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Issue No. 214 26 March 2004  

The Security Shift
As the War on Terror spirals out of control, the political dynamics of security are starting to shift – and those banging thee drums of war may become the unlikely casualties.


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.


 Terrorism: Workers In Front Line

 ‘Racist Throwback’ on Rail Project

 Green Light for Council Code

 Underground Mines a Time Bomb

 Teachers Delete Email

 Bush Uses Burma Sweatshops

 Family Mourns Dead Worker

 Call Centre Shocker

 Bosses Touched Up With Wet Lettuce

 Andrews Throws Last Dice at CFMEU

 Smelter Contractors Clear Air

 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

 More On Green Bans
 But Will He Get the Trains To Run On Time?
 Uniting For Peace
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Family Mourns Dead Worker

"Life is priceless,’ says Sun Winson Chai, whose father died after a fall on a Strathfield building site.

Winson's father was in a coma for five days before he passed away last week, leaving behind a grieving widow and seven children without a breadwinner.

"I want justice,' says Winson. "The boss didn't help me. The boss just wanted to protect himself."

The boss is builder John Jin (Jun Jian) of QW International Investments Pty Ltd. He employed, illegally, Winson's father Kow Chey, who was in Australia on a tourist visa, but was employed as cheap labour at John Jin's Strathfield building site.

"The safety on the site was appalling," says Andrew Ferguson of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), who has slammed the builder for not even offering to provide assistance for a decent funeral.

Kow Chey's family are Bhuddists, who view as very important the rite of praying at the site of where a person passes away. When they approached Mr Jin to pray at the site of their father's deadly fall the builder closed the gates on them.

"This is an issue of human decency," says Ferguson. "It demonstrates the bastadry that takes place in workplaces where there is complete contempt for workers."

Through the intervention of the CFMEU Kow Chey's family finally accessed the site to conduct memorial prayers. A week-long picket of the site has secured $25 000 to assist the family with funeral, medical and living expenses.

The CFMEU is also pursuing a mortality workers compensation claim.

"Fortunately I went to the union to help my family," says Winson. "Many of the members there have treated me like a son."

"Before my mother was very down, now she's a lot better because of the justice the CFMEU has brought my family."

"You should be very proud of the way your union has helped us."

The CFMEU and the Labor Council have also slammed the protocols following such deaths, with emergency services other than police not required to notify WorkCover in the event of such deaths.


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