on the rare occasions that they become involved in an accident, the Service can not simply look the other way."

The driver, from the Ryde ambulance station, was told in a letter that they should drive to avoid such an incident.

The HSU said that the decision of the Ambulance service to wash their hands of the matter belies the expectation of Ambulance Officers to drive in a manner that will minimise response times in emergencies.

The union also described the decision as "especially contemptible" given "the continued mismanagement of the Ambulance Service".

Talks between the HSU and the NSW Ambulance Service agreed to the Ambulance Service committing to provide support via senior managers to the Ambulance Officer concerned.

A revised protocol would be issued establishing much clearer steps for Ambulance Officers to obtain the support from the Service for legal representation and a consultant would review the current driver training and operating procedures.

Consultation would also occur with other emergency services as to the procedures they utilise in such circumstances.

Bans were lifted following the talks.


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