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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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Bosses Touched Up With Wet Lettuce

Employers across the nation has been "put on notice" to do something about improving the high incidence of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

The threat came from Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Pru Goward after the results of a national phone survey revealed that one in four Australians, the vast majority of them women, has been sexually harassed at work.

The survey conducted by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission also showed that very few people who experience sexual harassment lodge a complaint.

Pru Goward admitted she was surprised by the results, so surprised it seems that she's at a loss to do anything about it, apart from "give employers a chance to change."

With twenty years of anti sexual harassment laws in Australia, it would be fair to conclude that bosses have been given plenty of chances to change and lessen the incidence of sexual harassment.

ACTU Industrial Officer Cath Bowtell thinks that it's time for some action.

"We've had two decades of encouraging best practice and there's been no behavioral change. There's only so much encouraging you can do." Bowtell says the problem with sexual harassment legislation is that it's complaints driven.

"If you're sexually harassed, you can complain about it, go to court and have it dealt with. But this is obviously not acting as a deterrent. What we need is more emphasis on prevention."

Pru Goward also thinks that something needs to be done in the area of prevention, but wants to leave it to the bosses to do something about it.

Fat chance Pru! Sexual harassment is hardly a new phenomenon and employers have known for a long time that it's unacceptable and illegal and there seems to be very little change.

"It's extremely naïve to think that the vast majority of employers are going to address this problem if we leave it up to them. That's not the way the world works. If she's really serious about this Pru Goward and the Federal government need to introduce measures that center on prevention. We owe it to the countless number of women who suffer sexual harassment at their work on a daily basis."


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